The influence of teacher beliefs and knowledge on planning for technology integration in technology-rich classrooms

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Melissa Walker Beeson (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Barbara Levin

Abstract: The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine the decisions three teachers made to integrate technology in technology-rich elementary classrooms. An additional purpose of this study was to understand how the teachers' beliefs about technology and their knowledge of content, pedagogy, technology, and learners influenced the decisions they made during planning for technology integration. Guiding the study was a conceptual framework that suggests that both teachers' beliefs about their technology and their knowledge of learners influence teacher decision-making during planning. Teacher beliefs are defined as the attitudes teachers have about teaching and learning (Pajares, 1992). Teacher knowledge is represented through the Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPCK) framework (Mishra & Koehler, 2006) situated within knowledge of learners. When teachers are thinking within the TPCK framework, they are concurrently considering what they know about technology, pedagogy, and content as they are making decisions about instruction. A multiple case study approach with within-case and cross- case analysis was used. Three teachers who were each awarded $20,000 grants for classroom technology participated in the study. Multiple data sources (interviews, observations, and lesson plan review) were collected and analyzed for emerging themes (within-case analysis). Three descriptive cases were written and then compared for common themes (cross-case analysis). The Think-Aloud method was used to understand the process of planning for each teacher when considering technology integration (Peterson & Clark, 1978; Peterson & Comeaux, 1990). Cross-case findings revealed that, when planning for technology integration, the teachers made decisions about a) the content they were teaching and the desired end result, b) the learners, and c) the technology tools. Beliefs about technology including a) technology engages students, b) students should be exposed to content through the use of technology, and c) students should be exposed to technical skills through the use of technology, influenced the decisions the teachers made when integrating technology. Strong technological knowledge also influenced the decisions the teachers made during planning. Data analysis suggested that the teachers were still developing their technological content knowledge (TCK) and technological pedagogical knowledge (TPK) (Mishra & Koehler, 2006) and relied mainly on technological knowledge to plan for the integration of technology. The study findings have implications for teacher educators, teachers, and school and district leaders. Specifically, teacher education methods courses need to explore ways to engage preservice teachers in thinking about the pedagogical affordances and limitations of using technology to teach the content. Additionally, technology professional development needs to take a curriculum-focused approach to technology professional development in order to support teachers as they develop their technological content knowledge (TPK) and technological pedagogical knowledge (TPK).

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2013
Technology integration
Educational technology $v Case studies
Education $x Effect of technological innovations on

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