10 SES 03 B, Research on Programmes and Pedagogical Approaches in Teacher Education
The use of digital tools to enhance the quality of education has become increasingly important in Europe and elsewhere (Brown et al., 2017). In Ireland, the Digital Strategy for Schools (DES 2015-2020) highlights the need to “develop teachers’ knowledge, skills and confidence to embed ICT more into their practice, particularly in courses developed as part of initial teacher education (ITE) (p.31). Informed by the UNESCO ICT Competency Framework for Teachers (UNESCO, 2005) the Digital Learning Framework (DES, 2017) provides a comprehensive set of digital competencies that are mapped to the Teaching and Learning Framework outlined in the School Self-evaluation Guidelines (DES, 2016). Furthermore, in today’s rapidly changing academic environment, increasing numbers of higher education institutions are realising the potential of digital technologies as a tool for students to construct and manage their own learning experience. A study by Jisc (2008) suggests that digital technologies such as ePortfolios provide the link between learners’ social and personal experiences and their academic and work-related aspirations. Going forward (ITE) providers need to take account of digital competencies in their curriculum provision and in their assessment criteria.
Tondeur et al. (2017) found that there is an expectation that student teachers are proficient in the use of digital technology however this is not always the case. According to Gao et al. (2011) only a minority of beginning teachers are competent enough to use digital technology effectively. Slaouti and Barton (2007) go on to suggest that many student teachers who do use digital technology, restrict its use to preparation rather than exploring it as a pedagogical tool. The narrow use of digital technology by beginning teachers may be attributed to the “praxis shock” or “transition shock”, that beginning teachers encounter when entering the profession (Korthagen, Loughran, & Russel, 2006). However, Hammond et al. (2009) found that teacher educators acting as role models proved to be a significant influence on beginning teachers’ readiness for future embedding of digital technology in the classroom. Furthermore, the evidence suggests that on-going and process-oriented feedback is beneficial to build pre-service teachers’ competence to use digital technology in the classroom (Tondeur et al., 2012). Pre-service teachers also point out the benefits of applying their knowledge about the use of digital technology in school placement settings (Valtonen et al., 2015).
In the case of Ireland and Northern Ireland, there is a paucity of empirical evidence on the extent to which ITE students are prepared to teach through the medium of digital technology. The overall aims of this study are to firstly, explore the links between student teachers’ technology uses and their pre-service education tuition and secondly, examine how pre-service teachers integrate technology in their practice with or without the help of their co-operating teacher. Furthermore, beginning teachers’ pre-service learning experiences relating to digital technology integration, as well as the influence these experiences may have had on their current uses of digital technology are also analysed.
Ethical approval was obtained for this exploratory convergent mixed methods study (Creswell, 2014) that used qualitative and quantitative methods to explore ITE students’ readiness to teach using digital technology. The researchers administered an online survey to ITE students in eight higher education institutions (HEIs) across the island. The survey was based on adapted versions of the Technology Readiness Index (TRI) (Parasuraman, 2000) and the Online Readiness Survey (OLRS) (Dray et al., 2011) with relevant subscales being included (optimism, innovativeness and discomfort which map to previous concerns expressed by pre-service tutors). SPSS was used to provide the descriptive statistics. An exploratory factor analysis was also used to verify the existence of the sub-scales as the TRI and OLRS items have been adapted for the context of new and emerging technologies in pre-service teacher education. In addition to the online survey, semi-structured interviews were used to triangulate the data. Selection of participants was based on an open invitation to students in the participating HEIs. The interviews were audio recorded with the participants’ permission. Semi-structured interviews were deemed to be the most appropriate type of interview for this study (Creswell 2014) and allowed the researchers to keep a focus on the overarching theme of the research while at the same time allowing them to probe certain responses in more detail in order to glean deeper insights. All interviews were thematically coded using NVivo 10 software. The themes emerging from the data include: student teachers’ disposition to technology, access to technology in schools, availability of role models/support in school, availability of role models in the ITE setting. the technologies used by student teachers in preparation for teaching and learning, the use of technology by student teachers while on school placement and the perceived value of technology in teaching, learning and assessment.
