Intern student teachers and technology training: An integrated approach for pre-service teacher training and support
Daniel Edward Curry-Corcoran, University of Virginia, United States
University of Virginia . Awarded
While individuals involved with teacher education often see the student teaching component as the pivotal experience in a teacher's training, recent studies have highlighted a number of problems. These problems range from debates regarding the effectiveness of the experience to disagreements over the qualities a student teacher should possess by the end of her training. The introduction of technology has created an entirely new set of variables for teacher training, from instructional uses to support services, which are just now beginning to be explored. This study examines the technology training that 27 interning teachers received during their student teaching experiences.
A rural school district located in the Mid-Atlantic region served as the site for this study. Five cohorts of student teachers were studied to examine the types of technology training and support they were given and how they actually used technology in their own instructional practices. Research questions emerged from analyzing the particular goals and objectives of this project and the research literature pertaining to the evaluation and technology training of pre-service teachers. To provide an in-depth description of their experiences, a mixed-methods research design was developed using data collected from interviews and surveys.
Erickson's (1986) method of analytic induction was used to analyze data, and produced four empirical assertions. These findings indicate that interns received little training in how to apply technology given the realities of a classroom setting. Technology training during their pre-service program typically included one individual, stand-alone technology course that focused on ensuring students had a better understanding for the mechanics of operating different applications, but rarely required interns to develop lessons that used relevant subject area material. During their student teaching experiences, interns were continually hampered by inadequate training and support. These problems correlated positively with other barriers interns had in integrating more technology. While mentor teachers participating in a field-based Master's program were helpful at influencing what types of technology interns' used, they had much less impact on how it was actually used in the classroom. Despite these problems, interns still were able to develop activities that used technology. The ways interns described their technology use were pivotal to understanding how they integrated applications into their instructional activities.
Curry-Corcoran, D.E. Intern student teachers and technology training: An integrated approach for pre-service teacher training and support. Ph.D. thesis, University of Virginia.
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