A social perspective on learning in the context of Computer Mediated Communication in teacher education

B. Hudson

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


    In a context where ever greater emphasis is placed on the need to exploit the potential of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) this paper argues the need for a theoretical underpinning to such. developments.' It is argued that in Higher Education the emphasis is often placed on the assumed improved cost effectiveness associated with 'flexible' and 'independent' student learning as one of the major benefits, although such notions as flexible and independent learning tend to be taken for granted. It is argued further that even where benefits to learning are emphasised that these are often founded on relatively impoverished views of learning. Often such views fit with a technocentric and positivist perspective on learning, emphasising as they do individualism, information delivery and a limited role for the tutor. This paper outlines an alternative theoretical perspective based upon Vygotskian social psychology, activity theory and social practice. Such a perspective is characterised by an emphasis on interaction, communication and collaboration and learning itself is seen as an aspect of participation in communities of practice, in which the human relationships between teachers and students are seen as fundamental. The theory is exemplified with reference to the use of Computer Mediated Communication (CMC) in teacher education using First Class computer conferencing software.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of ICCE'98, Vol 2
    Subtitle of host publicationGlobal education on the net
    Place of PublicationBeijing
    PublisherChina Higher Education Press Beijing
    Number of pages6
    ISBN (Print)7040073374
    Publication statusPublished - 1998
    Event6th International Conference on Computers in Education - Northern Jiaotong University, Beijing, China
    Duration: 14 Oct 199817 Oct 1998


    Conference6th International Conference on Computers in Education
    Abbreviated titleICCE 1998

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