1 EXPLORING THE CHANGES ln TEACHING STRATEGIES ENABLED BY rn"ïer.net AND COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGY Celia Roxane Richardson A thesis submined in conformity with the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Education Graduate Department of Adult Education, Community Development & Counselling Psyc hology Ontario institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto Q Copyright by Ceiia R. Richardson
2 National Library (f 1 of Canada Acquisitions and Bibliographie Services Bibliothèque nationale du Canada Acquisitions et services bibliographiques 395 Wellington Street 395, rue Wellington Ottawa ON K1A ON4 Ottawa ON KI A ON4 Canada Canada Your hk, Varra rslercmce Our #le Notre faference The author has grant~d a nonexclusive licence allowing the National Library of Canada to reproduce, loan, distribute or sel1 copies of ths thesis in rnicroform, paper or electronic formats. The author retains ownership of the copyright in ths thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts kom it rnay be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission. L'auteur a accordé une licence non exclusive permettant a la Bibliothèque nationale du Canada de reproduire, prêter, distribuer ou vendre des copies de cette thèse sous la forme de microfiche/film, de reproduction sur papier ou sur format électronique. L'auteur conserve la propriété du droit d'auteur qui protège cette thèse. Ni la thèse ni des extraits substantiels de celle-ci ne doivent être Unprimés ou autrement reproduits sans son autorisation.
3 EXPLORING THE CHANGES IN TEACHING STRATEGIES ENABLED BY INTERNET AND COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGY Celia Roxane Richardson Doctor of Education, 1999 Graduate Department of Adult Education, Comrnunity Developrnent & Counselling Psychology University of Toronto ABSTRACT This study explored the changes in teaching strategies enabled by Intemet and communications technology (ICT). I interviewed eleven schoolteachers who were using network-based technologies in their classrooms. 1 also conducted a senes of informa1 classroom observations. Al1 interview and observation data were recorded and transcnbed. The prevailing themes that emerged from the data illustrated the impact of ICT on the changing role of the teacher. classroom dynarnics. teacher predictions of ICT in the school and the concept of the classroom. From the findings it rnay be inferred that as teachen hirther integrated ICT into their classrooms, they adopted different teaching strategies to counter balance the attraction of ICT. The teachers interviewed agreed that KT in the classroom fundarnentally influenced the process of learning. As a result, they were required to adjust their teaching strategies in ternis of the delivery of cumculum content. The teachers also said they had to accommodate for the power shift in the classroorn because often students had more knowledge of ICT than their teachers.
4 The findings also revealed that the physical structure and dynamic of the traditional classroom was changing. ICT brought in a vast amount of extemal information and allowed for the increased communication and leaming with other people frorn sources outside the direct control of the teacher. Boundaries between subject matter and physical locations where students could leam were diminishing. -4s a result, the domain of the classroom, where teachen were typically in control, was being directly challenged. The teachen also identified the need to focus on teaching new skills in how to read, reply to (write) and analyse information delivered from ICT. Finally, the teachers needed time to leam about the technology and to understand how to integrate ICT into the cumcuiwn. Further studies in this area should continue to focus on meaningful uses of ICT in the classroom, new skills needed to effectively use ICT, as well as critena for effective teacher training
5 Acknowledgements Afier so many years of being involved with this piece of work, it is hard to know where to begin to give rny most sincere gratitude and thanks. To Lym Davie whose patience, wisdom and insight always set me straight even via e- mail dunng our sojoum in Singapore. Th& you for your encouragement and guidance. To Alan Thomas who acted both as my acadernic advisor and cornmittee member, thank?ou for your discussion and references. To Rina Cohen who offered valuable insight into what teachers are doing today with cornputers in the classroom and what pertinent and timely issues I should explore. Thank you for your feedback and for serving on my committee. To the Board and to the many teachers whom I interviewed - thank you so much for your time and input. To my family, thank you for your continued support and for knowing that 1 could do this. Finally. to my husband Bruce Moore, who has stood by me every step of the way in completing this degree. Thank you for helping me navigate the rough spots and complete this degree with the utmost sense of satisfaction and confidence. Thank you al1 for enduring. Celia. June 1999.
