Facilitation of social learning in teacher education: the ‘Dimensions of Social Learning-Framework'

Maarten De Laat, Emmy Vrieling, Antoine Van den Beemt

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


    To understand the organization of social learning by groups in practice, this chapter elaborates on the use of a framework of dimensions and indicators to explore social learning within (prospective) teacher groups. The applied framework that we call the ‘Dimensions of Social Learning (DSL) Framework’ is built upon four dimensions including 11 indicators corresponding to these dimensions. The DSL Framework was induced by a literature review that applied notions of social networks, communities of practice and learning teams as the main underlying perspectives and has been tested empirically in higher education. In this chapter, to validate the framework, we present the findings of a case study that applied the DSL Framework to explore the social dimensions of particular teacher learning groups and to reflect on the usefulness of the indicators in terms of compiling an image of the learning group’s social configuration. The case study suggests that the framework appears fruitful for assessing the social configuration of teacher learning groups. Moreover, the resulting image allows teachers to analyse whether their group’s configuration fits its learning goals, or whether adjustments are required. It is therefore possible to improve learning processes within teacher learning groups.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationCommunities of Practice: Facilitating Social Learning in Higher Education
    EditorsJacquie McDonald, Aileen Cater-Steel
    Number of pages22
    ISBN (Electronic)978-981-10-2879-3
    ISBN (Print)978-981-10-2877-9
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2016


    • social learning
    • collaborative learning
    • teacher groups
    • professional development


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