Technology and Teacher’s Beliefs

Teachers’ Beliefs and Practices in Technology-based Classrooms:A Developmental View

excerpt from abstract:”The findings reveal that following multi-year  experiences in technology-based classrooms, teachers’ educational beliefs had changed quite substantively, demonstrating multiple views rather than pure beliefs.  The study argues that teachers’ beliefs form a mosaic of complementary visions, even conflicting ones. It also shows that it is easier to change classroom practices than educational beliefs.”

Teachers normally use linear methods to teach and disregard computers, and hold on to teacher centered teaching rather than student centered learning. According to the authors a major cause of this “disappointment” is because of teacher personal beliefs and theories about education. As teacher’s beliefs determine how and why teacher’s adopt new methods, the authors postulate that it is important to investigate teacher’s beliefs. Makes sense.

The authors go on to say that it is worthwhile “to explore the implicit link between teachers’ views on learning and teaching and their actual classroom practices. Without  teachers’ skilled pedagogical application of educational technology, technology in and of itself cannot provide innovative school practice and educational change.”

With that in mind, at the beginning of the course, should I find out what teacher’s beliefs regarding technology are? Should I assume because they are taking the course that they see the value of the classroom? I do I be sure? Readings? Discussions? PBL activities? Debate? The authors note that teachers who teach using constructivism are more likely to have student centered classrooms. It is the student centered classrooms where technology becomes the powerful tool. So student-educators knowing constructivism should not be assumed in my course. And the ability to effectively use constructivism should be a learning goal.

I thought it was interesting that the article also noted that it is often difficult for teachers to implement the changes that is required to infuse technologies in the classroom. That is where I am hoping my course will help. It’s a beginning, already set up by the time the course is finished. So hopefully, its maintenance after the teacher goes to or back to the classroom.

Levin, T. (2006). Teachers ’ beliefs and practices in technology-based classrooms : A developmental view. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 39(2), 157-181.

Other reading:

Becker, H. J. (1994). HOW EXEMPLARY COMPUTER-USING TEACHERS DIFFER FROM OTHER TEACHERS : IMPLICATIONS FOR REALIZING THE POTENTIAL. Journal of Research on Computing in Education, 26(3), 1-35.

Ertmer, P. A., Gopalakrishnan, S., & Ross, E. M. (2001). Technology-Using Teachers Comparing Perceptions of Exemplary Technology Use to Best Practice. Journal of Research on Computing in Education, 33(5), 1-26.

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