6 Table of Contents Abstract...m... v Chapter One Introduction... 1 Chapter Two Literature Review... 9 INTROD~JCTION... 9 THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN TECHNOLOGY AND EDUCATIONAL CHANGE... 9 Surnmarv on The Reiationship between Technoloev and Educationai Chanee TECHNOLOGY AND THE ORGANISATION OF SCHOOLS Sumrnaw of Technotogv and The Orqanisation of Schools COLLABORATIVE AND CONSTRUCTIVIST LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS Surnmarv of Collaborative and Constructive Learning Environments THE ROLE OF THE TEACHER Sumrnm of The RoIe of the Teacher...,., OF THE LITERATURE REVIEW SUMMARY Chapier Three Research Methods DESIGN Ariproac h School and Participant Selection School Selection School Profiles Teacher Selection..., Teac her Profile DATA COLLECTION Interview Structure Interview Process Data Collection Process Other Data ColIection Tools Codine the Data Data Analvsis Ethical Considerarions SUMMARY Chapter Four Findings INTRODLIC~ION BACKGRO~JND INFOR~.IATION THE CHANGING ROLE OF THE TEACHER..., CLXSSROOM DYNAMICS TEACHER PREDICTIONS OF ICT IN THE SCHOOL THE CONCEPT OF THE CLASSROOM RES E.-1 RCf-1 QUESTTONS SUMMARY... 97
7 Chapter Five Analysis & Interpretation INTRODUCTION. 101 THE CHANGING ROLE OF THE TEACHER CLASSROOM DYNAMICS TLCHER PREDICTIONS OF [CT IN THE SCHOOL THE CONCEPT OF THE CLASSROOM SUMMARY Chapter Six Implications for Furtber Research INTRODUCTION ~~PLICAT~ONS AND FURTHER RESEARCH FOR TEACHERS I~JIPLICATIONS AND FURTHE RESEARCFI FOR SCHOOI-s..., ALTERNATE RESMRCH QUESTIONS..., SUMMARY 8i CONCLUSION References...m Appendix A Appendix B
8 Chapter One Introduction The purpose of this study was to explore changes in teaching strategies enabled by Internet wd communications technology (ICT). While Universities have subsidised the use of Intemet and communications technology for academic staff for yeae, classroom teachers of the Kindergarten - grade 1 2 (K- 1 2) years face a daunting task of gaining access to. and becoming familiar with, these network technologies in the classroom. Notwithstanding the crumbling infrastructure of some schools. or the lack of phone lines in the classroom. the premise of this research was based on the belief that KT are important tools in the reaching and leaming process and will. at some level. be integrated into classroom learning. Fundarnentally, the rationale for my research c m be seen al1 around us if we reflect on the increasing role that technology plays in our lives. In terms of the educational implications of these new technologies. Cumrnins & Sayen ( 1995) Say: In the world of the twenty-first century. decision making and problern-solving in vinually al1 spheres - business. science. cornrnunity development. government. politics - will depend on eiectronic networks that span diverse national and cultural boundarïes. Students whose education has provided them with a broad range of experience in using such networks for intercultural collaboration and critical thinking will be better prepared to thnve in this radically different communications and emplopent environment than those who have not been provided with access to cross-cultural awareness and problem-solving skills. (p. 1 3
9 ICT means different things to different people. For the purposes of this research, the definition of ICT is the application and use of modem communications and computer technologies to create. manage and use information sent and received through computer networks. In addition to the Internet, communications technology in the classroom includes electronic mail ( ), video conferencing, interactive on-line services and fax. Teachers play a key role in how ICT is used in ciassrooms. The significance of this study was to document some of the challenges teachers face in trying to integrate a new and powerful resource in the teaching and leaming process. It is important to note that the essence of change outlined in this research was in the classroom. This study did not address the shifls and change seen with ICT tools, nor the potential change in relationships between the teacher and student. The research focused pnmarîly on some of the changes teachen are making when they used ICT tools with their students in the classroom. According to Cuban (1986), the history of schooling is littered with failed technologies that attempted to change and enhance the teaching and learning process. The reasons for failure are numerous. Fullan ( 1993) argues that past educational technologies failed to address fundamental instructional reforrn and collaboration between educators to focus on new teaching strategies. David (1994) says that technology has failed to live up to its promise because technology in the 1980s was geared towards irnprovins the effectiveness of what schools do, not towards fundarnentally changing what schools do.
