Academic journal article International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technology

Identifying Ghanaian Pre-Service Teachers' Readiness for Computer Use: A Technology Acceptance Model Approach

Academic journal article International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technology

Identifying Ghanaian Pre-Service Teachers' Readiness for Computer Use: A Technology Acceptance Model Approach

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

The use of computers is becoming widespread in Ghanaian education settings. While the students, especially those in the junior and senior high schools, seem ready to embrace this modern technology, it is not easy to identify a similar readiness in teachers. For example, Adu Gyamfi (2011) in his study on the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) on pre-service teacher education in Ghana concluded that about 85 percent of the new teachers graduating from Ghanaian pre-service teacher institutions felt they lacked the necessary skills to teach with ICT, implying an inadequacy in the training of the teachers. However, an accumulating body of research has found that teachers' contribution is very important for the implementation and success of any technological innovation in education (Eteokleous-Grigorious, et al., 2012; Lim, Lock & Brook, 2011). Consequently, teachers' familiarity is crucial for a successful introduction of computer technologies into the classroom environment. Again, in his study in Singapore to build a model that predicts the level of technology acceptance by pre-service teachers at the Institute of Education, Teo (2009) found that, the level of technology acceptance among pre-service teachers determines the extent to which new technologies could be integrated into classroom settings. Given that pre-service teachers are the agents of change in the effective and meaningful integration of computer technology in the Ghanaian education system, their readiness to use this modern technology is of paramount importance. For this reason, there is a need to understand factors that influence technology acceptance among pre-service teachers in Ghana. This study extends the technology acceptance model to identify factors that influence technology acceptance among pre-service teachers in Ghana. The findings contribute to the literature by validating the TAM in the Ghanaian context and provide several prominent implications for the research and practice of technology integration development.

LITERATURE REVIEW AND THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK

This section encompasses the study's literature review. First, it discusses issues related to pre-service teachers' beliefs about technology acceptance. Second, it addresses the Technology Acceptance Model which provides the conceptual model for the current study.

Beliefs about technology use

Generally, when teachers are asked to use technology to facilitate learning, some degree of change in their beliefs is required (Ertmer & Ottenbreit-Leftwich, 2010). Although, a growing number of research studies have revealed that there are a number of factors such as lack of access to ICT(Ertmer, et al.,1999), inadequate technical and administrative support (Sandholtz, 2001), lack of training provided to teachers in integrating ICT(Adams,2005; Lim & Khine(2006) most reform efforts in the past have been unsuccessful, because of top-down approaches, which failed to take teachers' existing beliefs into consideration (Hammond, 2011; Jimoyiannis & Komis, 2007). It is against this background that this study is designed to extend the technology acceptance model, by adding pedagogical beliefs to examine factors that influence technology acceptance among pre-service teachers in Ghana.

The pertinence of pedagogical beliefs in educational innovation was captured by Kagan (1992:85) who noted that "the more one reads studies of teacher belief, the more strongly one suspects that this piebald form of personal knowledge lies at the very heart of teaching." In a similar vein, Pajaras (1992) was of the view that understanding teachers beliefs helped improve their professional preparation. This implies that, an understanding of the current beliefs and perspectives that pre-service teachers hold may serve as a good starting point for discussion about their acceptance and adoption of computer technology for instructional purpose.

Pedagogical beliefs are defined as the beliefs that teachers hold, pertaining to the nature of teaching and how teaching should be carried out (Teo, Chai, Hung & Lee 2008). …

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