16 SES 05 A, Teacher Training and ICT
This research explores the nature of Inital Teacher Education provision, focusing on the mentoring of students on placement in relation of ICT use. These issues are explored within Ireland in the context of international and European models. Understanding the challenges and issues in the Irish model may add to the knowledge base for other nations and provide context for dicussion and potential reform of such systems nationally.
Amidst the prevailing wider discourse and rhetoric around ICT in education at a national and international level it is important to consider the actual reality of the nature of adoption of ICT in schools. Policy decisions, whether at school, local authority or national are seen to impact upon how the teachers use ICT in the classroom says Reedy (2008, p.156), she notes how the type of ICT hardware installed in the classroom is particularly important. In Ireland and internationally the trend has been for expenditure to focus on the provision of visual display technologies (VDT) such as data projectors and interactive white boards (IWBs).
Hammond et al (2009) lists PowerPoint as one of the most dominant forms of ICT used in classrooms and in their study of student teachers’ and ICT they found that very few students when questioned on their rationale for using ICT referred to pedagogical considerations. The study goes on to note how didactic traditional pedagogy was reinforced through PowerPoint and resulted in a predominance of teacher talk, as student teachers become like lecturers and ‘hide behind’ the PowerPoint displays.
Further example of the effects of the VDT within schools is seen in an ethnographic study of how ICT was used for teaching and learning in a medium sized school in England (Reedy, 2008) this issue was explored using observation in classrooms and interviews with staff and some students. The researcher observed that ‘most teachers seem comfortable with using VDTs, and do so fairly often’ however further observations raised concern as to the effect the adoption of these technologies had on teaching and learning.
The researcher concluded alarmingly that the dominance of VDTs meant that teachers had begun to restrict their thoughts on teaching and learning to fit the presentational display of these technologies and furthermore goes on to say that this particular method of teaching may be ‘fundamentally incompatible with learning and information transfer’.
It seems clear that while research indicates that ICT has the potential to improve one’s quality of teaching and learning this is not always the case and perhaps in majority of cases a negative effect on teaching and learning occurs with the adoption of ICT in the classroom, particularly VDTs. It would appear to be evident that a reflective and critical adoption of ICT in aiding teaching and learning should be used.
The research questions are:
- What are the views, attitudes and beliefs of Tutors in relation to ICT in teaching and learning and what discursive resources do they draw upon in expressing these?
- What according to the Tutors constitutes effective/ineffective use of ICT in teaching and learning and what insights does this provide into their views, attitudes and beliefs about teaching and learning in general?
- How to the University’s Teaching Practice tutors rate their levels of confidence in their role in advising and assessing student teachers in relation to their use of ICT in teaching and learning?
- How do different University Teaching Practice tutors perceive their role as a placement tutor?
Andersson, S. (2006) ‘Newly qualified teachers’ learning related to their use of information and communication technology: a Swedish perspective’, British Journal of Educational Technology, 37 (5), 665-682. Cohen, L., Manion, L. and Morrison, K (2000) Research Methods in Education, ed.5th, London: Rotledge-Falmer Cuban, L. (1985) Teachers & Machines: The classroom use of technology since 1920, New York: Teachers College Press. Cuckle, P. and Clarke, S. (2002a) ‘Mentoring student-teachers in schools: views, practices and access to ICT’, Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 18(1), 330-340. Cuckle, P. and Clarke, S. (2002b) ‘Secondary School Teacher Mentors’ and Student Teachers’ Views on the value of Information and Communication Technology in Teaching’, Technology, Pedagogy and Education, 12(3), 377-391. Cuckle, P., Clarke, S. and Jenkins, I. (2000) ‘Students’ Information and communication technology skills and their use during teacher training’, Technology, Pedagogy and Education, 9(2), 9-22. Department for Education and Employment (1998) Teaching: high status, high standards- requirements for courses of initial teacher training, Circular No.4/1998, London: Department for Education and Employment. Department of Education and Science (2009) Taoiseach launches €150m plan for ‘smart schools’ [press release], 16 Nov 2009, available: http://www.education.ie/home/home.jsp?maincat=&pcategory=1086 [accessed 22 Nov 2009]. Dillon, J. and Wals, A. (2006) 'On the dangers of blurring methods, methodologies and ideologies in environmental education research', Environmental Education Research, 12(3/4), 549-558. Edwards, D. (2005) ‘Discursive Psychology’, in Fitch, K. and Sanders, E. (eds.) Handbook of Language and Social Interaction, UK: Taylor and Francis Group, 257 – 273. NCCA (2011), Towards a Framework for Junior Cycle – Innovations and Identity, Schools Developing Junior Cycle, Dublin: NCCA. Ottesen, E. (2006) ‘Learning to teach with technology: authoring practised identities’, Technology, Pedagogy and Education, 15(3), 275-290. Potter, J. and Edwards, D. (2001) ‘Discursive Social Psychology’, in Robinson, W. and Giles, H. (eds.) The New Handbook of Language and Social Psychology, New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons Ltd. Reedy, G. B. (2008) ‘Powerpoint, interactive whiteboards, and the visual culture of technology in schools’, Technology, Pedagogy and Education, 17(2), 143-162. Tillema, H., Smith, K. And Leshem, S. (2011) ‘Dual roles – conflicting purposes: a comparative study on perceptions on assessment in mentoring relations during practicum’, European Journal of Teacher Education, 34(2), 139 – 159. Twidle, J., Sorensen, P., Childs, A., Godwin, J. and Dussart, M. (2006) 'Issues, challenges and needs of student science teachers in using the Internet as a tool for teaching
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