10 The first two decades of educational computing focused primarily on the use of a computer for drill and practice, tutonals, simulations and games. With the advent of the persona1 computer, the emphasis began to shift towards using the computer as a leaming tool, rather than a delivery device (Kearsley, 1992). Examples of how the computer is used as a leaming tool cm be seen in the use of word processors, spreadsheets, graphics prograrns and desktop publishing. Means (1994) illustrates that the mmy uses of technology in the classroom so far have merel y supported the school status quo, not altered it. According to David Thomburg (Betts, 1994), technologies in schools have most ofien been used to do the sarne old job more effectively. Kearsley (1998) thinks that the conceptual fnmework we use to implement technology in the classroom is flawed. He States that most educators fail to understand that with the introduction of a new technology, the emphasis should be on developing a new structure for teaching and leaming and not on the technology itself. In addition. Kearsley (1998) recounts how il1 prepared most teachers are ro use new technologies and that the issue ofteacher training is still not being addressed. Usually teachers have been asked to implement innovations predetermined by others and have had little say in how technoiogies should, and cm, be used. It is no surprise, then, that many innovations of the past have failed in the name of change. because the technologies failed to respond to teacher concerns and the structure of the classroom where a teacher is expected to maintain control. Given the background of most technologies in education. a fundamental question for this study was to ask if
11 and how the introduction of ICT into classrooms will be any different fyom what has occurred in the past. Like some older technologies, the new communication technologies cm take on tasks involving vast arnounts of data that can be sorted, rnanipulated and called up at great speed (loveless, 1995). In addition. ICT allows access to people and information that students otherwise couldn't have access to such as libraries al1 over the world, rnuseurns, newspaper archives, films. experts in any given field and multi-media resources that incorporate sound and video. In short, ICT in the classroom introduces another source of information and expertise. The introduction of an electronic, interactive. potentially self-paced, flawlessiy patient additional source of information means a teacher may spend less time presenting information to groups of students and more time facilitating srnail qoup work and guiding students to appropnate resources. As a result, ICT in the classroom may provide students with unprecedented and personal access to information in order to meet their cumculum objectives. This shifi will likely involve a change in teaching strategies. Recent trends in education include moving towards student involvement in more collaborative. multi-disciplinary tasks, modelled around expenences encountered outside the school. in addition. pressure is being applied to schools to better accommodate changing demographics. public concem. and rapidly changing technology. If the school structure is being explored to accommodate new technologies, then it is likely that ways and means of teaching will change too. Change does not mean we will Iose successfûl
12 teaching strategies used in the past, but it does mean strategies rnight have to be adapted to the realities of new technology. The task of being innovative with ICT is enormous. Teachers have to learn both the basic technical skilis and the educational potential of ICT. Coupled with the rapid transformation of the technology itself, the leaming task on behalf of the teacher is daunting. Given the enormity of the job for teachen, they were the ideal people to work with for this study in order to identify the issues and side effects of working in an ICT environment. It is hoped that the findings of this study will give teachen an insight into some new strategies that are being used where teachers have successfùlly implemented KT into their classrooms. Personal Relevaace My interest in this research topic stems from nine years of working with classroom teachers to assist them to integrate technology into the curriculum. Most teachers I have met are enthusiastic about the potentials of ICT. but woq about when they will have time to learn to use it. Most who do use it. find that it presents new opportunities. is exciting, and helps motivate students. I therefore have a positive feeling about the capabilities of KT. but know that we have to explore the potentials of ICT in light of the organisational. social. political and persona1 aspects of schooling. It is rny belief that tools such as the Intemet are changing the way wr use cornputers and the way we communicate. It is rny hope that the Intemet will be used in education as
