Journal article

Whatever Happened to the Social Dimension? : Aspects of Learning in a Distance-based Teacher Training Programme


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Publication Details

Subtitle: Aspects of Learning in a Distance-based Teacher Training Programme

Author list: Lindberg, Ola;Olofsson, Anders D.

Publication year: 2006

Start page: 7

End page: 20

Number of pages: 14

ISSN: 1360-2357



In this article we discuss distance-based teacher trainees understandings of learning and education in a computerised learning environment. Educational research today often stresses the importance of a social dimension in learning and education and computerised learning environments are said to create and fulfil the social dimension in on-campus education as well as in distance education. This social dimension of learning and education is investigated, in a Swedish distance-based teacher training programme supported by ICT, through semi-structured interviews with 19 teacher trainees. The study shows that there is a complex relationship between the use of the computerised learning environment and the physical meetings in the programme. One conclusion is that, even though theories emphasise the social dimension of learning through participation, teacher trainees view participation with others as important primarily in relation to social aspects of well-being and not in relation to learning. The use of ICT for creating a community of learners through participation seems to individualise the students learning rather than bringing them together in their learning.


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