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In practice, however, established curricula and teaching approaches still remain essentially unchanged, while technology is usually underused and poorly integrated into the classroom (Cuban, 2001; Ofsted, 2004). It seems that the outcomes of the relevant initiatives are more evident in pupils’ achievement in ICT capability than in applying their skills and knowledge to other subjects across the curriculum (Ofsted, 2004). Although home access to ICT has been growing rapidly both for students and teachers, and ICT infrastructure in the schools (computer labs, educational software disposal, connection to the Internet, etc.) has improved substantially over recent years, teachers do not appear to make effective use of ICT tools in their instruction (Russell et al., 2003; British Educational Communications and Technology Agency [Becta], 2004a; Waite, 2004). It seems that their attitudes and skill level still remain an obstacle for them to adopt and make effective use of ICT (Dexter et al., 1999; Lang, 2000; Pelgrum, 2001; Becta, 2004a).
During recent years a large number of initiatives, coming from both the research community and educational policy authorities, have been directed towards the preparation of teachers in order to enable them to integrate ICT in their everyday educational practice. Various programmes have been established in the European Union (EU) countries (European Commission, 2002, 2004), USA (PT3, 1999), Australia (Queensland Government, 2004), the UK (Ofsted, 2002) and so on, aiming at enhancing teachers’ skills in the pedagogical application of ICT in instructional and learning processes. Designing and implementing successful ICT teacher preparation programmes is considered to be the key factor to fundamental, wide-ranging educa- tional reforms (Vosniadou & Kollias, 2001; Watson, 2001; UNESCO, 2002). Until now, most teacher training programmes have been designed to raise teachers’ ICT knowledge and skill levels, and foster positive attitudes towards ICT as a teaching and learning tool (Cox et al., 1999; Kumar & Kumar, 2003; Galanouli et al., 2004).
It is widely recognized that teachers’ educational beliefs are strong indicators of their planning, instructional decisions and classroom practices (Bandura, 1986; Pajares, 1992). As Van Driel et al. (2001) argued, most reform efforts in the past have often been unsuccessful because of their top-down approach, which failed to take teachers’ existing knowledge, beliefs and attitudes into account. Therefore, a thorough analysis of teachers’ conceptions of ICT in education can provide insights into the prerequi- sites for their successful preparation. Searching for efficient ways to prepare teachers to adopt ICT as an integral part of their everyday teaching strategies has been a major priority for most countries across the world (Lang, 2000; Knezek & Christensen, 2002; Davis, 2003; Dexter & Riedel, 2003; Niemi, 2003; Pearson, 2003; Becta, 2004b; Hennessy et al., 2005).
These paragraphs give information about the practical usage of ICT in school curriculum and reasons of its failure. It is clear that the curricula remain unchanged, while the technology is not used properly. Significant rise in usage of ICT as well as the amount of availible equipment does not correlate with the quality of using it. Main reason behind this is the limited abilities of those who are trying to use it. There are many ways to address these major problems and the world as a whole tries to prepare teachers to the implementation of ICT in their work. Teachers are also relying on their educational beliefs and expierience, in order to be confident in their plans on classwork. Because of that, many programs failed, as they did not count these beliefs and existing knowledge of teachers. Nowadays, the globe aims to integrate ICT as a part of teachers’ work.
Although teachers show great interest in and motivation to learn about ICT, their use of ICT tools is limited and focused on a narrow range of applications, mainly for personal purposes. Most of them continue to use computers for low-level supplemen- tal tasks such as word processing (lesson plans, worksheets, assessment tests, registra- tion of grades, etc.) or getting information from the Internet (Becker, 2000; Williams et al., 2000; Russell et al., 2003; Ofsted, 2004; Waite, 2004). Relatively few teachers routinely use ICT for instructional purposes and even fewer are integrating ICT into subject teaching in a way that motivates pupils, enriches learning and stimulates higher-level thinking and reasoning (Becta, 2004a).
Research also indicates that many teachers have positive attitudes toward technol- ogy but they do not consider themselves qualified to effectively integrate ICT into their instruction (Ropp, 1999). Lack of adequate training and experience is consid- ered one of the main reasons why teachers have negative attitudes toward computers and do not use technology in their teaching (Yildirim, 2000). On the other hand, most findings suggest that teachers with ICT knowledge have a more positive attitude toward the potential of computers in education (Cox et al., 1999; Yildirim, 2000). According to a study by Shapka and Ferrari (2003), it appears that teachers training to teach at secondary level had higher self-efficacy than elementary teachers and were less likely to predict that they would give up or avoid a challenging task. The impact of effective teacher training on ICT can be measured in terms of changes in attitudes on the part of teachers (Yildirim, 2000; Kumar & Kumar, 2003; Galanouli et al., 2004) and of students as well (Christensen, 1998).
A series of independent studies indicate that both teachers’ personal theories and perceptions about teaching and learning processes and their level of competence with ICT play a major role in how they implement ICT and how they motivate themselves to use ICT tools in the classroom (Gobbo & Girardi, 2001; Niederhauser & Stoddart, 2001; Sime & Priestly, 2005). It seems that teachers’ pedagogical cultures shape their representations of ICT use in the classroom (Ruthven et al., 2004), and they are likely to adopt practices with computers that reflect their beliefs about teaching and learning (Drenoyianni & Selwood, 1998). It has been shown that teachers with the most constructivist teaching philosophies regarded the role of computers in their instruction as very important (Ravitz et al., 2000; Becker, 2001). Higgins and Moseley (2001) argued that the most effective teachers not only had a positive attitude towards ICT but had good ICT skills and used computers as a part of a stimulating environment favouring pupils’ inquiry and collaboration.
These paragraphs tell us about the obstacles teachers and learners have when using ICT in their routine. ICT might have become widespread in developed countries, however the way teachers use it is simplistic and personal, rather than engaging students to think deeper about complex problems. Despite that, teachers are highly positive about use of technology in classes, but lacking required skills and confidence. Many researches point out the effect of proper training on teachers’ self-esteem and ability to push themselves further in order to achieve success. Moreover, the impact of high quality training of teachers on ICT can be seen in the recent shift of perspective of students and teachers. Teachers could personally affect their use of ICT and its role in classroom with their opinions or beliefs about it. Teachers that are aware of the advantages of using ICT in their work are more likely to successfully stimulate the learning environment of students to a better extent.
A number of independent researches show that teachers’ personal theories as well as their personal views about educational processes and their ability to use ICT play a huge role in the way they use ICT and how they push themselves to adapt ICT in the classrom. It could be that teachers’ professional cultures modify their expectations of ICT use in the classroom and are probably more attracted to those practices which indicate their personal statements about educational process. Some researches show that teachers that are more constructive at their practices are considering the role of computers in their work essential. Higgins and Moseley thought that the best teachers showed not only acceptance of using ICT but also required skills of ICT and could use computers as a part of learning environment in order to motivate students to work better.
Автор: Жмап мапра
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