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The Decentered Teacher and the Construction of Social Space in the Virtual Classroom

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Teachers College Record Volume 107, Number 8, ISSN 0161-4681


The relative newness of online education to most teachers and students means that the virtual classroom is largely uncharted social space; teachers and students must deliberately consider how and when they will enter into the virtual classroom and where and how they will locate themselves and each other within it. This study uses the concepts of "time-space separation" and "disembedding", drawn from Giddens's work on globalization, to identify how teachers and students in one virtual classroom constructed social relations in synchronous and asynchronous Web-based forums. Using discourse-analytic methods, the study illuminates the discursive processes through which the teacher and students rearticulated conventional classroom discourse to create hybrid, student-controlledteacher-centered spaces. The authors identify the challenges and potentials of such classrooms for teachers and raise several questions for further investigation into, and theorizing about, teaching and teachers' work in the virtual classroom.


Anagnostopoulos, D., Basmadjian, K.G. & Mccrory, R.S. (2005). The Decentered Teacher and the Construction of Social Space in the Virtual Classroom. Teachers College Record, 107(8), 1699-1729. Retrieved February 28, 2020 from .

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