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V. 8 N. 2 (2023): Innovazione e processi trasformativi per le didattiche STEAM

Virtual School: Learning to Teach Physics in a Virtual Community of Practice

17 novembre 2023


This research explores the impact a Virtual Community of Practice (VCoP) within the international Virtual School pilot project aimed at providing future secondary-school physics teachers with authentic teaching experiences. The Virtual School serves as a platform to connect future teachers with real schools and pupils, creating a unique educational environment to develop professional identity and competencies. This paper reports on part of the project engaging eight preservice or early-career teachers, two mentors, three researchers, and forty-eight secondary school pupils. Pre and post semi-structured interviews were employed to collect data, exploring the participants’ experiences and perceptions. The findings reveal significant impacts of the VCoP on the understanding of professional identity and the disciplinary teacher practices of participants. By participating in this digital community, they have developed expertise, bridging the gap between theoretical knowledge and real-classroom dynamics. This study highlights the potential of VCoPs to shape the training of secondary-school physics teachers, offering new avenues for teacher education in the digital age.

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