Using a Wiki in a Scientist-Teacher Professional Learning Community: Impact on Teacher Perception Changes
In this study, a wiki was integrated into a professional development model that systemically addresses early-career teachers' needs. This study was conducted to examine the impact of wiki-based professional development activities in a scientist-teacher professional learning community and focused on early-career teachers' perceptions of the role of wiki technology and knowledge of teaching through inquiry. Teachers participated in the Professional Learning Community Model for Entry into Teaching Science (PLC-METS), a professional development program that is based on an integrated teacher education model of knowledge sharing, collaboration, and communication between teachers and scientists, with the goal of supporting early-career teachers' ability to engage their students in scientific inquiry. The use of a wiki environment to collaborate on activities, deliver resources, and share knowledge is rapidly expanding in professional development communities. The use of the wiki in PLC-METS positively predicted the results of teachers' knowledge of inquiry-based teaching. Results demonstrate that the wiki can contribute to building a learning community for collaboration between early-career science teachers and scientists. The paper also discusses the educational implications for the design of wiki-based professional learning communities that impact teachers' professional development.