Day10 #100DaysOfWriting – My conceptual framework …to be or not to be….

I am reading more of Michael Eraut’s literature and I have come across a framework (Eraut 2004) that he used in one of his studies….

Eraut (1994) originally built a conceptual framework for studying professional learning within which he identified three dimensions: (1)different kinds of professional knowledge, (2)modes of knowledge use and (2)contexts of use. he refers to the ‘contexts of use’ for professional educators as the academic context, the school context and the classroom context. He notes that these contexts are applicable to other professions and renames the latter two, describing the academic context, the policy-discussion context and the action context

I am thinking of adopting the framework from 2004 to my study, in fact I just want to go ahead with this, as time is marching on, and I plan that my critique of literature of professional learning, and informal learning will help justify this framework

Based on my latest reading my new proposed dissertation title would be: Professional Learning in the online social networking space

Eraut’s (2004) study is based on data from early career professionals, but he has used this framework with mid career professionals also, so as my participants are a mix I think that this framework could apply

Comparing his 2004 study to my own, I think that they are comparable all be it on different contexts and professional occupations…

Eraut reports on data from a study which includes “Learning about engineering at work” ( combined with other professions also)

My study is about learning about ‘teaching and learning’ on social networking (Twitter) – the learning context is social networking

In order to carry out his study he has used a framework of 3 questions:

  • What is being learned?
  • How is it being learned?
  • What are the main factors affecting this learning in the workplace?

I think the above questions could be adapted to my study as in his study he aimed to identify key factors that affect learning. I want to do similar, identify the key factors that affect learning in social networking

[Although this would mean changing the present aim of my dissertation which is currently : What are the activities of higher education professionals using Twitter and how do these activities contribute towards their professional learning?]

In this paper Eraut (2004) also refers to learning and context factors, and has created these 2 diagrams to show the relationship of variables that influence learning…

Screen Shot 2015-08-20 at 21.17.44

Screen Shot 2015-08-20 at 21.17.31

As part of my discussion have identified factors (some relate to learning and context and other …) that enable or prevent my participants from engaging in social networking, Twitter, for learning.

Also in Eraut’s paper he asserts that his findings between factors will “enable people to make interventions that have a reasonable chance of success”. This resonates with me….. as I want to make recommendations for professionals who want to use social network in more effective ways for prof learning


About Muireann O'Keeffe

I am an educational developer currently working at DCU. I have a passion for researching and evaluating technology that can support and enhance learning. In the past I have taught on Masters programmes (Msc Applied elearning & Postgraduate Diploma in Third level Learning and Teaching) as well as Leadership development programmes.
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