Integrating Technology in the Classroom: Factors that Account for Teachers' Regressive Developmental Trajectories

Integrating Technology in the Classroom: Factors that Account for Teachers' Regressive Developmental Trajectories

Chee-Kit Looi (National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore), Wenli Chen (National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore) and Fang-Hao Chen (Civil Service College, Singapore)
DOI: 10.4018/ijwltt.2014070101
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Abstract

In this article, we studied the developmental trajectories of three teachers as they integrated GroupScribbles (GS) technology in their classroom lessons over a semester period of about 5 months. Coherency diagrams were used to capture the complex interplay of a teacher's knowledge (K), goals (G) and beliefs (B) in leveraging technology effectively in the classroom. The degree of coherency between the KGB region and the affordances of the technology provided an indication of the teacher's developmental progression through the initiation, implementation and maturation phases of using technology in the classroom. Our findings reveal that a low coherency state at the initial stage not only has a high tendency for single regression to happen but also a double regression, when further triggered by certain factors. Dominant stagnation among the low coherency states throughout the initial and implementation phases increases the difficulty of upward transition to high coherency states. Implications are drawn as to the importance of ensuring high coherency during the initial phase where opportunities for synergy between a teacher's KGBs and the affordances of the technology should be created as early as possible to minimize regression.
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The Coherency Diagram

According to Schoenfeld (1999, 2006), a teacher’s decision-making and problem solving is a function of the teachers’ knowledge, goals and beliefs. The teacher’s knowledge, goals and beliefs influence each other in a complex manner in every decision process embarked on by the teacher in the classroom. In seeking to represent the complex interplay between teachers’ knowledge (K), goals (G) and beliefs (B), we have devised the “KGB diagram” (Figure 1).

Figure 1.

KGB diagram: KGB region and coherency diagram

In our study, the teacher’s beliefs (B) concern teachers’ views about nature of knowledge and how knowledge is learned (Hofer & Pintrich, 1997). These conceptions of knowledge impact the teaching practices of a teacher and his or her views about students’ learning (Brownlee et al., 2002). Goals (G) are what a teacher sets to accomplish in class (Schoenfeld, 1999) and can be intrinsic to the teacher and coherent with his or her beliefs or they can be imposed upon the teacher by the school, community or other stakeholders. The knowledge of a teacher (K) includes content knowledge, pedagogical content knowledge and knowledge of the students (Brandsford et al., 2000).

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