16 SES 10 B, Teachers and ICT
The increasing use of technology in education in combination with growing attention for constructivist learning orientations requires secondary schools to change to more suitable learning and teaching practices. As a consequence, teachers have to change accordingly, whether they perceive the required change similarly or not. In this approach, teachers are treated as objects that must be changed, instead of agents of change. Most classroom teachers use the technology to do what they always have done and choose those activities that will help them accommodate their own perspectives on teaching and learning (Liu, 2011; Orlando, 2013). The problem seems to be how to diffuse innovations aimed at both technology and constructivist teaching taking teachers’ beliefs about teaching and beliefs about technology into account. This study focuses on a typology of teachers based on their beliefs about technology and teaching to support active teacher involvement in technology-enhanced innovations in Dutch secondary schools .
Teachers’ beliefs about effective teaching and technology use
The literature conveys a wide spectrum of teachers’ conceptions of what constitutes effective teaching, with a teacher-centered approach focusing on knowledge transmission at one end and a learner-centered approach emphasizing learners’ constructing meaning at the other (Alger, 2009; Biggs & Tang, 2011; Orlando, 2013). A positive relationship is assumed between the use of technology and constructivist teaching approaches as technology might be better suited to support these teaching activities compared to teacher-centered approaches. However, empirical evidence about the relationship between constructivist beliefs and use of technology in class is not conclusive: teachers’ constructivist beliefs do not always reflect their practices or their teaching with technology has been limited to small additions to the conventional practices of teaching. Mama and Hennessy (2013) found that Cypriot teachers’ constructivist beliefs show inconsistency with their practice of teaching with technology. Similar findings are reported in other research contexts, such as Taiwan and Australia. Yet in other studies (Taiwan and Belgium), a positive relationship has been found between technology use and constructivist beliefs on teaching and learning. Despite the ambiguous relationship, teachers’ beliefs on effective teaching need to be considered as an important factor impacting the successfulness of innovations in teaching with technology (e.g., Chen, 2008; Tondeur, Van Braak, Ertmer & Ottenbreit-Leftwich, 2016).
Purpose of the study
The context of the study reported in this paper is an initiative of the Dutch government to enhance the use of technology in secondary schools in a more learner-centered way. Schools were invited to submit proposals to develop and implement school-based innovations on learner-centered teaching with technology. Fifty-nine secondary schools received finances. The schools’ innovations were in different phases of implementation, ranging from initial developments to continuing innovations that were tried out in earlier years. Yet school principals did not have any information about their teachers’ beliefs, while the success of these innovations heavily depended on the teachers who should apply these in their classes. Therefore, the objective of the study is to provide a typology of secondary school teachers based on their beliefs about teaching and technology. This could support secondary school principals in their decisions to select, match or support groups of teachers linked to the technology innovations they implement in their school.
Earlier studies provide potential typologies, but focused on the implementation of innovations in general (Roger’s classification of innovativeness; Rogers, 1995), centered on only one of the aspects of teaching with technology (e.g., Tondeur et al., 2008) or were based on small-scaled studies (e.g., Mama & Hennessy, 2013). Therefore, we formulated the following research question:
“Which types of secondary school teachers can be distinguished based on their beliefs about learner-centered teaching and attitudes towards technology?”
Authors (2013). Alger, C. L. (2009). Secondary teachers’ conceptual metaphors of teaching and learning: changes over the career span. Teaching and Teacher Education, 25, 743-751. Biggs, J. B., & Tang, C. S. (2011). Teaching for quality learning at university : What the student does (4th ed.). Maidenhead, United Kingdom: McGraw-Hill Education. Calinski, T., & Harabasz, J. (1974). A dendrite method for cluster analysis. Communications in Statistics, 3, 1-27. Chen, C.-H. (2008). Why do teachers not practice what they believe regarding technology integration? The Journal of Educational Research, 102(1), 65–75.Judson, 2006 Liu, S-H. (2011). Factors related to pedagogical beliefs of teachers and technology integration. Computers & Education, 56, 1012–1022. Mama, M., & Hennessy, S. (2013). Developing a typology of teacher beliefs and practices concerning classroom use of ICT. Computers & Education, 68, 380–387. Meirink, J. A., Meijer,P. C., Verloop, N., & Bergen, Th. C. M. (2009). Understanding teacher learning in secondary education: The relations of teacher activities to changed beliefs about teaching and learning. Teaching and Teacher Education, 25, 89-100. Orlando, J. (2013). ICT-mediated practice and constructivist practices: is this still the best plan for teachers’ uses of ICT? Technology, Pedagogy and Education, 22, 231-246. Rogers, E. (1995) Diffusion of innovation., New York: The Free Press. Tondeur, J., Hermans, R., Braak, J. van, & Valcke, M. (2008). Exploring the link between teachers’ educational belief profiles and different types of computer use in the classroom. Computers in Human Behavior, 24, 2541–2553. Tondeur, J., Van Braak, J., Ertmer, P.A., & Ottenbreit-Leftwich, A. (2016). Understanding the relationship between teachers’ pedagogical beliefs and technology use in education: a systematic review of qualitative evidence. Educational Technology Research and Development, advanced online publication.
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