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EDU 710 Lit Review #1

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EDU 710 Lit Review #1

  1. 1. Reasoning and Planning with Technology, 1 Analysis of “K-12 Teachers’ Pedagogical Reasoning in Planning Instruction with Technology Integration” Feng, Y. & Hew, K. (2005). K-12 Teachers’ Pedagogical Reasoning in Planning Instruction with Technology Integration. In C. Crawford et al. (Eds.), Proceedings of Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference 2005 (pp. 3173-3180). Chesapeake, VA: AACE. By Brandy Shelton Touro University College of Education In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for EDU 710 March, 2010
  2. 2. Reasoning and Planning with Technology, 2 Abstract The purpose of this paper was to see how teachers generally reason pedagogically while planning instruction with technology integration, and how differently individual teachers reason about their integration of technology in their instruction. The authors broke down the thinking processes most teachers follow into six categories: comprehension, interpretation, reflection, specification, selection of technology tools, and caution. This study was done using interviews and lesson plans from seven inservice teachers. Interviews were done at the school sites and the analysis of each teacher’s lesson plans was done prior to the interview. Researchers used both the data they collected from the plan books and the interviews to make conclusions regarding how most teachers plan instruction with technology integration.
  3. 3. Reasoning and Planning with Technology, 3 Analysis of “K-12 Teachers’ Pedagogical Reasoning in Planning Instruction with Technology Integration” Technology is changing the face of the U.S. K-12 educational system. The government has mandated effective integration of technology into curriculum and instruction through the Enhancing Education Through Technology Act. Many studies have found that the key to effective use of technology in schools depends on how teachers integrate technology into their curricula as thinking professionals. Studies are being done on teacher cognition in technology integration, but up until this study was performed research was still lacking in the area of how teachers decide how they will integrate technology into their lessons. The goal of this study was to explore two questions: • How did the teachers generally reason pedagogically while planning instruction with technology? • How differently did individual teachers reason about their integration of technology in their instructions? Researchers hoped to get a better understanding of “a more holistic approach” to the sense making processes that teachers go through while using technology and planning to use it. Methods This study worked with seven inservice teachers (three male and four female) from elementary school, middle school, and high school in Indiana, USA. The teachers taught everything from social sciences, English, math, and science, to all subjects in an elementary classroom. Their experience teaching ranged from half a year to 29 years.
  4. 4. Reasoning and Planning with Technology, 4 The researchers used a qualitative phenomenological study that included a face-to-face interview and an analysis of each teacher’s lesson plans prior to the interview. Each interview consisted of questions that lent themselves to in-depth information regarding the participants’ pedagogical reasoning when planning for the integration of technology into their teaching. Interviews usually lasted about an hour and took place at the school site where the participant taught. Both the lesson plans and the complete set of transcribed interviews were read first independently by both researchers to identify the possible themes of the interview data. Then the researchers met again to discuss their findings and interpretations. They looked for more refined themes or ones that might have been missed before. A first draft was written using the themes the researchers identified in the interviews and lesson plans. Lastly, a professor who was “familiar with the phenomenon being explored” (p. 3176) read through the draft and critiqued it. Results Researchers found that teachers comprehended the purposes of the lessons, curriculum standards, as well as subject matter structures, interpreted the purposes, and reflected about the general pedagogical knowledge and the students’ characteristics. Teachers then engaged in a process of instantiating the standards or instructional objectives in terms of specific activities and modes of teaching, and ways of organizing and managing the class, to meet the needs of different students. Two additional pedagogical reasoning processes were found during the analysis of the data: selection of technological tools and caution. Neither of these processes was addressed in Shulman’s model. Selection of technological tools refers to the teacher’s choosing of a
  5. 5. Reasoning and Planning with Technology, 5 technological tool they felt would best accomplish his or her lesson activities, whether it be e- mail or a graphic organizing program. Caution refers to the teacher taking precautions so as to avoid disruption that may be caused by technology failure, or in other words a back-up plan. Many teachers are well aware that while using technology there is a possibility that something may not work correctly, such as Internet disconnections. Therefore participant teacher’s referred to the back-up plans that they had in place in case something went awry. Discussion The researchers in this study appear to have done a good job collecting data from a variety of sources and using it to answer their questions on how teachers plan their instruction in regards to technology. However, I do believe that there could have been more ways to validate their findings besides an interview and analysis of their lesson plans alone. First of all including more participants in the study would have given the researchers more evidence to pull from, although they were able to go further in-depth with the seven they used. By having a larger participant population the study may have found even more evidence to support their theories of “selection of technological tools” and “caution.” They would then have more examples of how teachers select the type of technology they would use for a given lesson and maybe even find teachers who have modified the use of technology they are using based on past experience. I also believe that the way researchers looked for themes and common threads in each participants’ lesson plans was a little hazy. Giving a specific example of how they coded themes they found, or a general layout of what they were looking for would have been helpful. I agreed with the idea of having a non-partial, but knowledgeable third party, such as the professor, look for the themes that the researchers were coding the lesson plans and interviews
  6. 6. Reasoning and Planning with Technology, 6 for. This made their findings and conclusions more valid than if they had only looked them over themselves. I agree that the other two processes that the researchers found are usually embedded into almost every lesson that a teacher plans and integrates technology into. I found it interesting, but not surprising, that all teachers who participated in the study included the “caution” process into their lesson plan. I found it interesting because teachers don’t usually plan a back-up lesson for other types of lessons that might involve a worksheet or other type of hands-on activity. On the other hand it’s not surprising because if you have ever worked with technology in the classroom and experienced a failure of any type (i.e. the Internet doesn’t connect, the overhead bulb burns out, or the website you wanted to use is down or blocked), then you know to expect the unexpected and be prepared with something that will help the lesson move forward. I also would have liked to see this research applied to different parts of the U.S. rather than just to teachers in Indiana. It would be interesting to see commonalities that might arise between states, or to find out if the number of years a participant has taught affects whether or not the six processes the researchers found (comprehension, interpretation, reflection, specification, selection of technology tools, and caution) are addressed. Needless to say the conclusions the research team came upon was interesting and could probably apply to most teachers who use technology regularly in their classroom.