16 SES 09 B, Teacher Professional Development and ICT
Parallel Paper Session
Teachers are increasingly expected to integrate technology in their teaching practice – and to do so in innovative ways. This leaves teacher education institutions with the responsibility of preparing future teachers for technology integration. However, despite the various approaches that are currently being explored and implemented by teacher education institutes around the world, research findings still suggest that beginning teachers typically make little or no use of technology in their instructional practice (e.g., Russell et al., 2003; Gao et al., 2011). There is a growing body of research that attempts to understand and explain this limited use by identifying the factors that support and/or hinder technology integration by beginning teachers (Bullock, 2004; Slaoui & Barton, 2007; Dawson, 2008; Starkey, 2010). Besides factors like, for example, access to technology (Dexter & Riedel, 2003) and teachers’ attitudes towards technology (Bate & Maor, 2008), one major factor that has been identified concerns the amount and adequacy of beginning teachers’ pre-service education (Drent & Meelissen, 2008), and more specifically the opportunities it provides them to gain experience with the use of technologies to enhance student learning in a particular subject domain (Dawson, 2008; Starkey, 2010).
Recent studies have tried to understand whether or not beginning teachers feel prepared to integrate technology in their teaching practices (e.g. Slaouti & Barton, 2007; Dawson, 2008). However, less attention has been given to the purposes and the quality of beginning teachers’ uses of technology (Dexter & Riedel, 2003), and to how these relate to their prior learning experiences. The ultimate goal of the current study is to address this lacuna by analysing the connections between Flemish beginning teachers’ pre-service education and the ways in which they use technology to support instruction during their early career. Specific research questions guiding the current study are: (1) In what ways are beginning teachers using technology, (2) how are these uses shaped by their pre-service education?, and (3) what pre-service learning experiences are regarded by beginning teachers as meaningful for supporting the integration of technology in their instructional practice?
As mentioned above, pre-service education is only one of many factors involved in the uptake of technology by beginning teachers. Moreover, from literature it is known that various factors interact with each other (Slaouti & Barton, 2007). Therefore, besides identifying the specific connections between pre-service education and technology integration, we believe that we should not close our eyes for such other factors – and especially for how they affect the connections under study here. Hence, a fourth research question concerns: (4) What (other) factors influence the ways in which beginning teachers integrate technology in their instructional practice?
Bate, F. & Maor, D. (2008). Patterns of ICT use in Australian schools by beginning teacher: The three Rs. 7th European Conference on E-learning, Cyprus. Bullock, D. (2004). Moving from theory to practice: An examination of the factors that pre-service teachers encounter as the attempt to gain experience teaching with technology during field placement experiences. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 12(2), 211–237. Dawson, V. (2008). Use of information Communication Technology by early career teachers in Western Australia. International Journal of Science Education, 30(2), 203-219. Dexter, S., & Riedel, E. (2003). Why improving preservice teacher educational technology preparation must go beyond the college’s walls. Journal of Teacher Education, 54(4), 334-336. Drent, M., & Meelissen, M. (2008). Which factors obstruct or stimulate teacher educators to use ICT innovatively? Computers & Education, 51, 187–199 Gao, P., Wong, A., Choy, D., & Wu, J. (2011). Beginning teachers’ understanding performances of technology integration. Asia Pacific Journal of Education, 31(2), 211-223. Goetz, J., & LeCompte, M. (1981). Ethnographic research and the problem of data reduction. Anthropology and Education Quarterly, 12(1), Issues in School Ethnography, 51-70. Russell, M., Bebell, D., O’Dwyer, L., & O’Connor, K. (2003). Examining teacher technology use: Implications for preservice and inservice preparation. Journal of Teacher Education, 54, 297-310. Slaouti, D. & Barton, A. Opportunities for practice and development: newly qualified teachers and the use of information and communication technologies in teaching foreign languages in English secondary schools. Journal of In-service Education, 33(4), 405-424. Starkey, L. (2010). Supporting the digitally able beginning teacher. Teaching and Teacher Education, 26, 1429-1438.
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