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Les échanges entre professionnels de l'éducation : entre soutien psychologique et acquisition de connaissances sur la pratique

Abstract : Our research work takes its place in a psycho-ergonomic approach, and focuses on the wellbeing of people at work. Online discussion forums may provide a view of elements that endanger the personal balance of professionals. The study focuses on interactions on online forums involving professionals faced with issues in their work, and aims to understand what it is that forums may provide to their participants. The thesis we defend here is that these interactions aim both to provide psychological support to professionals, and to help these professionals acquire knowledge. Our work is based on three studies, carried out on two discussion forums intended for professionals in the field of education. The first study provides some elements to understand the inner workings of discussion forums, particularly concerning the motivational aspects of participant involvement. One hundred and ten users from two forums took part in an online survey. We observed eight types of motivation for getting involved in a forum for professionals. The second study aimed (1) to identify the nature of interactions in these communities and (2) to study the dynamics of interactions. We analysed thirteen discussions. Results showed that (1) self-disclosure is a characteristic present in the first message of discussion initiators, and that reacting participants rely on typical supportive behaviours (i.e. accounts of personal experiences, expressions of emotion, opinions, advice, search for concrete solutions, and explicit emotional support; (2) empathy manifests through the sharing of similar experiences. A study of the evolution of these online interactions highlights three key dynamics: making sense of the situation, searching for concrete solutions, and providing emotional support. These results suggest that these online communities aim to provide professionals with psychological support and to help them construct their professional practice. The third study aims to explore the subjective experience of participants during exchanges on the forum. We carried out auto-confrontation interviews followed by elicitation interviews with nine participants from the discussions we had analysed previously, based on written traces of these discussions. We observed discrepancies between what the participants share in their messages and the experiences expressed in interviews. Participants tend to conceal specific emotional states that are difficult to communicate, and sometimes disguise requests for emotional support as requests for advice. The interviews also revealed that the perception of support depends on three factors: (a) participants rely on various processes to assess other speakers' understanding of their situation; (b) participants construct representations of a speaker's competence; (c) sharing experiences is the most satisfying kind of support because it carries out several functions. Finally, our results show that participants are concerned with their anonymity and censor some information regarding antagonistic relationships with their colleagues and/or hierarchy in order to avoid potential repercussions. An overall analysis suggests that the motivations of participants taking part in an online forum are complex, multidimensional, and tangled. Secondly, interactions between professionals in an online forum may be viewed as a new means to cope with detrimental situations, making it easier to re-evaluate a situation and to solve problems. We discuss the results of this thesis from the points of view of the construction of knowledge on practice, of wellbeing at work, and of the interactional dynamics of supportive activities.
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Contributor : Magali Prost <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - 5:25:21 PM
Last modification on : Monday, February 22, 2021 - 6:47:10 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Tuesday, May 21, 2013 - 9:27:45 AM


  • HAL Id : tel-00790685, version 1



Magali Prost. Les échanges entre professionnels de l'éducation : entre soutien psychologique et acquisition de connaissances sur la pratique. Psychologie. Ecole nationale supérieure des telecommunications - ENST; Telecom ParisTech, 2012. Français. ⟨tel-00790685⟩



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