13 more than just a passive technology. The potential for enhanced communication outside the classroom and access to information for the students is powerful and exciting. Above all, I am a believer in experimenting with new teaching tools. and I am curious to see whether telecommunications and networks will promote change in the ciassroom that is incremental or fundamental. Cornputers and ICT continue to work their way into al1 facets of society. On the education Front, the vision of effectively utilising ICT to facilitate the teaching and learning process is a vision many share. The purpose of this research was to identim different teaching strategies that cm be further explored, and if found effective, cm then be inteprated into future teacher education, cumculum development. schooi and classroom organisation. Research Questions The following research questions focused on leaming more about what teachers who have implemented ICT into the classroorn are doing. The choice of questions addressed if and how strategies are changing, what contributes to the change, and if there is change in classroom dynamics and traditional time structures. The main research questions were: 1) Mat is the nature of the change experïenced by classroom educators when they started to use Intemet and communications technology (ICT) in the classroom on a
14 regular basis? By regular basis, I am referring to using the technology as a tool in teaching practice at least 2-3 times a week. 2) What is the nature of the interactions between the teacher and student in a classroom where the teacher uses ICT for his/her subject speciality. and are the interactions different from before the teacher was using ICT? 3) What is the teacher's understanding of ICT and hisher perceptions of the implications of using ICT in the classroom? 4) In what ways do traditional time stnictures. such as timetabling, change with the introduction of ICT in the classroom? The goal of this research was to document the changes in teaching strategies so that teachen may be given sorne insight into how to adapt to and use the new technologies. This chapter introduced my research on the changes in teaching strategies enabled by ICT. It outlined the main research questions that gave direction to this study. This chapter also discussed what is important about the research, what the findings will give to the teachen and how the research is personally relevant to me. The possibility of using ICT as a teaching tool may have a profound effect on teaching strategies, the classroom, and the organisation of schooling as a whoie. yet we are only begiming to learn what these effects might be. It is for this reason that the role of the teacher in the next steps of educational change be at the forefront of understanding the technology, knowing how to use it. and being able to apply it accordingly.
15 The following chapter is a rçview of the relevant iiterature which is intended to give the reader the depth and breadth of the many facets of this research topic.
16 Chapter Two Literature Review Introduction This chapter discusses the literature related to this study. While there are many ways to approach the research relevant to Intemet, communications technology and teaching strategies. this study drew on literature from four major areas: the relationship between iechnology and educational change; technology and the organisation of schools; collaborative and constructivist leaming environrnents. and; the roie of the teacher. The chapter concludes with a final surnmary of the literature. The Relationship between Technoiow and Educational Chan~e The invention of the printing press brought about the possibili~y of the mass production of the printed book. Its pervasiveness, ease of use and portability destined the book to revolutionise education (Cohen. 1989). This sarne thetoric has been echoed repeatedly with new media over the years. especially with the advent of cornputers in education.
17 Since the 1960s. educators have been exploring and experirnenting with technology and variations on the book in an effort to change and enhance the teaching and learning process. Cornputer-based education (CBE), television, video and programmed learning are al1 extensions of the book as they represent pre-packaged programmed leaming (Barker & Tucker, 1990). The role of the book in the education system has remained steadfast. but innovative instructional technologies using a computer have been less successful. According to Cuban ( l986), the history of schooling is full of unsuccessful instructional technologies that tried to address change and increase student and teacher productivity. Moreover. clairns for change made over the past thirty years about how cornputers cm help all that ails education have not been realised (Cohen, 1989; Cuban, 1986; Means. 1994). The efficient delivery oleducation via a computer that could replace a teacher has not happened either. With the advent of the personal computer, the emphasis of the 1980s was to transform education, to make teachers more effective and the learning process more efficient. Richardson (!%JO) found that educational refon, teacher change and a more efficient learning process seemed to be validated fiom the classroorn. which emphasises the premise that teacher change, in tems of teachers' practical knowledge, is key to systematic change. Fullan (1993) argues that past educational technologies failed as they didn't address fundamental instructional reform to focus on new teaching strategies. Guskey ( 1986) points out that in the classroorn, practices that are useful and found to work in helping students attain their outcomes stick. whereas the ones that do not help students attain their goals. are abandoned. Hence. a key factor for change is to find tools and processes that dernonstrate results in ternis of leaming, be they new modes of learning or different teaching strategies.
