16 SES 03 B, ICT Professional Development
Given the increasing relevance of ICT and the transition towards an information or knowledge society, schools have been facing increasing challenges when it comes to preparing students for successful participation in the digital age (e.g. European Commission, 2014). This has led to a gaining importance for schools worldwide to focus on equipping their students with new kinds of skills, so-called digital literacy or computer and information literacy (CIL), the latter measured for the first time in the context of the International Computer and Information Literacy Study (ICILS, Fraillon et al., 2014). Promoting such skills also presents an ambitious task and an extensive challenge for teachers (Voogt & Knezek, 2008). In this context, teachers as the “keystone species” play a key role in integrating ICT in schools (Davis, Eickelmann & Zaka, 2013). The teachers’ qualifications to use ICT are highly relevant for innovations in the context of ICT in teaching. Along this line of argument, the pedagogical needs are decisive so that teaching and learning can benefit from the potentials of ICT (Eickelmann & Erstad, 2013). Only when teachers have both technical skills, general and didactic skills, they are able to use ICT in a goal- and competence-oriented way in teaching (e.g. Eickelmann, Bos & Gerick, 2015). Therefore, the school principals’ activities regarding the development of the teaching staff can be considered crucial. Due to the rapid technological changes, teacher development activities are gaining importance for the development of teachers’ ICT related skills (e.g. Abuhmaid, 2011; Uslu & Bümen, 2012). In this context, the school leader plays an important role to support developing a culture of professional development. Dexter (2008) points out that school leaders are important to set directions of educational practices with ICT. School leaders can, e.g. allocate resources (Hatlevik, Ottestad & Throndsen, 2015) and identifying and assigning tracks for teachers’ professional development in using ICT (Dexter, 2008).
This contributions’ focus is the investigation whether different cultures of professional development in secondary schools can be identified. In this context, a comparison between Germany and Norway – both participants in ICILS 2013 – appears to be particularly interesting for several reasons. Among others Norway has – compared to Germany – a long tradition of integrating ICT in schools, which has been for example finding expression in a country-wide reform of curricula integrating digital literacy as a new learning field for all subjects (Erstad & Quale, 2009). Furthermore, the results of ICILS 2013 show in regard to professional development activities that in Germany the participation rates are considerably below the participation rates in Norway (Fraillon et al., 2014).
Besides the question of a possible identification of different cultures of professional development, the question arises whether there is a relation to students’ CIL. Hatlevik et al. (2015) could show for Norway that when school leaders reported higher levels of culture for professional development among teachers, an increased level of digital competence could be found among students. As Norwegian students outperform German students in ICILS 213 significantly in the average level of CIL (14 points), it appears to be all the more important to investigate whether there is a relation between possibly identified clusters of schools representing different cultures of professional development in Germany and Norway and the respective levels of students’ CIL.
Accordingly, this contribution addresses the following research questions:
- Is it possible to identify distinct clusters of secondary schools across Germany and Norway representing different cultures of professional development?
- If so, are there differences in the distribution of the identified school clusters across Germany and Norway?
- Do students’ CIL differ between school clusters representing different cultures of professional development?
Abuhmaid, A. (2011). ICT training courses for teacher professional development in Jordan. The Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology 10(4), 195–210. Davis, N., Eickelmann, B. & Zaka, P. (2013). Restructuring of educational systems in the digital age from a co-evolutionary perspective. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning 29(5), 438–450. Dexter, S. (2008). Leadership for IT in schools. In J. Voogt & G. Knezek (eds), International hand-book of information technology in primary and secondary education (pp.543–554). New York: Springer, Eickelmann, B. & Erstad, O. (2013). Towards New Systems for Schooling in the digital age. Summary Report and Action Agenda. Results EduSummIT 2013, Thematic Working Group 1. Eickelmann, B., Bos, W. & Gerick, J. (2015). Wie geht es weiter? Zentrale Befunde der Studie ICILS 2013 und mögliche Handlungs- und Entwicklungsperspektiven für Einzelschulen. SchulVerwaltung NRW. Erstad, O. & Quale, A. (2009). National policies and practices on ICT in education: Norway. In T. Plomp, R.E. Anderson, N. Law & A. Quale. Cross-national information and communication technology. Policy and practices in education (pp. 551–568). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing. European Commission (2014) The International Computer and Information Literacy Study (ICILS). Main findings and implications for the education policies in Europe. Brussels. Fraillon, J., Ainley, J., Schulz, W., Friedman, T. & Gebhardt, E. (2014). Preparing for life in a digital age. The IEA International Computer and Information Literacy Study international report. Springer. Hatlevik, O.E., Ottestad, G. & Throndsen, I. (2015). Predictors of digital competence in 7th grade: a multilevel analysis. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning 31, 220-231. McCutcheon, A.C. (1987). Latent class analysis. Beverly Hills: Sage Publications. Muthén, B.O. & Muthén, L.K. (2012). Software Mplus Version 7. Uslu, O. & Bümen, N.T. (2012). Effects of the Professional Development Program on Turkish Teachers: Technology Integration along with Attitude towards ICT in Education. The Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology 11(3), 115–127. Voogt, J. & Knezek, G. (eds) (2008). International handbook of information technology in primary and secondary education. New York: Springer.
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