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Building Bridges: Creating an Online Conversation Community for Preservice Teachers


English Education Volume 37, Number 1, ISSN 0007-8204


Teaching can be a lonely business. According to the 1996 report of the National Commission on Teaching and America's Future, many new teachers are "isolated behind classroom doors with little feedback or help while others learn merely to cope rather than to teach well". For many neophyte teachers this isolation begins during the student teacher semester. In this article, the authors discuss how to encourage student teachers to continue to refine their practice and keep them connected to larger a community through computer-mediated communication. An online forum is an open door to a place where student teachers find peer and faculty mentors to inquire, reflect, and collaborate through the listserv. Furthermore, the authors closely examine the "The Talk"--the narrative discourse they have observed and participated in online, and "The Walk"--the felt experience of student teachers as they negotiate a tumultuous and often times stressful semester. Through their online narratives, student teachers talk their way into a teaching identity, examine the balance between theory and practice, and frame their own teaching philosophies. (Contains 2 notes.)


Singer, N.R. & Zeni, J. (2004). Building Bridges: Creating an Online Conversation Community for Preservice Teachers. English Education, 37(1), 30-49. Retrieved October 18, 2019 from .

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