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    Embracing ICT in a Second Level School: Challenges and Implications for Teacher Attitude, Role, and Development

    Birnie, Diane (1999) Embracing ICT in a Second Level School: Challenges and Implications for Teacher Attitude, Role, and Development. Masters thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

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    This study researches teachers’ attitudes to Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in a particular second level school in Dublin, Ireland. Within this context, it examines the challenges for teachers which are raised by the adoption of ICT in schools. The study also outlines the consequent implications for teacher development and for educational change support agencies. Many of the key research writings in the areas of ICT in education, teacher attitude and implementing change are presented. Through a process of analysis of the data obtained by questionnaire and interview procedures, it was discovered that teachers’ anxieties are a significant factor in contributing to positive or negative attitudes to computers. Two kinds of anxiety are drawn from the data: computer use anxiety and computer pedagogical anxiety. Factors contributing to computer use anxiety are classified as “Hail to the computer!” factor; “it’s beeping at me” factor; language or “buzz-words” factor; personality or ‘that’s just the way I am’ factor; ‘generation game’ factor; and ‘poor access and education’ factor. In overcoming computer use anxiety the following issues were found to be of key importance: training/in-service/teacher development; the importance of significant events in teachers lives; the computer ethos in society and in the school; and the effect of “seeing other peoples’ success” with computers. The value of supportive collaborative environments was also evident and time to familiarise and experiment with computers was vital. Issues discovered within the computer pedagogical anxiety data can be grouped as follows: Education versus Economy; Knowledge versus Information; and the changing role of the teacher. The strategies proposed in this study for dealing with these anxieties are informal conversations, identifying entry points and weaving networks. While this is not an exhaustive list, these strategies were of particular relevance for the school under study. This study does not enter into a comparison between schools but stays within the context and setting of a single school. Within this setting, some of the significant issues that arose from the data are discussed. While time constraints limited the depth of analysis and the range of issues examined, this researcher believes that the finished study presents an informative account of certain key factors that surround the issue of teachers’ attitude to ICT in this school. In an era of technological change, ICT has the potential to exert a growing influence on education and as a result to significantly challenge teacher attitudes, methods and role as we enter the next millennium. Having examined the data in the light of the literature in the area, this study concludes that this school is ready to face the challenges posed by the introduction of ICT.

    Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
    Keywords: ICT; Teacher Attitude; Role; Development;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Education
    Item ID: 5102
    Depositing User: IR eTheses
    Date Deposited: 04 Jul 2014 09:31
      Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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