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Comunicar Journal 62: Learning ecologies in the digital age (Vol. 28 - 2020)

Mirroring learning ecologies of outstanding teachers to integrate ICTs in the classroom

https://doi.org/10.3916/C62-2020-03

Teresa Romeu-Fontanillas

Montse Guitert-Catasús

Juliana-E. Raffaghelli

Albert Sangrà

Abstract

This paper presents an exploratory study to examine the practices of outstanding primary school teachers in their professional development for ICT integration in teaching and learning, as a means of understanding how their learning ecologies develop and function. Outstanding teachers in the context of this study are teachers who innovate pedagogically and who are influential in the community, having successfully developed their learning ecology. Using a qualitative approach, we explore the concept of learning ecologies as a driver for innovation in the professional development of teachers, using a carefully selected sample of nine outstanding teachers. Drawing from in-depth interviews, specific coding and NVIVO analysis, our results show that these teachers develop organized systems for activities, relationships and resource usage and production, which can be characterized as the components of their professional learning ecology, to continuously keep up to date. We also identified some characteristics of teachers that perform outstandingly and factors that potentially facilitate or hinder their learning ecology development. Further research in the field will enable an improved understanding of the professional learning ecologies of school teachers and support future interventions and recommendations for professional development through the cultivation of emerging professional learning ecologies.

Keywords

Learning ecologies, teachers’ professional development, primary school education, outstanding teachers, ICT, case studies, influencing factors, qualitative methodology

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