Twitter can be considered as a continuous stream of inspirational information. On this page I elaborated on what Twitter exactly is and on this page I illustrated the epistemological shift from CPD as a rational process to a more inspirational process.
the interviews with participants, the nature of Twitter can be summarized by
the following keywords:
The non-linear nature of Twitter reflects the direction of the CPD of teachers: the professional development of teachers through a Network of Practice (Twitter) is not substantially problem-centered. On the contrary, Twitter provides an experience of informative and lifewide inspiration that can enriche the entire professional identity of the teacher, without per se solving concrete and predefined practice-related problems. In this view, CPD through a Network of Practice like Twitter is somewhat contradictory to the deficit model (Jackson, 1968; Guskey & Huberman, 1995) that assumes that teachers need to be provided with specific knowledge and skills to find solutions for their practice-related problems.
From the results in my research I argue that professional development of teachers can also be approached from a less rational, but from a more inspirational process of knowing. Teachers learn from abundance of knowledge instead of from a deficiency point of view, where the teacher is in need of particular information, skills and knowledge to fill that deficit in order to solve problems. I do not colclude that it is either inspirational CPD, or CPD from deficiency point of view. I argue that both ways of approaching CPD can co-exist.
“Inspiration is evoked rather than initiated directly” (Thrash & Elliot, 2003, p. 871)
Extracts of the
individual interviews that give evidence of this shift in epistomological
approach of CPD:
“The underlying intention with participants in my workshops is ‘What’s in it for me? And preferably immediately.' This is in contrast with Twitter where you have to put time and effort in before you start noticing the effect on your CPD.” (Katrien)
“Twitter gives me relevant information for my professional practice, and it gives it to me fast. But it is not always useable at that particular moment.” (Katrien)
“Twitter is hard to control and it is difficult to predict what you’re going to encounter.” (Mariska)
“Teachers are tired of change, and it is understandeable that they want immediate solutions for their problems. Then it is harder to put time and effort in when you don’t see an immediate result. An incubation period is needed on Twitter.”
“It happens that I find useful information on Twitter that I can use in my practice. A kind of synchronicity, finding meaningful information by chance.” (Hans)
Nvivo coding of relevant data [click the thumbnails]