Networked learning is conducive to the professional development and the onboarding process of new teacher educators, as it provides access to a vast array of knowledge and skills in practice (Cavanagh & Prescott, 2007; De Laat & Schreurs, 2013; Lohman, 2006; Vaessen, Van den Beemt, & De Laat, 2014; Wenger, 1998). As networked learning is not typical teacher behaviour (Nijland, Van Amersfoort, Schreurs, & De Laat, 2018), this type of learning should be stimulated. Networked learning is affected by a professional’s network intentionality, i.e. their intention to connect and interact with others, which is influenced by their beliefs about effective networks and networked learning (Moolenaar et al., 2014).
Awareness of the characteristics of effective networks and one’s own network, i.e. network awareness, and the value of networked learning, i.e. value awareness, could affect these beliefs and thereby enhance network intentionality (based on Borgatti & Cross, 2003; Moolenaar et al., 2014; Nijland et al., 2018; Van Waes, De Maeyer, Moolenaar, Van Petegem, & Van den Bossche, 2018). There is little prior research into the relationship between network and value awareness and network intentionality specifically and, therefore, this research focusses on the following question: How are network and value awareness related to network intentionality?
In this research, participants partook in an intervention aiming to enhance both network and value awareness, before and after which they were interviewed with regard to their network intentionality. The intervention consisted of an egocentric network analysis and writing value-creation stories (Wenger, Trayner, & De Laat, 2011), in order to enhance participants’ awareness of the composition, potential and value of their own networks and networked learning. The interview data indicates that enhancing network and value awareness is insufficient for the enhancement of network intentionality, as beliefs about the social and cultural acceptability of networked learning interfere with insight into the characteristics and value of effective networked learning. These beliefs seem to stem from a fear of rejection, which is enhanced by the novice status of participants, and entail notions about the appropriateness of content, contacts and motives for networked learning. The characteristics of these beliefs about socially and culturally acceptable networked learning and the influence of the novice status of new teacher educators thereupon, as revealed by this research, could be a stepping stone for further research and professional development programmes focussing on the enhancement of network intentionality.
|Date of Award||5 Jan 2021|
|Supervisor||Femke Nijland (Supervisor)|