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Developing pre-service teacher knowledge using online forums: supporting confident and competent teaching practices

Dockerty, Kelly


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Mrs Kelly Dockerty
Senior Lecturer in Education and Director of Education and Student Experience


This small study examines how one group (n = 59) of first-year undergraduate students developed their knowledge through co-construction using an online forum as a platform as part of a three-year Initial Teacher Training (ITT) programme. Professional dialogue at the online interface supported them to cope with the challenges they faced during teaching practice. The data showed that there were gains in student subject and pedagogical knowledge, observed to a greater extent among the peripheral learners. The data presented provide an alternative view from that published in the existing literature about the size and type of both peripheral and core online interactions that were useful in building the confidence and competence of students in the role of teachers in a primary classroom. Ultimately, the online knowledge exchange among peripheral participants provided agency in learning over actions and the ability to cope during teaching practice. This was corroborated by student self-assessment using post-online reflective brainstorms. Sixty-four per cent of the students concluded that they would use this new subject and pedagogical knowledge when in school as part of their teaching practice.


Dockerty, K. (2019). Developing pre-service teacher knowledge using online forums: supporting confident and competent teaching practices. Journal of education for teaching : JET, 45(4), 402-416.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 29, 2018
Online Publication Date Jul 12, 2019
Publication Date Aug 8, 2019
Deposit Date Jan 15, 2019
Publicly Available Date Oct 27, 2022
Journal Journal of Education for Teaching
Print ISSN 0260-7476
Electronic ISSN 1360-0540
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 45
Issue 4
Pages 402-416
Keywords Initial teacher training; Pedagogy; Online; Co-construction of knowledge; Agency; Competence; Teaching practice
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