Closing the Gap Between Attitudes and Perceptions About ICT-Enhanced Learning Among Pre-service STEM Teachers

Abstract

The goal of this study was to examine pre-service STEM teachers’ attitudes and perceptions about the effectiveness of various learning methods and, in specific, the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) as means for enhancing progressive education. The study was conducted among two cohorts of pre-service STEM teachers (N = 103) in the years 2006 and 2012. The mixed method approach was used to compile data from two research tools: an attitudes questionnaire and reflective drawings. The findings of the first cohort indicated a conflict between the participants’ declared attitudes and their perceptions, suggesting a gap between their inclination to coincide with educational trends, and their actual views about the use of ICTs in the classrooms. The first cohort’s drawings illustrated ICTs as distractive technologies, ineffective tools for teaching and learning, impairing teachers’ authority, and distancing teachers and students from each other. Findings of the second cohort indicated that the gap between attitudes and perceptions was narrowed in such a way that preservice STEM teachers did not see ICTs as threatening, but they perceived them as instrumental for leveraging progressive education.

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Acknowledgments

The author wishes to thank Mr. Arthur Kogan and the team of research assistance for helping with the complex data analysis and for corroborating the results of this study.

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Correspondence to Miri Barak.

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Barak, M. Closing the Gap Between Attitudes and Perceptions About ICT-Enhanced Learning Among Pre-service STEM Teachers. J Sci Educ Technol 23, 1–14 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10956-013-9446-8

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Keywords

  • Attitudes
  • Drawing analysis
  • Information and communication technologies
  • Perceptions
  • Pre-service STEM teacher
  • Progressive education