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Title: Facilitation of social learning in teacher education: the ‘Dimensions of Social Learning
Authors: De Laat, Maarten
Vrieling, Emmy
Van den Beemt, Antoine
Keywords: social learning
collaborative learning
teacher groups
professional development
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: Springer
Citation: De Laat, M., Vrieling, E., & Van den Beemt, A. (2016). Facilitation of social learning in teacher education: the ‘Dimensions of Social Learning-Framework’. In J. McDonald & A. Cater-Steel (Eds.), Communities of Practice: Facilitating Social Learning in Higher Education (pp. 153-174). Springer.
Abstract: To understand the organization of social learning by groups in practice, this chapter elaborates on the use of a framework of dimensions and indicators to explore social learning within (prospective) teacher groups. The applied framework that we call the ‘Dimensions of Social Learning (DSL) Framework’ is built upon four dimensions including 11 indicators corresponding to these dimensions. The DSL Framework was induced by a literature review that applied notions of social networks, communities of practice and learning teams as the main underlying perspectives and has been tested empirically in higher education. In this chapter, to validate the framework, we present the findings of a case study that applied the DSL Framework to explore the social dimensions of particular teacher learning groups and to reflect on the usefulness of the indicators in terms of compiling an image of the learning group’s social configuration. The case study suggests that the framework appears fruitful for assessing the social configuration of teacher learning groups. Moreover, the resulting image allows teachers to analyse whether their group’s configuration fits its learning goals, or whether adjustments are required. It is therefore possible to improve learning processes within teacher learning groups.
Appears in Collections:1. T2 Publications, books and conference papers

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