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It was suggested from the past research that very poor results for teachers who are learning and developing professionally. The present professional development and learning which is within the particular learning and it belongs to community practise frame work is more helpful and efficient rather than the traditional professional development and learning this point is also been suggested in the research. From mid of 1990s there was increasingly many technological developments during this year like widely distributed learners with flexible timeframe, many web based communities. Based on the web to web based learning environment this study uses this and it develops work approach for teacher professional development and learning (TPDL), using learning and community of practise and the opportunities given by web to web based environments. The best principles and practises of learning theory, teacher professional development and communities of practise were being reviewed in the literature of this study. To develop teacher professional development and learning these principles which are used to design a Web based community of practise. For giving a foundation for three web based professional development modules for secondary school geography and social studies teachers these approaches are being implemented.
In school geography and social studies curricula and assessment frameworks there is evolution of new concept of new challenging and elements in Social Science disciplines and in education. The social science teachers are obliged to use these elements in their teaching according to the new curriculum and assessment requirements and values which are being put forwarded in last decades.
According to New Zealand Curriculum (SSNZC) values in social studies are defined as "a person's principles or standards: judgements of what is important and valuable in life" in 1997. The way how the values are addressed in the curriculum and the exploration of the values was being formulated by SSNZC which was the first social science curriculum. Students will demonstrate skills as they explore and analyse their values this was stated by a mandated achievement objective for exploration of values.
In the values exploration process the following are involved
Examining and clarifying of own values.
The value which are in liaison with the social issues are also being examined, clarified.
The collective values are also being examined because many social structures and systems are based on these values.
For the underlying values attempts are made to seek agreement and for value conflict developments are made.
By many influences development of values are made and they would change with time.
The areas which are found difficult and challenging for the teachers are values and perspectives. Teachers are including values and perspectives in their teaching in the classroom which are used in meeting the challenges and to know how to work with these values and perspectives this was shown by the international studies. For the New Zealand Social Science teachers the local commentators identified similar issues. In order to give confidence to the teachers and initiate a better understanding of concepts of curriculum new ways should be found for guiding the teachers.
For the teacher development the recent study says that not only the traditional information and skill development based professional development the implementation of significant personal and new dimensions of social development this was told by Bell and Gilbert during 1996, Putnam and Borko in 1997, in 2000 by Education Review Office, in 2007 by Barra and Fung. The teacher development is time consuming when the process is going on in particular rime period these was being suggested by many similar and different findings. Because there is great increase in the interest of community of learning and practise the work also grows this was told by Schlager, Fusco and Schank, Gray and Tatar in the years 2002,2003 and 2004.
In this study two terms are to be discussed. An approach to the teacher professional development is the focusing element of this study. Simpson and Weiner approach is a way of considering and a means adopted in tackling a problem approach given by Makins in 1991 is used in this study.
Using the web based communities of practice (WCoPS) the approach is the overall means or the way of tackling the problem or providing the teacher professional development and learning this is the main point in the study. The issue of problem in teacher development and learning at a particular scale is also addressed in this study. On time, complexity and resource continuum the middle point is meso-scale. For the professional development this is not the short term, inexpensive and shallow one or two day approach like tertiary post graduate paper it is not a large scale, highly expensive, highly complex approach. It a mid path between these two extremes.
I have framed many important research questions and related secondary research questions after i have given brief view on the background in the introduction . the research questions and focusing elements are as follows.
The primary research question is in order to guide the social science practitioners in order put into practice the complex curriculum change will the web based community approach will be effective?
From this questions again many questions arose from this question and they are follows
In order to deal with the issues which will enable underpinning, purposes and assumptions which are major changes in curriculum are to be addressed.
To the school and class room culture will meso-scale WCoP approach be suitable?
In very short period of time will there be any possibility to develop a cohesive and effective community of practise?
Checking whether the approach used is viable and workable for design and delivery terms.
Checking whether teachers find this approach as challenging, interesting and a suitable method for professional development.
In the literature review of the study it mainly focuses on the liaison between main literature findings and design and conduct of study. The introduction gives a brief about the process that is utilised in reviewing and reporting the literature. The primary part in this introduction part is to find the change in Social Science Education in New Zealand. The second part of the work is to examine the effect of educational theory on Social Science teachers in teaching and learning. The further part of the work focuses on the literatures that tell about the approaches to give a realistic action for teachers to respond to the challenges which are obtained by changes in the teaching, learning and curriculum. In the quality teacher professional development and learning the fields which are termed as community approach for learning (CAL) web based communities of practice(WCoP).
Before the beginning of the project lot of work has been done on the fields that a involved in this study. The main strategy of the work is to provide promising future references based on the key and important literature resources. Using some of the key terms searching in number of locations is the second strategy:
â€¢ community of practice
â€¢ Web based communities
â€¢ Web based communities of practice
â€¢ teacher professional development
â€¢ teacher learning
â€¢ online professional development
â€¢ research methodology
In this section brief description of methodology of the study. The literature is initiated with discussion on the nature of research and key issues which are in the educational research literature. The theoretical and methodological approaches are being examined here in this study. Some other topics are also explained in the study like research design, issues of validity and reliability. Exploration of key validity and issues in relation and topics like methods of sampling, data collection and analysis which are used in this study are also explained.
Mixed methods research
In particular studies the mixed method researchers collect data by combining different methods. Based on the work of Campbell and fFiske in 1959 and Jick in 1979 the mixed method research design work has been developed. By collecting different types of data depending on the similar phenomenon the researchers mainly bothered about the increased validity of quality research. By mixing the strengths of one method and neutralizing the other are the way to improve the inquiries. The advancement of mixed method research and intrest towards this study has rapidly increased during 1990s. In different phases qualitative and quantitative data is collected for the study and data from multi levels in organisation are some variations. Qualitative and quantitative analysis process is being developed.
What is not known?
The thing which is unknown in the present moment is whether for classroom teachers the meso-scale TPDL using a WCoP approach is suitable or not. It also checks whether the particular range of classroom teachers will be suitable for engaging themselves in a very effective WCoP professional development experience? It would also check whether the approach can achieve in-depth learning, understanding for the classroom teachers to address when the values and beliefs in curriculum change.