Academic journal article Educational Technology & Society

Examination of Co-Construction of Knowledge in Videotaped Simulated Instruction

Academic journal article Educational Technology & Society

Examination of Co-Construction of Knowledge in Videotaped Simulated Instruction

Article excerpt

Introduction

Man is always man-in-the-world and his action cannot be studied adequately if it is separated from his life situation ... we must approach and investigate man as integrated being ... as a unique person who is embedded in culture, language, society, history and physical world (Lehtovaara, 2001:163).

The realization of professional development using a collective interactive process can be examined within the realm of a constructivist paradigm, which considers learning in the light of situationality. The process of learning 'how to learn' and 'change' is largely influenced and shaped by the interplay between an individual and contextual variables since it is a shared socially-constructed meaning making process. For the experience to be transformational, one needs to be actively involved in the knowledge creation process (Kohonen, 2001), which requires the incorporation of social negotiation and mediation from multiple perspectives and through dialogue (Santrock, 2001) and learning tools (Borko et al., 2008). Cultural historical activity theory (CHAT) provides a contextual perspective for the significance of collective practical-critical activity because it helps one develop understandings of real world situations, draw meanings from that understanding, and create learning from those meanings (Fox, 2001). The individual could no longer be understood without his or her cultural means; and the society could no longer be understood without the agency of individuals who use and produce artifacts (Engestrom, 2001:134). In educational settings, dialogue and activity also play a critical role in promoting learning abilities and facilitating instructional growth through co-construction of knowledge (Postholm, 2008).

In initial teacher education, the means facilitating the development of prospective teachers' instructional knowledge are considered critical from various dimensions. A review of the literature reveals various studies that emphasize the significance of the incorporation of technology in teacher education with respect to its merits and pitfalls (Goktas et al., 2009; Hixon and So, 2009) and trainees' creation of knowledge (DiPietro, 2004). It is imperative to integrate current technology in instructional processes (Gulbahar, 2008) because it helps trainees evaluate their gained experiences and learning (Jensen et al., 1994; Kpanja, 2001; Wang and Hartley, 2003) and provides an experience-based and effective learning context (Gomleksiz, 2004). Further, teacher education programs need reform by enhancing the attractiveness of the teaching profession through incorporating a global dimension into teaching practice (Jusuf, 2005). Such integration provides rich situated learning experiences by involving students in social, interactive and active learning processes where they gain skills, strategies and subject-matter knowledge (Ajayi, 2009). In the perspectives offered by CHAT, technology provides active engagement in the learning process, critical thinking, and communication for the construction of knowledge (Ng'ambi and Johnston, 2006). Video--as a tool for fostering productive discussions and negotiation among trainees within microteaching--provides a supportive, critical, and evaluative environment in enhancing professional development (Glazer et al., 2005; Borko et al., 2008).

Microteaching, as a simulated training technique, has been used for various stages of trainees' growth. Wallace (1991) considers microteaching as a deep-rooted and highly valuable teacher education technique; however, he also states that '... nothing works so well as using real learners. Only then is the true nature of the teaching and learning process revealed at the appropriate level' (p.101). In this respect, the extent of the effectiveness of microteaching sessions on trainees' growth in internship can be debatable because simulated classroom discourse may not mirror the actual teaching and learning context; yet, such environments--when supported with technology in a collaborative and reflective learning context--can help construct knowledge. …

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