Teachers' pedagogical beliefs and the instructional use of technology with middle school students
Jablonski, Dennis L.
The nexus of educational reforms and rapid technological changes poses challenges for teachers in deciding why, when, and to what extent they should integrate technology into the curriculum. This exploratory study analyzed 165 middle school mathematics teachers' responses to an online survey examining their pedagogical beliefs, training, and access to technology and the use of technology by students in the classroom. Multiple linear regression was used to test three different models to predict the frequency and type of technology use by students. In addition, responses to constructed-response questions on the survey provided qualitative data to further explore this topic. Findings indicate that the best model to predict frequency of students' technology use is one that includes access to computers in the classroom and the lab, and teacher training. This model accounted for 17% of the variance in frequency of use by students, with computer lab availability being the strongest predictor. The best model of how many types of technologies teachers reported their students using was a combination of teachers' training in technology and access to computers in the lab. Together, these two variables accounted for 9% of the variance in the number of different types of technologies teachers reported using with their students. Pedagogical beliefs were a non significant variable, but teachers reported changes in their teaching due to students' use of technology, which included instructional practices that are associated with both didactic and constructivist pedagogies. Implications of this study are that technology resources need to be more accessible, and teacher training in technology should be timely and appropriate to available resources and curricular objectives. In addition, if mandated computerized testing limits students' access to computer labs, resource planning should consider alternatives so that students can meet technology literacy goals. Limitations of the study are presented and suggestions for future research are included.
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