18 David (1994) says that technology has fàiled to live up to its promise in the past because technology in the 1980s was the answer to the wrong question. The question then was about how to improve the effectiveness of what schools do, and it should have been how to change what schools do. Papert (1993) talks about change and the evolution of the computer in school and how the path to the "computer lab" only dispellcd al1 subversive features of the computer. Ln other words, the computer ws not being integrated into daily cumculum use, rather it was being relegated to a lab where one could only have access to the tool dunng designated times. Instead of the computer acting as a genuine change agent. or being looked at to challenge subject boundaries. the computer in the lab only perpetuated the notion of the school and the structure of tirne-hed subjects. In doing so, the computer found itself supporting traditional ways of school and classroom leaming. According to Papert ( 1993). the computer has been neutralised by the old school system. Means ( 1994) supports the views of both David (1994) and Papen ( 1993) by further expounding that the many uses of technology in the classroorn so far merely support school status quo. However. Means ( 1994) goes on to illustrate that the introduction of most technology starts by it being used in the same way as a technology it may have replaced. According to David Thomburg (Betts , new technologies in schoois are most often used to do the same oid job more effectiveiy. The challenge with new communication technologies. however. will be to do something new. Communications technology in the classroom means students have access to many types of sofnuare and resources from al1 over the world. This access might allow students to acquire
19 information that is congruent with what they need to know and with their natural leaming style. In turn, according to Betts (1994), communications technology will make learning more penonalised where, students take control of their leaming, hence the roie of the teacher may change. Cuban (1986) descnbed the cycle of the failure of technological innovations as the exhilaration-scientific credibility-disappointment-blame cycle. Innovations are often preceded by high expectations and then met with only partial success. In a later smdy ( 1989), Cuban cited an analysis that blamed teachers for failing to further promote the advance of educational technology. The rationale for laying failure at the feet of the teachers may well be because teachen have feit threatened by change. Altematively, many rnay have felt that the tnditional role of the teacher as an imparter of knowledge and controiler of leming expenences was being assailed. Hannifin & Savenye (1993) say it is safe to conclude that many past atternpts to reforrn education through the use of technological innovation failed partly because there was not enough ernphasis placed on the importance of the teacher's role with the technology in the classroorn. The approach to teacher training illustrates this point in that we teach teachers about the technology and not how to meet objectives or solve educational problems using the technology (Kearsley, 1998). In order to support the new teacher role, the role needs to be more speci fically identified and undentood. Hannifin & Savenye (1993) go on to Say that a teacher's role only changes where there is a shift in responsibility fiorn teacher to learner. 'The more responsibility and freedom
20 given to the leamers, the greater the shift in the teacher's role" (p.28). When teachers use ICT they cm help promote student responsibility for leaming, however, teachers facing changing roles need to be supported by the schools within which they work. In contrast. Perieman (1992) suggests that schools as we know them do not need to exist anymore. He believes the technologies will bring in an entirely new system of education and that hyperlearning (HL) technology will dominate without the confines of a physical school. While Perleman's ( 19%) views are extrerne and ignore the social, psychological and emotional aspects of education, his premise holds some truth about how communication technologies can transfomi the school in tems of classroom and cumculum. According to the National Council for Educational Technology (NCET) (1996) the key to change is to move away From the technology itself and focus more on the solutions it provides. Technology cannot be viewed as the engine dnving change (Betts, 1994). rather the vehicle through which we explore new systems of leaming and new styles of teaching. Change should focus on new thoughts of what it is that students need to know and what they should be able to do. Toffler (199 1 ) points out that we live in an age where knowledge is capital and that electronic technology is the only way to new knowledge. The global information networks are fast replacing books. as most knowledge in books is obsolete by the time they are printed. ïhe exponential growth in information will inevitably place new demands on teachers and leamers to develop strategies to disseminate. select and use information appropriately.
