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Journal Article

Developing Critically Thoughtful e‑Learning Communities of Practice  pp173-182

Philip L. Balcaen, Janine R. Hirtz

© Dec 2007 Volume 5 Issue 3, ICEL 2007, Editor: Shirley Williams, pp173 - 250

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In this paper, we consider an approach to developing critically thoughtful e‑Learning communities of practice„where participants are deliberate about the use of specific intellectual tools supporting critical thinking. We address Garrison & Anderson's (2003) argument that such critical thinking should play a central role within the ecology of e‑ Learning communities and provide our view of what such communities might look like. To do this, we offer four categories of strategies helping to develop such communities„collaborative agreement on goals; facilitator(s) modelling and teaching the tools supporting critical thinking; and shaping communicative interactions within the e‑Learning environment to encourage thinking. We provide examples from a current study involving 36 kindergarten to grade 12 teachers' blended use of information and communication technologies (ICT) and face‑to‑face sessions to illustrate our view.


Keywords: critical thinking, communities of practice, tools for thought, e-Learning


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