Integrating ICT as an integral teaching and learning tool into pre-service teacher training courses
Integrating ICT as an integral teaching and learning tool into pre-service teacher training courses.
Issues In Educational Research, 15 (1), 101-113.
Even though a wide cross-section of society today has accepted Information and Communications Technology (ICT) as an entrenched characteristic of its culture, education has been slow to adopt it as an integral tool within the classroom (Cuban, 2001; Elliott, 2004). Many reasons for this lethargy have been purported in the literature, ranging from inadequate professional development opportunities for teachers, to negative teacher attitudes towards technology. Similarly, an assortment of solutions to these dilemmas has been proposed. One in particular has been the push to integrate ICT into teacher education programs. Exposure to ICT during their training is expected to increase graduating teachers' willingness to integrate it into their own classroom curricula. While studies into this phenomenon have reported some degree of success, findings have been largely inconclusive (Brush, Igoe, Brinkerhoff, Glazewski, Ku & Smith, 2001; Albion, 2003). Nevertheless, these collective findings are useful in informing similar contexts. For example, the College of Education at The University of Notre Dame, Australia (UNDA) has reviewed these findings in an effort to better understand, and potentially change, ICT implementation across its own teacher training programs.
The UNDA review and its conclusions are presented in this paper, together with the definition and discussion of approaches to ICT integration adopted by various teacher training institutions. Furthermore, the strengths and weaknesses of these approaches are explored and subsequently used as a springboard for the proposal of an implementation framework that has the potential to facilitate the authentic and sustained application of ICT within K-12 classrooms.