16 SES 07 B, Teachers' Knowledge and Beliefs / TPACK
Paper/Pecha Kucha Session
According to the Estonian Lifelong Learning Strategy 2020 (2014) one of the strategic goals is competent and motivated teachers and school leadership. In Estonia universities prepare teachers, so teacher educators have responsibility to accompany with changes in society and changing requirements to provide for new teachers good preparation. It covers both the subject content knowledge and the pedagogical skills. In addition, the integration of technology in teaching is becoming increasingly important today. It means that higher education teachers should be able to integrate technology into learning process. Technology integration is considered one of the key challenges of the 21st century elsewhere (Scherer & Siddiq, 2015). The use of technology has found to be quite irregular among Estonian teachers in their work. There are studies about schoolteachers’, and most of them, however, are using technology in teaching, and three fourths of teachers find that the use of digital tools should be a part of all subjects (Leppik, Haaristo, & Mägi, 2017), but there is quite few research about higher education teachers. Raig (2015) has studied the technology use of university teachers in their courses through students’ assessments and revealed that less than half teacher educators use technology in lectures and seminars. Because university teachers train new teachers and also have to model the use of ICT, it is important to examine their knowledge and beliefs about this topic.
About university teachers’ professional knowledge similar results have found, for example both in Israeli (Baya’a &Daher, 2015) and Netherlands sample (Rienties, Brouwer, & Lygo-Baker, 2013) they reported as the highest pedagogical and/or pedagogical-content knowledge, but as the lowest technology related areas. It has been found that the use of technology is related to beliefs (Anderson et al., 2011). All aspects of professional knowledge have been found to be positively related to the self-efficacy of technology integration in teachers sample (Keser et al., 2015). From the viewpoint of self-efficacy, the main focus is on what teachers believe to achieve with technology integration and how they believe that they could manage with technology, not so much on the knowledge and skills of technology use (Al-Awidi & Alghazo, 2012). The level of self-efficacy in technology integration predicts whether student teachers will plan to use technology in teaching. In addition to self-efficacy in technology integration, the use of technology in classroom is influenced by teachers' beliefs about the value of technology. Also, teachers' beliefs about the value of technology are related to self-efficacy and pedagogical beliefs (Anderson et al., 2011).
Pedagogical beliefs are seen as subconscious assumptions about learners, classroom, subject, self-efficacy, and the role of teacher (Pajares, 1992), which can be classified in several ways. One of the most commonly used is the distribution as traditional, teacher-centered and as constructivist or student-centered beliefs (Deng, Chai, Tsai, & Lee, 2014). Researchers have received controversial results in the relationships of these beliefs with the use of technology in teaching - for example, teachers with constructivist beliefs use technology more often and more comprehensively (Overbay, Patterson, Vasu, & Grable, 2010; ), but some have found that teachers with constructivist beliefs are not always innovative in technology integration (Liu, 2011).
The aim of this study is to identify teacher educators’ evaluations on their content, pedagogical and technological knowledge according to TPACK framework, self-efficacy and beliefs and relationships between these aspects. The research questions were following: (1) What are teacher educators’ evaluations on their knowledge areas, beliefs and self-efficacy? (2) what correlations between knowledge areas, beliefs and self-efficacy are found?
The study was carried out with the sample of teacher educators (N = 54) in Estonia which is about 25 % of the total number of university teachers in teacher education. Data were collected in Spring 2017 from the two bigger universities preparing new teachers: University of Tartu and Tallinn University. Two main groups, teacher educators teaching general pedagogy (N=28) and subject didactics (N=26) were included from four different areas (humanitarian, real, social, creative subjects). There were 40 female and 14 male teacher educators. The youngest two respondents were under 30 years old, the oldest was over 70. The biggest age groups were 31-40 (14 persons) and 41-50 (19). The average teaching experience in university was 14.8 years (SD =9.99). The questionnaire with 7-point Likert-type scale was used for data collection. To investigate teacher educators’ professional knowledge the scale based on TPACK framework (Mishra & Kohler, 2006) was used. The scale was developed and validated in Estonian context by authors (see Luik, Taimalu, & Suviste, 2017). The scale consists of 51 items about teachers’ pedagogical, content and technology knowledge and integration of these areas. The TPACK scale was divided into seven constructs based on theoretical model. To investigate teacher educators’ pedagogical beliefs and beliefs about technology use Teachers’ Beliefs regarding Technology Use Survey (Park & Ertmer, 2007) was used, which included 53 items. The scale consists of three different parts: pedagogical beliefs, self-efficacy beliefs for using and integrating technology, and beliefs about the perceived value of technology use in teaching. The scale was adapted for Estonian context also. According to exploratory factor analysis by Kirbits (2016) there appeared three factors for pedagogical beliefs, one factor for self-efficacy beliefs for using technology and two factors for beliefs about the value of technology use. For the data analysis for both the scales based on the theory and previous research results, scores of constructs (means of items belonging in this construct) were calculated. Pearson’s correlations were found between different aspects: teacher educators' evaluations about their knowledge in different areas and integration, self-efficacy and beliefs.
Teacher educators’ professional knowledge has divided into seven constructs according to theoretical model (Mishra & Kohler, 2006): three basic areas - Content, Technology, and Pedagogical knowledge and four overlapping parts indicating integrations between these areas - Technological Content knowledge (TCK), Technological Pedagogical knowledge (TPK), Pedagogical Content knowledge (PCK), and Technological Pedagogical Content knowledge (TPACK) which shows integration of all these three areas. As in previous studies our preliminary results also show that teacher educators reported as the highest content knowledge, but also the pedagogical knowledge has evaluated highly. The lowest evaluations were given to technology-related areas. Teacher educators’ beliefs were divided into six factors according to Kirbits (2016): Constructivist beliefs in students, learning and teaching, Traditional beliefs in learning and teaching, Traditional beliefs in students, Self-efficacy in technology integration, General beliefs about the value of technology, and Teacher’s behavior related beliefs about the value of technology. Correlations were found between all constructs. The all constructs of knowledge (according TPACK) were correlated with pedagogical beliefs. Knowledge constructs containing technology were related to the beliefs about the value of technology.
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