Behind the scenes: Understanding teacher perspectives on technology integration in a suburban district technology initiative
John Woolard, Lesley University, United States
Doctor of Philosophy, Lesley University . Awarded
Efforts to prepare students with skills necessary to compete in a 21st Century global, digital economy require technological literacy, but many teachers are inhibited by antiquated models of education and epistemological beliefs that leave them reluctant to integrate educational technologies in their content instruction (Dunn & Rakes, 2010; Mouza & Wong, 2009). At the most basic level, apart from time constraints influenced by contradictory school improvement plans, elementary school teachers must contend with the barriers known to hinder the integration of information and communication technology (ICT) including: access, familiarity, training and support (Collins & Halverson, 2009, Levin & Wadmany, 2008). This case study consisted of face-to-face interviews with 10 elementary teachers and two elementary administrators who have seemingly overcome these established barriers, are actively using ICT in their personal life, but remain reluctant toward implementation in the classroom. Results from this study show that there was no connection between ICT integration and teachers high levels of ICT use in their personal life or between those who were born prior to or during the digital era. This is significant because it means that teachers' pedagogical beliefs are influenced more by their own experiences and traditions than by the dominant culture that may influence their personal lives. It was also found that teachers' epistemological perspectives are significant for shaping their attitudes toward integration as adult learners, and directly influence their perception of teaching and learning and their pedagogical practices. Understanding teachers' cognition and epistemic beliefs is an important first step for planning professional development opportunities for technology integration and beyond. With many classroom teachers being familiar with ICT use for their personal lives, training focuses should be less on the how-to and more on the integration of technology and the transformative process of teacher practice.
Woolard, J. Behind the scenes: Understanding teacher perspectives on technology integration in a suburban district technology initiative. Doctor of Philosophy thesis, Lesley University. Retrieved March 24, 2019 from https://www.learntechlib.org/p/115630/.
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