Using the power of research to inform ICT integration in education

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Do teachers really implement their constructivist beliefs about learning when they integrate technology?

Judson, E. (2006) How Teachers Integrate Technology and Their Beliefs About Learning : Is There a Connection? Knowledge Creation Diffusion Utilization (2006) Volume: 14, Issue: 3, Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education

Research indicates that teachers who readily integrate technology into their instruction are more likely to possess constructivist teaching styles. Evidence suggests there is a parallel between a teachers student-centered beliefs about instruction and the nature of the teachers technology-integrated lessons. This connection between the use of technology and constructivist pedagogy implies constructivist-minded teachers maintain dynamic student-centered classrooms where technology is a powerful learning tool. Unfortunately, much of the research to date has relied on self-reported data from teachers and this type of data too often presents a less than accurate picture. Versus self-reported practices, direct observations that gauge the constructivist manner in which teachers integrate technology are a more precise, albeit protracted, measurement. In this study 32 classroom teachers completed a survey to measure their beliefs about instruction, but they were also directly observed and rated with the Focus on Integrated Technology: Classroom Observation Measurement (FIT:COM). The FIT:COM measures the degree to which technology integrated lessons are aligned with constructivist principles. Analysis did not reveal a significant relationship between practices and beliefs. Although most teachers identified strongly with constructivist convictions they failed to exhibit these ideas in their practices.

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