Religion & Education Collaborative Presentation

RE Teachers and Academic Knowledge on Facebook

Asst. Prof. Knut Aukland

OsloMet - Oslo Metropolitan University

Wednesday, October 28, 12pm (ET)

ABSTRACT — Participation in teacher groups on Facebook have become part of the everyday life of many teachers. Within RE in the UK one can find groups such as RE Teacher Forum and #Teach RE, and in Norway, the location for this case study, RLE-lærergruppa (Eng. The RE teacher group) is the biggest with more than 2 800 embers today. In the emerging body of scholarship on teacher groups on Facebook (FB), a recurring theme has been to view the communication in these groups as a form of informal, professional development where teachers share knowledge, experiences and resources with one another (e.g. Rutherford 2010). Building on an ongoing study of a Norwegian RE teacher group on Facebook (Tandberg and Aukland 2020; Aukland and Tandberg 2020), this paper will expand the hitherto narrow focus on teacher-teacher engagement in such groups, and investigate two research questions: (1) What can the communication in the group tell us of about RE teachers interest and engagement with researchers, research and academic knowledge? (2) What is the relationship between the knowledge of practitioners and academic knowledge in the group´s communication? Do they find a common ground, or do they operate independently of one another in separate threads of communication? To answer these questions the study will analyze data collected from RLE-lærergruppa between June 2018–June 2019 covering group activity, occupation of members, posts and comments.


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