Lessons to be learned from a small island, findings suggest there are significant challenges faced by ITE students in the lottery of school placement. These challenges concern but are not limited to varying infrastructural capacities among placement schools as well as the varying ICT capabilities of co-operating teachers to support ITE students. Teacher education programmes in top-performing countries emphasise the significance of preparing teachers in structured, appropriate and supportive clinical settings (OECD, 2018). Aware of the need to provide for effective school-university partnerships, the Teaching Council (2011) in Ireland has called for the development of ‘new and innovative school placement models… developed using a partnership approach, whereby HEIs and schools actively collaborate in the organisation of the school placement’ (p.15). Equally, the General Teaching Council in NI and the Department for Education are advocating the ‘Teachers as Professional Leaders’ framework as a mechanism to encourage all teachers, regardless of their career stage, to act as change agents by sharing and leading innovation in their subject area or across the school or local area community. In both jurisdictions, it is expected that this research will glean insights into how student teachers can be supported to embed the using of digital technologies in teaching, learning and assessment while on school placement in collaboration with cooperating (host) teachers. Thanaraj (2012) noted the lack of research on student perceptions of digital technologies and considered it important that the student perspective of their use and effectiveness is investigated. This evaluation also seeks to focus on the student teacher voice in the creation of a framework that will encourage and enable providers of ITE programmes to incorporate digital learning into their programmes/modules, to empower student teachers in their own learning, and to foster a collaborative approach to learning with co-operating teachers while on school placement.
Brown, M., McNamara, G., O’Hara, J., O’Brien, S., Poole, P., and Burns, D. (2017). Evaluation of the PDST ePortfolio initiative: Formative Assessment using ePortfolios. Dublin: (EQI) Centre for Evaluation, Quality and Inspection. Creswell, J.W., (2014). A concise introduction to mixed methods research. London: Sage DES. (2016). School self-evaluation: Guidelines for post-primary schools. Dublin: Department of Education and Skills. DES. (2017). Digital Learning Framework. Dublin: Department of Education and Skills. Gao, P., Wong, A. F., Choy, D., & Wu, J. (2011). Beginning teachers' understanding performances of technology integration. Asia Pacific Journal of Education, 31(2), 211-223. Jisc (2008) Effective Practice with e-Portfolios, Supporting 21st century learning. Retrieved from http://www.webarchive.org.uk/wayback/archive/20140615090512/ Korthagen, F., Loughran, J., & Russell, T. (2006). Developing fundamental principles for teacher education programs and practices. Teaching and Teacher Education, 22(8), 10201041. OECD (2018). Effective Teacher Policies: Insights from PISA. Paris: OECD. Slaouti & Barton (2007). Opportunities for Practice and Development: Newly Qualified Teachers and the Use of Information and Communications Technologies in Teaching Foreign Languages in English Secondary School, Journal of In-service Education, 33(4), 405-424. Teaching Council (2011). Initial Teacher Education: Criteria and Guidelines for Programme Providers. Maynooth: Teaching Council Thanaraj, A. (2012) ‘Student engagement with e-portfolios: purpose, benefits and problems.’, Practitioner Research in Higher Education, 6(2), pp.24-40. Retrieved from http://188.8.131.52/ojs/index.php/prhe/article/viewFile/128/216 Tondeur, J., Pareja Roblin, N., van Braak, J., Voogt, J., & Prestridge, S. (2017) Preparing beginning teachers for technology integration in education: ready for take-off?, Technology, Pedagogy and Education, 26:2, 157-177, DOI: 10.1080/1475939X.2016.1193556 Valtonen, T., Kukkonen, J., Kontkanen, S., Sormunen, K., Dillon, P., & Sointu, E. (2015). The impact of authentic learning experiences with ICT on pre-service teachers' intentions to use ICT for teaching and learning. Computers & Education, 81, 49-58. UNESCO (2005). ICT Competency Framework for Teachers. Available from http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0021/002134/213475E.pdf Accessed 15.1.18
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
Network 13. Philosophy of Education
Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
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