Photonarratives in an online master’s course: A viable way to enhance teacher reflection and build community?
Abstract: Distance education has potential to reach teachers from diverse areas but the challenges of building community and promoting reflection can be considerable. Photonarratives were used in this study as a tool to promote reflective practices and to enhance a sense of professional community for practicing teachers engaged in a graduate distance education course. Twenty science teachers (half from rural areas) produced photonarratives that included photos and descriptions of factors related to their teaching. Two primary categories that emerged among these factors were geographic factors and technology. The photonarratives empowered teachers by giving them control of identifying and documenting issues related to their unique science teaching context while promoting insight into shared issues across the group. The power of photos embedded in personal narratives as a tool for teacher reflection and developing community is discussed.