Have Teachers’ Practices Changed with the Implementation of Computers in Schools? A Longitudinal Perspective
The increased provision of computers in schools has raised expectations about the professional development of teachers and the changes in practice that should accompany the successful integration of ICTs in schools. Teachers are expected to change their teaching practices in particular ways. Often these ways have been based on exaggerated claims the changes ICTs were thought to bring about. Nevertheless, ICTs have been in schools a number of years now and their effect on day to day teaching has been under-researched. While not necessarily aligning with publicly expressed expectations of politicians and administrators, changes in teachers’ practices have developed over time in a number of different ways. This paper overviews the research design and findings of an in-depth longitudinal, qualitative research study in Australia intended to describe and explore the ways teachers’ practices with ICTs change over time. The study, funded by the Department of Education (NSW) used an innovative assorted analysis research design. The research was conducted over five years and collected a wide range of data through interviews with teachers, students and school executive, classroom observations and document analysis. The paper summarises the main findings from the research in relation to four interconnected themes of the study: established practice and contexts of teaching with ICTs; disruptions and reflections; changes related to disruptions; and teachers dispositions for change.
Keywords: Teachers, Computers, Change, Longitudinal, Qualitative
Lecturer in Education, School of Education, University of Western Sydney