Teacher Belief Change through Technology Integration
Teacher Pedagogical Beliefs: The Final Frontier in Our Quest for Technology Integration? Overview of an article by Peggy A. Ertmer, Educational Technology, Research & Development 53.4 (2005): 1042-1629.
3 conditions for successful tech integration (Becker, 2000)1. Teachers must have access2. Be adequately prepared3. Have some freedom in the curriculum4. Hold personal beliefs in line with constructivist pedagogy
Access has increased Student-computer ration in US 4:1 w/ 98% of these connected to the internet. 81% of teachers have moderate to high access to instructional computers. No significant difference in computer availability according to school type of poverty level.
Technology Skills More Valued Teachers more interested in technology integration than basic skills, indicating that they already have the latter. Block scheduling facilitates technology use in classrooms. Parents view technology as a key part of the curriculum and learning process.
How to affect teacher beliefs? Difficult because they are second order belief changes: First order: changes that adjust practice in incremental fashion without changing existing structures or beliefs. Second order: change that confronts a teacher’s fundamental beliefs and thus requires new way of both seeing an doing things.
Teachers’ use of technology Tends toward “low-level” tasks such as word processing or internet research, as shown in numerous research studies. Thus teacher-centered rather than student-centered (constructivist) uses prevail.
Time to acquire understanding Some argue that low-level use precede high-level use, but in longitudinal studies, this has not been proven by research. Factors undermining change to constructivist teaching through tech integration: School schedule (short periods) Self-contained classrooms Departments Teachers’ training in the disciplines
Historiographer, Larry Cuban:“It’s not a problem of resources, but a struggle over core values.” (1977)
Goal Facilitate the uses of technology that lead to increased student learning (i.e., constructivism) Ertmer makes a case that teachers’ pedagogical beliefs change can be facilitated by technology integration
Constructivist tech classroom = Students engaged in authentic, project-based work Teacher-centered tech classroom = Online tutorials, skill practice, learning isolated facts
Nature of beliefs Beliefs come from episodic memory, with information being drawn from personal experiences or cultural sources of knowledge (Nespor, 1987) Early negative experiences with technology could be a lifelong deterrent New experiences filtered through belief system Difficult to change Frequently part of a person’s identity Can’t be disputed with facts
Traditional Teachers Adopt Tech When… Tech supports the kinds of traditional activities with which they are comfortable. The further a new practice is from existing practice, the less likely it will be implemented successfully. Once tool is learned/valued, it can be expanded upon to higher level uses.
How beliefs are changed Teachers’ own schooling supports beliefs about pedagogy Teachers must become dissatisfied with their existing beliefs Must make existing beliefs explicit so as to challenge their adequacy Teachers must be given an opportunity to examine, elaborate, an integrate new info into their belief systems.
Integral to beliefs about pedagogy must be linked to institutional vision Beliefs about learners About what characterizes meaningful learning Beliefs about teachers’ role within that vision
3 strategies of promise Personal experiences Vicarious experiences Social-cultural influences
Experience and Belief Change Ertmer’shyposthesis: Belief change follows, rather than precedes personal experience
Personal experience Build a teacher’s confidence and competence through personal experience Make small changes before making big ones Use tech to achieve old goals (then gradually work in new ones)
Include reflection with “learn by doing” Question ones own practice and practice of others Make assumptions explicit Use classrooms as sites for inquiry
Vicarious Experiences Student teaching Learning through the experiences of others (films, readings, tutorials, co-workers)
Socio-Cultural Influences Professional Learning Communities (online and FTF) Administration (district, building) that allow teachers to experience tech integration as promoting Self-efficacy See this as related to their being effective teachers The likelihood of integrating this into their teaching