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Teachers' reshaping of professional identity in a thematic FB-group

Journal article
Authors Mona Lundin
Annika Lantz-Andersson
Thomas Hillman
Published in QWERTY (Open and Interdisciplinary Journal of Technology, Culture and Education)
Volume 12
Issue 2
Pages 12-29
ISSN 2240-2950
Publication year 2017
Published at The Linnaeus Centre for Research on Learning, Interaction, and Mediated Communication in Contemporary Society (LinCS)
Department of Education, Communication and Learning
Pages 12-29
Language en
Keywords teachers, Facebook, computational approaches, interaction analysis, identity work
Subject categories Pedagogy


The background of this study is teachers’ increasing use of social media for professional learning. Swedish teachers often use thematic Facebook groups to discuss the subjects they teach, their approaches, methods and assessment. Although previous research has shown that teachers’ participation in social media has a positive impact on teachers’ professional learning, the interaction is described as relatively straightforward and superficial. In this study, we use computational approaches to identify 79 in-depth discussion threads that help uncover the norms of teachers’ social media groups. These threads are analysed in detail using the concept of professional identity work (Goffman, 1959). The findings show that the discussion threads were formulated as questions or requests, and reveal ways teachers engage in extensive professional identity work by drawing on established norms to position themselves as legitimate Facebook group members and as professional teachers.

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