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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Teacher collaboration around computer use with English as a second language students Minnes, Wendy-Jene


This study analyzes what happened when an innovation that assumed some form of teacher collaboration around computer use with English as a Second Language (ESL) students was implemented. It describes the nature and extent of teacher collaboration found to occur and seeks to account for the patterns that emerged by examining some prevalent structural and cultural features of school life. The particular notion of collaboration considered involves explicit, ongoing discussion and mutual planning. Conditions established for the innovation's implementation revealed the expectation that teachers would coordinate their work around computer use to integrate the language and content learning of ESL students. Observation and teacher interviews indicated that resource and ESL classroom teachers tended to engage in "expert-novice" or "peer" relationships, depending on the extent of their computer knowledge. Generally common to both forms of collaboration around computer use were the following patterns: one-on-one encounters; brief, informal exchanges; short-term planning; implicit roles and expectations; and a focus on computer-related concerns. An analysis of these patterns suggests that the school's organization of physical space, time, and authority, as well as teacher norms of individualism and noninteraction, their classroom-centered focus and adherence to a practicality ethic, may have served to shape the emergent forms of teacher collaboration.

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