Academic journal article Journal of Technology and Teacher Education

Preservice Teachers Self-Assessment Using Technology: Determining What Is Worthwhile and Looking for Changes in Daily Teaching and Learning Practices

Academic journal article Journal of Technology and Teacher Education

Preservice Teachers Self-Assessment Using Technology: Determining What Is Worthwhile and Looking for Changes in Daily Teaching and Learning Practices

Article excerpt

This study was developed to examine a university's preservice teachers' initial self-assessments of their use of instructional technology and perceived growth at the conclusion of an introductory course. Study results suggest students are confident in their abilities to use educational technologies and are reaching new stages in technology integration. However, students' reporting their intentions for future teaching indicates many do not believe the integration of educational technologies into the curriculum is worthwhile. They can "talk" about the benefits of using technology in teaching and learning environments but are not ready to move these ideas into practice. Hence, students in this study have not made second order changes with respect to integrating technology into the teaching and learning process. Efforts must be made to support students in making second order decisions. The implications of this as a broad teacher education issue are discussed.

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Schubert (2000) posed a basic curricular question of "What is worth-while?" in a journal dealing with curriculum inquiry. This timeless question is one with which educators constantly struggle. Professionals in the field of technology and teacher education attempt to address this question through careful study and dissemination of findings from the variety of ways in which preservice teachers are prepared to use educational technologies in their teaching and learning. Yet is the work being done resulting in new daily teaching and learning practices by preservice and inservice teachers? Advocates and critics alike are vocal when discussing the integration and effectiveness of computers and other educational technologies in today's curricula (Becker, 2000; Marcinkiewicz, 1993; Cuban, Kirkpatrick, & Peck, 2001). By sharing findings from studies, educational technologists in teacher education can gain broader perspectives of various strategies to determine what is worthwhile for different learners with respect to the integration of technologies into teacher education programs and whether these initiatives are leading to changes in practice. These studies should provide evidence of how educational technologies can enhance the learning of all students in a variety of academic environments and areas as well as how changes in practice are occurring (or not occurring, if that is the case). One way to start is to carefully examine teacher education students' perceptions of how successful they can be in using computers in their daily lives and in teaching and whether these perceptions indicate a change in beliefs or daily practice. Such a study took place at the University of Florida. The findings of the study provided data for significant conversations among the faculty about the course Integrating Technology into the Curriculum with respect to the teacher education program and about what kinds of questions and studies could be asked that would bring a new perspective on how educational technologies enhance teaching and learning.

REVIEW OF LITERATURE

The examination of preservice teachers' perceived use of educational technology and their perceived growth at the conclusion of the course Integrating Technology into the Curriculum was the primary focus of this study. Determining whether preservice teachers could and would change when they have an opportunity to teach was one of the underlying themes. Addressing the willingness to change standard teaching practice is fundamental to answering questions about whether the course content and activities are worth-while. Therefore, a brief look at educational change literature, specifically teacher change, is appropriate to determine realistic expectations. Change is certainly a constant in educational systems and as Pearly Bailey said "We must change in order to survive" (Ramsey, 2001, p. 18). Because of the complexities and messiness of teaching, learning, and educational systems in general, change is not easily understood. …

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