Teachers' beliefs in relation to their instructional technology practices
Deniz Palak, West Virginia University, United States
West Virginia University . Awarded
This study investigated how teachers' beliefs and factors other than teachers' beliefs relate to teachers' instructional technology practices. Teachers' beliefs were identified as teacher-centered beliefs, student-centered beliefs, and attitudes toward technology integration. Teacher confidence and comfort, technical support, general school support, and ratio of computers-to-students in the classroom were identified as factors other than teachers' beliefs.
The study employed both quantitative and qualitative research methodologies. The research population of this study involved 113 technology-using P–12 teachers who worked in technology-rich schools in West Virginia. The quantitative research methods employed two surveys and computed a series of correlational and multiple regression analyses in answering the specific technologies and instructional strategies teachers used when integrating technology. The qualitative case study research followed the qualitative design. Using the maximum variation sampling strategy, four teachers were sampled: two with student-centered beliefs and two with teacher-centered beliefs. Upon individual case study descriptions, within-case and cross-case analyses were conducted to answer how teachers' beliefs and factors other than teachers' beliefs related to the types of technologies and instructional strategies teachers used when integrating technology.
The results obtained from this research point to the following: instructional technology practices of teachers in substantial ways relate to (1) their beliefs about teaching and technology and (2) the contextual conditions in their teaching environments. Teachers' beliefs are the primary agents for their instructional technology decisions specifically for their selections of technologies for student use. The types of technologies teachers have their students use are directly related to the ways teachers approach teaching and technology. Teachers use a variety of instructional strategies regardless of their student-centered and teacher-centered beliefs.
Palak, D. Teachers' beliefs in relation to their instructional technology practices. Ph.D. thesis, West Virginia University.
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