Collections > Electronic Theses and Dissertations > "The Bridge Between Sessions": The Nature of Discourse in a Novice Teachers' Blended Community of Practice

Providing sustainable, meaningful professional development to novice teachers in order to support the rising demands encountered in schools continues to exist as an ongoing challenge in education. One type of professional development that is understudied in the literature is blended Communities of Practice (Lave & Wenger, 1991) for novice teachers. Following two sets of participants through two separate 3-month iterations, this qualitative study examined the nature of discourse for a group of new teachers in a pre-existing discourse community when combined with an online component. Using discourse analysis, the conversations in both the face-to-face and online sessions were examined for content themes, participant interactions, and the impact the two contexts--face-to-face and online--had on one another. Findings highlight participants' use of certain discourse patterns including active listening and laughter that exemplified a Community of Practice in the face-to-face discussions. Though absent in the on-line component in iteration one, these discourse patterns became apparent in the online component of iteration two when the conversation flowed between the face-to-face and online components. Reasons as to why the second iteration developed into a blended community in contrast to the first iteration are considered, providing fodder for future new teacher induction efforts.