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Computer as a Catalyst for Change

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Teachers’ Views of Computers as Catalysts for Changes in Their Teaching Practice Sara L. Dexter and Ronald E. Anderson University of Minnesota Henry Jay Becker University of California, Irvine This paper was published in the Journal of Research on Computing in Education. The citation for it is: Dexter, S., Anderson, R. E., & Becker, H. J. (1999). Teachers’ views of computers as catalysts for changes in their teaching practice. Journal of Research on Computing in Education, 31 (3), 221239. Abstract: In this study we examined the use of computers by teachers in their instructional practices and their perception of the impact of computers on changes they have made to their classroom practice. These data draw from 47 teachers from 20 K-12 schools across 3 states who each completed a questionnaire, participated in 3 semi-structured interviews, and allowed 3 observations of their classroom. The teachers who had adopted more progressive teaching practices over time felt computers helped them change but they did not acknowledge computers as the catalyst for change. Instead, they cited catalysts that included: reflection upon experience, classes taken, and the context or culture of the school. We conclude that in order for teachers to implement the use of educational technology in a constructivist manner, they must have opportunities to construct pedagogical knowledge in a supportive climate.

Research funded by the program of Research on Education Policy and Practice at the National Science Foundation and the Office of Educational Research and Improvement, U.S. Department of Education. NSF Grant # REC-9600614

Teachers’ views of computers as catalysts

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Teachers’ Views of Computers as Catalysts for Changes in Their Teaching Practice Many educators and policy makers believe that technology can be a catalyst for educational reform (Collins, 1991; Means, Olson,…...

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