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Educators Meet the Fifth Estate: The Role of Social Media in Teacher Training

by Kaitlin T. Torphy & Corey Drake - 2019

This chapter examines teacher candidates’ reflections on engagement with and in social media as it relates to their professional preparation and understandings of teaching within 21st- century classrooms. Extending earlier work, we present the notion of a Fifth Estate within the digital age, redefining network influence. As power and influence are negotiated across executive, judicial, and legislative enterprises, media—the Fourth Estate—and networks of influence among individuals within the Fifth Estate present a new form of educational professionalism. Here, educators, researchers, and the community may engage directly in virtual space. This chapter focuses in particular on the ways that candidates’ reflections on the ways in which they seek support from the Fifth Estate are shaped by their visions of teaching and learning, their trust in the teaching professionals who share information in the Fifth Estate, their efficacy to evaluate resources, and their autonomy to select and modify resources.

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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 121 Number 14, 2019, p. -
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 23066, Date Accessed: 1/26/2020 9:41:58 PM

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About the Author
  • Kaitlin Torphy
    Michigan State University
    E-mail Author
    KAITLIN TORPHY is the lead researcher and founder of the Teachers in Social Media Project at Michigan State University. This project considers the intersection of cloud to class, the nature of resources within virtual resource pools, and implications for equity as educational spaces grow increasingly connected. Dr. Torphy conceptualizes the emergence of a teacherpreneurial guild in which teachers turn to one another for instructional content and resources. She has expertise in teachers’ engagement across virtual platforms, teachers’ physical and virtual social networks, and education policy reform. Dr. Torphy was a co-PI and presenter for an American Education Research Association conference convened in October 2018 at Michigan State University on social media and education. She has published work on charter school impacts, curricular reform, and teachers’ social networks, and has presented work regarding teachers’ engagement within social media at the national and international levels. Her other work examines diffusion of sustainable practices across social networks within The Nature Conservancy. Dr. Torphy earned a PhD in education policy and a specialization in the economics of education from Michigan State University in 2014 and is a Teach for America alumna and former Chicago Public Schools teacher.
  • Corey Drake
    Michigan State University
    E-mail Author
    COREY DRAKE is professor and director of teacher preparation at Michigan State University. Her research focuses on the preparation of elementary teachers to teach mathematics to diverse groups of students across diverse contexts. Recent work has been published in the Journal of Teacher Education, Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education, and Educational Researcher.
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