Teachers’ Beliefs and Technology

Teachers’ beliefs have always played an important role in classrooms (Fang, 1996; Haney et al., 1996; Nespor, 1987). Chen (2006, p. v) confirms this trend related to educational technology implementation:

Teachers with more constructivist beliefs made efforts to allocate time for students to engage in problem- or project-based learning occasionally. Some of them used online discussion or presentation software to anchor and encourage discussion and interaction among teachers and students. Teachers who prioritized examination preparation mostly used technology to cover content, sometimes discarding technology when they considered technology not cost-effective or a distraction for student learning.

For example, when studying novice teachers’ use of technology in science classrooms, Irving (2009) found that the technology was more often in the hands of teachers rather than students. The study noted that teachers most often used tech to provide visual images and models related to content.  Rather then engage students in collaborative meaning making, the teachers used the technology in rather mundane and teacher-centric ways. Irving (2009) noted that new teachers may espouse student-centered approaches, but observations typically indicate teacher-centered enactment of teaching.  While the teachers are using technology, the actual classroom environment is not much different than traditional teaching.

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This post is from a paper I recently presented at the Association for Science Teacher Educators. For the full paper and citations, click here.

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This entry was posted in Critical Examination of Technology, Education Research, Nature of Teaching, Nature of technology, Teacher Actions and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Teachers’ Beliefs and Technology

  1. Excellent food for thought. I think this underscores the importance of creativity in teaching and that it takes an investment of time for the novice teacher to work on craft and explore and create new ways to teach. We all (well, most?) believe that engaged learners is what we hope to see in a classroom. There is no single recipe that causes this that will work in every classroom so there is probably a time needed for the teacher to develop and create student activity. I would be very interested in a followup study that measured the change in student engagement. In fact, that might be one valid measurement of “teacher quality.” Are teachers always creating new ways to engage learners, using technology or not.

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  2. jerridkruse says:

    Thanks Rick. You raise an interesting point related to teacher quality. I wrote a related post a while back that you might find interesting related to “value added”. https://educatech.wordpress.com/2011/06/16/contextualizing-value-added/

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