21 Carbone ( 1995) says that while the failure in the 1980s of computers to have any senous impact on educational reform was humbling, it has added a new dimension and dedication to present attempts at reform. Teachers and the institution as a whole should be reorganised to use technology and part of the reorganisation is moving away fiom the notion that technology will only make schooling better. The tcchnology should only be a catalyst for change. Pepi & Scheurrnan (1996), however, caution us not to rely on technology to promote or influence educational change. More and newer technology is not a reason for schools to continue in their investment in KT. Research should be carried out on the means and ends of the educational process. The means of delivery, such as the hardware and the technology, ofien do not promote the change needed. In addition. the ends need to be clanfied. and this includes the evolving definitions of learning, objectives and fundamental educational goals. Nearing the end of the 1990s, teachers are faced with a host of new issues presented by new technologies. The evolution of technology in the classroom and the relationship between technology and change has encouraged us to explore new ways of using computers to communicate, and to support and enhance instruction. There is concem. however. that the Intemet and the World Wide Web (WWW) wili be used as things that students learn from instead of being interactive tools that students can learn with. Doherty ( 1998) womes that we are moving towards merely using tools like the Intemet as a passive leaming technology when the potential of the Intemet is so much more. If the Intemet is only used as an "on-line text book" then some of its unique features, such as the capability for interaction and communications, will be ignored. It is for this reason
22 that the role of the teacher in the next steps of educational change should be at the forefront of understanding the technology, knowing how to use it. and being able to apply it accordingly. If significant change is to occur in the organisation of the institution, teachers need to be the dominant piayen in determining the applications of communication technologies. The Royal Commission on Leaming (1994) realised the potential difficulty in implementing yet another new technology into the school system. The Commission insisted that our attention be tumed to exploring new teaching strategies in order for communication technology to be an effective leaming tool. Information, Internet and communication technology cm be m empowenng, motivating tool, conducive to creating exciting classroom environments. but history cautions us to better understand how the new technologies will affect Our leaming environments before we forge ahead and espouse KT'S success. Change now should be about instmction and new concepts of teaching and learning in terms of content and pedagogy. Society is dernanding a change in the way individuals perform and communicate. No longer cm a sstudent be a listener, or a rnemorker focused on facts. Trends push us towards collaboration. interactivity. communication and performance. The analogous shifi in corporations reflect this change. but in order to promote this type of change in education requires not only the transformation of leaming and teaching, but also a transformation of the organisation of schools.
23 Summarv on The Reiationshi~ between Technolow and Educational Change. This section explored the relationship between computer technology and educational change, including a number of perspectives of the positive and negative aspects of using computer technology in the teaching and learning process. Kerr ( 1 996) suggests that a large part of the problem with technology and educational change is our stance towards it. what we think it is good for and what it means. A11 technologies in the past seem to have been introduced into the school system with enormous expectations. With the new wave of interest in ICT. the expectations about how they will effect the teaching and learning process seem just as great. We are now faced with having to ask the nght questions in tems of ifihow teachers can use ICT in the classrooms to achieve educational goals. how teachen perceive KT. what effects teacher uses of ICT have on student thinking and how our schools and classrooms are organised. The issues related to Technology and Educational Change are addressed in the design of this research by asking teachen about their expectations of ICT in the classroom. Teachers were asked to discuss both their impressions of using ICT in the classroom and the implications of ICT use. In addition, teachen had time to review ail interview questions pnor to the interviews in order to be able to reflect on if and how their classrooms and teaching styles have changed. The next section explores the literature on ICT in relation to how schools are organised.