Ecologies of Learning: Efficacious Learning and ICT Pedagogical and Technological Adaptability

Ecologies of Learning: Efficacious Learning and ICT Pedagogical and Technological Adaptability

Don Krug (University of British Columbia, Canada) and Jenny Arntzen (University of British Columbia, Canada)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-909-5.ch004

Abstract

In this chapter the authors present research that investigated the formation of ICT ecologies of learning in a Canadian teacher education program. The growth and development of ICT in Canada has placed tremendous responsibility on educators to be informed about not only acquiring ICT skills and knowledge (ICT literacies) but, more importantly, to understand the consequences of emerging social, technological, economic, and political ICT issues that hinder and/or enhance student learning, health, and knowledge. The authors’ research project looked critically at Canadian educational contexts and how teacher candidates (TCs) are prepared to use ICT when entering the teaching profession. The authors highlight how a group of eight teacher candidate researchers (TCRs) engaged in efficacious learning.
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Setting The Stage

Our research project looked critically at Canadian educational contexts and how teacher candidates (TCs) prepared to use ICT when entering the teaching profession. We have completed the second-year of a three-year study that focused on how one cohort of thirty-six elementary TCs accepted, resisted or opposed using ICT during their teacher education program (TEP) at the University of British Columbia (UBC). We wanted to know if TCs could study their own evolving pedagogical self-efficacy, as a means to increase their ICT knowledge and leadership in educational situations (Lorsbach & Jinks, 1999). According to Bandura (1995) self-efficacy is “the belief in one’s capabilities to organize and execute the courses of action required to manage prospective situations” (1995, p. 2). We hypothesized that pedagogical self-efficacy might enable TCs to make informed decisions about ICT pedagogical and technological adaptability, as well as eventually prepare K-7 students for an ever-changing knowledge-based society.

In 1994 Ross reviewed 88 studies of teacher efficacy in pre-college settings and identified potential connections with a teachers' sense of efficacy and their practices. Ross stated that teachers with a strong sense of efficacy are more likely to (1) learn and use new approaches and strategies for teaching, (2) use management techniques that enhance student autonomy, (3) provide special assistance to low achieving students, (4) build students' self-perceptions of their academic skills, (5) set attainable goals, and (6) persist in the face of student failure. There are several studies that examined teacher efficacy, however we did not assume that the findings from one study would transfer into our situation.

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