I was applying for one scholarship and therefore I had to prepare thorough research plan. It became as real as possible. What I was wondering when I was writing this is that what is the so-called subject of my PhD project. If someone asks, what is your project about, I usually answer: teacher professional development with e-portfolio, sometimes I add teachers’ knowledge building with e-portfolio or something that. But I was thinking that actually I am focusing a lot on learning organizations, workplace learning, knowledge conversion model and teacher development is like a context and e-portfolio like a medium.. What I mean is that I am emphasizing the implementation of knowledge conversion phases, provided by Nonaka and Takeuchi, in order to keep individual and organizational knowledge dynamically changing, that influences the development of organization and individuals. Just the context that I put this model and medium that supports the implementation of it, is teacher education and extended organization here is school-university partnership.
Anyway, I formulated following research questions and goals:
Goals and research questions
The aim of my thesis is to develop the technologically supported LKB model in cross- organizational settings for teacher education in order to support teacher professional development. In order to accomplish the aim of my thesis, I plan to find answers for the following research questions:
1. How does the LKB activities support the development of self-directive competences of teachers and influences their motivation to develop themselves professionally?
2. How do the members of extended professional community of educators perceive that their knowledge influences and is influenced by the development of organizational knowledge?
3. What kind of technologically supported LKB methods and scenarios would be used by the extended community members of educators?
4. Which aspects influence the implementation of technologically supported LKB model in teacher education context in individual level?
In order to accomplish the aim and to answer the research questions, I will rely mainly on design- based research elements. Wang and Hannafin (2005) have defined design-based research as methodology aimed to improve educational practices through systematic, flexible, and iterative review, analysis, design, development and implementation, based upon collaboration among researchers and practitioners in real-world settings and leading to design principles or theories. The study has follwing phases:
a) Identifying the problem and mapping the current situation in teacher education field in the context of using technology for supporting teachers’ knowledge building activities. Teachers from school, pre-service teachers, novice teachers, school supervisors and university lecturers will be interviewed in this process. This phase gives an input for research question 3 and 4;
b) Together with stakeholders from teacher education field, developed LKB model will be validated. Model will be presented as scenarios in different teacher education context and stakeholders analyze them together with researchers. Phase gives an input for question 3 and 4;
c) Technologically supported LKB model will be tested with teachers in two phases: early prototypes of services and full prototypes of services. Data will be collected by the semi-structured interviews, questionnaire and analysis of the users’ log-information. Phase gives an input for research questions 1, 2, 3, 4.
d) LKB model will be implemented longitudinally in e-portfolio system with the pre-service teachers in school practice context. Scenarios and methodology for portfolio-based school practice will be developed together with university school-practice unit and researchers. Data will be collected by the semi-structured questionnaire, analysis of reflections in weblog and semi- structured interview in the end of the trial. Trials take place in spring 2010, 2011, 2012 and into process school supervisors, pre-service teachers and university will be involved. This phase gives an input for research questions 1, 2, 3, 4.
e) In collaboration with teachers, application of e-portfolio functionality will be designed to Koolielu environment. Scenarios and workflows will be designed by the researcher and evaluated by the teachers. Data will be collected by the semi-structured interviews during the design-sessions. This phase gives an input for the research question 3.
Therefore my project has three methodological approaches. First I identify the problem and map the situation. Then with the design-based approach I’m developing together with stakeholders different scenarios and methodologies for interventions. The next approach involves different trials with teachers in different contexts like pre-service studies and accredidation, And finally my research tries to evaluate how does the theoretical model with technological application influences teacher’s professional development.
As the result of the doctoral thesis, I will provide a) theoretical LKB model for teacher training context; b) description of technology application that would support developed LKB model in teacher training context; c) implementation quidelines that would support the using of technology supported LKB model.
a) Development of theoretical LKB model (2009 – 2011):
i) Meta-analysis of the SECI model will be conducted in order to deepen the theoretical baseline of the research and to analyze what are the applications of SECI model. Article about it will be ready by the February 2012.
ii) Theoretical LKB model have been developed and validated with seven experts from teacher education field. Article “Implementing A Technology-Supported Model for Cross-Organisational Learning and Knowledge Building for Teachers” published by the European Journal of Teacher Education in winter 2012.
iii) heoretical LKB model validated in technology-supported accreditation context. Results presented at CSEDU11 and in ICWL11 conference
iv) Technology-supported LKB model in cross-organizational setting will be tested in Octo- ber 2011 -January 2012 with 20 Estonian teachers. The goal is to evaluate in what way the SECI phased related activity sequences are taking place in cross-organizational LKB model and how are different IntelLEO services supporting the activity sequences related with SECI phases. Article about the results will be ready by the spring 2012.
b) Description of technology application for supporting LKB model (2011-2013):
i) Aim is to study how implementing e-portfolio in teacher education context supports pro- fessional development. Longitudinal study with pre-service teachers has been conducted in spring 2010 and 2011 and another trial takes place in spring 2012. Some trials will be additionally designed for 2012. Article about trials will be ready by the autumn 2012.
c) Implementation guidelines of LKB model in technological settings (2011-2013):
i) Based on data of testing the technology-supported LKB model, I plan to analyze what in- fluences the implementation of the model in teacher education context. I would like to study through the motivational specter what is the need for training and by whom, what facilitation aspects are needed, what barriers might be faced. Article about implementa- tion process will be ready by the summer 2012
Sounds realistic But what is even more important – sounds interesting, I am fond of my research and current experiment that has not been very successful, is really important to me and I have strong ownership with it. Feedback is welcome.