Dialogue as practice: A case study on the accumulation of professional capital by the networked learning communities

Pei Ying Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This research explored the pedagogical inquiry activities of the networked learning communities (NLCs), and the path and meaning of its professional empowerment. The case study focused on a group of teachers named the “Navigators,” comprised of seven Chinese Literacy teachers from six public high schools in Taipei. This study lasted 2 years and data collection included in-depth interviews, focus group interviews, field observation, and document analysis. The concepts of NLCs, professional capital, and dialogue as practice were employed to provide thick description and a thorough interpretation of the processes and changes involved in the NLCs. The results explain the context in which the NLCs originated, the drivers of participation, how agency was developed through collaboration, the use of social media for constraint-free communication, the use of professional enquiry and reconstructed lesson texts for accumulation of professional capital, and the network expansion that led to further development of new NLCs. When participants gathered for meetings and held discussions regarding lesson plans and instructional observation, they created a “third space” for collective inquiry. Through cycles of professional dialogue and the recurrent production of lesson texts, a shared pedagogy was strengthened that guided professional discourse and enabled common understanding. This discourse was then continued within the teachers respective schools to form a public narrative on educational practices. Along the process of recurrent production of talks and texts then practiced collaborative inquiry and reflection. This, in turn, shaped educational values and empowered the Navigators to be innovative with their curriculum and instruction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-191
Number of pages33
JournalJournal of Research in Education Sciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Sept


  • Dialogue as practice
  • Networked learning communities
  • Professional capital

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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