Sharing and supporting through an online network: Four studies with newly appointed teachers.

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Conference Proceeding
Engaging pedagogies: AARE 2006 International Education Research Conference Proceedings, 2007, pp. 1 - 18
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The paper discusses the experiences, needs and concerns of newly appointed teachers in four separate studies conducted by UTS teacher educators over the years 1999-2006. Newly appointed teachers were invited to participate in an online support network in each of the studies. The studies were all small in scale, and allowed teachers to express their concerns, aspirations and experiences to others in the online network. Although participation in the online network was limited, those who did participate found the network to be supportive and helpful in providing much-needed advice and suggestions. Support was offered by mentor teachers, lecturers from the university and the other newly appointed teachers in the network. The paper will highlight the common issues regarding online access to support, as well as aspects of online interaction that were found to be beneficial to participants. It will also discuss issues of participation as highlighted by the different designs of the four studies, and indicate the strengths and weaknesses of each of the research designs with regard to meeting the needs of the participants.
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