Teacher Pedagogical Beliefs: The Final Frontier in Our Quest for Technology Integration?

On the very first page of the article Teacher Pedagogical Beliefs: The Final Frontier in Our Quest for Technology Integration? the statement, “computers serve as a ‘valuable and well-functioning instructional tool’ in schools and classrooms in which teachers: … (c)  have some freedom in the curriculum” (25). Perhaps that’s the first thing that needs to happen if there is to be a chance for technology integration; define curriculum and then make technology a part of the curriculum. As was discussed in my instructional strategies course as well as a curriculum course I took a few quarteres ago, the purpose of curriculum is to ensure that each child whether in Mrs. Q’s class or Mr. W’s class receives the same educational opportunities. Technology is in our state standards and so should be treated as such. Technology education is not merely a freedom of instructional artistry but an educational necessity.

Before reading the article I wrote two things that I would need to change my instructional practices -of any kind- and I came up with needing the necessary knowledge, modeled scaffolding and accountability of my practice. I found it difficult to read through the first part of the article do to the focus on teachers’ beliefs and how beliefs effects what and how we teach. First of all discussing beliefs of any kind is daunting and seems impossible to wade through as everyone has different experiences, and so, has different background knowledge surrounding everything. However, I was relieved and a bit excited when I got to the section titled Implications for Professional Development. Ertmer cited Guskey’s thoughts,  “Change in beliefs follows, rather than precedes practice, and that by helping teachers adopt new practices that are successful, the associated beliefs will also change” (32). Teachers, like students, need to experience empirically proven strategies (frankly, whether they like it our not) and be held accountable for practicing and implementing those newly learned strategies or else nothing will change. If there was a more efficient and effective medical procedure that would cure an ailment I would expect my doctor to learn, practice and implement that procedure.  Truthfully, who can argue with efficiency and effectiveness  when we are constantly given more to teach in less time.

Ertmer, P. A. (2005). Teacher pedagogical beliefs: The final frontier in our quest for technology integration? Educational Technology Research & Development, 53(4). 25-39.

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