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“We Felt Like Pioneers”: Exploring the Social and Emotional Dimensions of Teachers’ Learning During Online Professional Development

, The University of Texas at Austin, United States

Journal of Online Learning Research Volume 8, Number 1, ISSN 2374-1473 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Waynesville, NC USA

Abstract

During the 2020-2021 academic year, teachers worked to adapt to newly virtual environments as the COVID-19 pandemic closed schools and moved both classrooms and professional development activity online. Even before the shift to online learning brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, online professional development (PD) had become increasingly common. Researchers have highlighted the potential for online PD to help teachers reflect on their existing practices and develop and shift their understandings of teaching. Few studies, however, have considered the social and emotional components of teachers’ learning in online settings. Responding to this gap, this case study examines the social and emotional dimensions of five middle school teachers’ experiences over the course of a semester-long online professional development program. The findings highlight (a) the creation of a supportive and collaborative community online, (b) the co-occurrence of positive emotions and intellectual discussions, and (c) the impact of positive emotional experiences during online PD in supporting teachers’ professional identity development. The findings can help researchers and educators understand the nuanced social and emotional dimensions that impact teachers’ learning and experiences during PD.

Citation

Nash, B. (2022). “We Felt Like Pioneers”: Exploring the Social and Emotional Dimensions of Teachers’ Learning During Online Professional Development. Journal of Online Learning Research, 8(1), 101-125. Waynesville, NC USA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved August 19, 2022 from .