Teachers’ reshaping of professional identity in a thematic FB-group

Mona Lundin, Annika Lantz-Andersson, Thomas Hillman


The background of this study is teachers’ increasing use of social media for
professional learning. Swedish teachers often use thematic Facebook groups
to discuss the subjects they teach, their approaches, methods and assessment.
Although previous research has shown that teachers’ participation in social
media has a positive impact on teachers’ professional learning, the interaction
is described as relatively straightforward and superfi cial. In this study,
we use computational approaches to identify 79 in-depth discussion threads
that help uncover the norms of teachers’ social media groups. These threads
are analysed in detail using the concept of professional identity work (Goffman,
1959). The fi ndings show that the discussion threads were formulated
as questions or requests, and reveal ways teachers engage in extensive professional
identity work by drawing on established norms to position themselves
as legitimate Facebook group members and as professional teachers.

Keywords: teachers, Facebook, computational approaches, interaction analysis,
identity work

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