School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Randall Dunn


Communities of Practice, Community of Practice Theory, Edmodo, Elementary Math, Professional Learning Network, Social Learning


Curriculum and Social Inquiry | Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Methods | Elementary Education | Other Education | Science and Mathematics Education


The purpose of this phenomenological study was to describe the shared, lived experience of elementary teachers’ participation in Edmodo as a community of practice. The theoretical framework guiding this research included Lave and Wenger’s (1991) community of practice theory and Bandura’s social learning theory (1977, 1984) which explained how learning through participation and observation occurs among teachers involved in learning communities. Social constructivism (Bruner, 1996; Piaget, 1971; Vygotsky, 1978) and adult learning theories (Mezirow, 1991, 1995; Knowles, 1984) also provided understanding as to how adults learn and create knowledge. This study described the lived experience of 10 elementary teachers and one elementary math coach in central Virginia who participated in Edmodo as a community of practice, how the presence of external factors influenced teachers’ beliefs about participating in a community of practice, how the experience of teaching more rigorous mathematics instruction changed for elementary teachers before and after participating in Edmodo as a community of practice, and how elementary teachers viewed the future of their profession based on their shared experience of participating in Edmodo as a community of practice. Qualitative data collection methods to include semi-structured interviews, online document analysis, and focus group interviews were employed. Data analysis provided a rich textural and structural description of the phenomenon that elementary teachers experience when participating in Edmodo as a community of practice. This analysis included a generation of significant themes and statements followed by coding to capture the essence of the phenomenon. Further, this research study offered suggestions for future studies concerning elementary teachers’ participation in online professional learning networks as communities of practice.