Social Media and Teacher Professionalism: Getting in on the Act

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Pendergast, Donna
Exley, Beryl
Bahr, Nan
Ferreira, Jo-Anne
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Gutierrez, Amanda

Fox, Jillian

Alexander, Colette

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In this chapter, we examine our collective experiences with a relatively new medium of communicating academic research, that of social media postings. We draw on three instances of professional blogging about the topic of teacher professionalism, all undertaken during 2018. The three professional blogs were accessed, read and shared on various social media sites and key ideas were tweeted. Others self-selected as responders. In this way, the blogosphere provided the means for fast, direct multimodal representations and dialogic communication with an extraordinarily wide audience about a topic of national significance. An analysis of the content and responses from a range of participants concluded that Government regulators, teacher education providers, employing departments and teacher unions, for example, no longer held an exclusive position as producers and transmitters of assumptions about teacher professionalism. Indeed, the general public, activist groups, individual teachers, teacher educators, publishing companies and the like provide the voice of the new wave of public discussion about the topic of teacher professionalism. Not all stakeholders are represented. Many teachers and school leaders are rendered voiceless by their employers. We also note that being active within the blogosphere is time-consuming, intellectually and emotionally exhausting, and at times, risky business. The reality is that many members of the teaching profession have to rely on a smaller number of networked professionals to contribute points of view on their behalf. A question remains about how the profession can overcome this forced passivity.

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Professionalism and Teacher Education: Voices from Policy and Practice

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© 2019 Springer. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. It is reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the publisher’s website for further information.

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Teacher education and professional development of educators

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Pendergast, D; Exley, B; Bahr, N; Ferreira, J-A, Social Media and Teacher Professionalism: Getting in on the Act, Professionalism and Teacher Education: Voices from Policy and Practice, 2019, pp. 47-67