Preparing for teaching in an information society: various perspectives
A SITE 2006 keynote presentation by:

Tjeerd Plomp
Professor Emeritus
University of Twente
Enschede, The Netherlands

[I AM RECORDING THIS SESSION AND PENDING PRESENTER PERMISSION, WILL POST AS A SUBSEQUENT PODCAST]

Dr. Plomp has had a major role in advising national education ministries about ICT education for students and preparation for teachers
– helped setup 2 experimental teacher education colleges to experiment with IT and reform pedagogically
– these colleges were formed and had freedom to not comply to the same rules as other institutions

Dr. Plomp is continuing to work in countries now all around the world

Differences between Americans and Europeans
– when Americans believe something, they are very enthusiastic and extroverted in promoting what they think they know, not as aware or concerned of what they don’t know
– Europeans tend to be more sure of what they don’t know

On purpose, I have not chosen the title “using ICT to teach”
– I believe “ICT and teaching” doesn’t say much if you are not expressing what you think is good teaching
– so I am going to talk about what I think we should be doing with teaching and learning in an information society

Repetition is the mother of wisdom?

Part 1:
– what should be learnt and what should be taught?
– Change perspective: what can be done to realize desired changes?

Part 2:
– some findings from international (comparative) research
– some policies, programs and research from Europe

Curriculum perspective
– knowledge economy, information society: these are terms that are commonly used (21st century)
– the meaning of knowledge in our societies have changed
— knowledge is no longer knowing facts and theories and being able to reproduce them
— this “old knowledge” can be termed “reproductive skills”

BUT:
– ability to find relevant data and derive meaning from it = lifelong learning skills
– European policy document called this lifelong learning skills
– in new circumstances we should be able to devise new answers to non-standardized situations

Lifelong learning skills
– in new circumstances we should be able to generate and evaluate answers to open, nonstandardized questions, set learning goals, regulate our own learning….

Implications for education
– other balance needed between old and new
-enable learners to become more active and make them more responsible for arranging their own learning processes
– teachers becoming more professional coaches

only as an active learner can you acquire lifelong learning skills
– from sage on the stage to guide on the side

Emerging pedagogical practices for info society (Voogt and Pelgrum, 2003)
– new goals: students become competent in info management, communication, and collaboration, and metacognition
– less structured sources of information as learning materials
– traditional boundaries between subjectes need to be bridged

MY THOUGHT: THIS IS A CALL FOR USE OF ONLINE RESOURCES, SOME ONLINE INSTRUCTION, MULTIDISCIPLINARY APPROACHES TO EDUCATIOIN

Life is not theory or standard problems
– must bridge the theories taught in school and the application of knowledge in the real world
– boundaries between the school and the outside world need to fade
– more focus on needs of individual learners
– other ways of assessment: more open, more formative

We often think of those learners who need more independent learning approaches
– teachers we have interviewed said they really try to scaffold with those students who need help with independent learning styles
– many students have become dependent on the teacher for learning

If we talk about education, we must talk about assessment
– only 50% of the centralized assessment we have counts, because
we must change our traditional assessment systems, otherwise we will fail in all our efforts to change education

ICT can be used in this new vision of teaching and learning
– as a general tool (word processing)
– as digital learning resources (tutorials, simulations, webpage materials, digital encyclopedia)
– as network and communication tools (email, web browser)
– as digital tools (PC based labs, statistical tools, accounting, bookeeping softweare

MY THOUGHT: WHERE ARE READ/WRITE WEB TOOLS IN THIS LIST? VIDEOCONFERENCING AND IM?

No neglect of old knowledge, what has been traditionally valued, and what is valued now in the information society

Change perspective
– study of 15 exemplary European schools
– policies on pedagogical innovation using ICT often only partially implemented!
– these were selected by teacher organizations for their pedagogical reform leadership
– each school had many teachers who did not believe in it, did not want to participate in it

Fullan (2001): real innovation is multi-dimensional

Dimensions of innovatation/change (4):
1- new materials: computers, educational software, open source materials, etc
2- new teaching approaches: students working more independent of the teachers, often in small groups on projects with the teacher in a different role
3- new beliefs about what is good education: assumptions about what should be taught and about what are appropriate methods

What we are talking about nowadays are new beliefs about what is good education: what are good methods to help students become lifelong learners alongside the traditionally valued things

Change is a process, not an event
– not reasonable to expect schools and teachers to change at a point in time
– schools may introduce step by step new elements in their curriculum and pedagogical approaches
– different schools may decide for different emphases

Example of changing left to right hand driving in Sweden is not an appropriate metaphor for school change
– it is reasonable to expect schools to change, however, but it will be step by step

We say: All roads may lead to Rome, but let’s make sure we go to Rome!

Towards a pedagogy for education in the information society (Voogt, 2003)
– we are from the same stabl
– don’t look at this as a dichotomy, change is a process
– we should be happy if in our schools students are working more in small groups than before, and less in whole-class instruction
– if schools are moving toward more activities (varied)
– more of an approach where learners can choose how to organize and arrange their learning
– you can look at activities of learners, but also the collaborative aspects of learners

We want to develop collaborative skills

Aspects: collaborative and creative
– comparing traditional versus emerging pedagogies

Some findings from international studies
– SITES: Second International Technology in Education Study
– Under auspices of IEA
– Module 1: survey of schools in 26 countries
— to what extent innovative pedagogical practices relevant for the info society
– Module 2: 174 qualitative studies (28 countries) of innovative pedagogical practices using ICT

From SITES-M1: changes in pedagogy
– 11 questions to principals about type of pedagogical practices in their schools
– factor analysis used, 1999

factor 1: emerging practices
– students active and responsible for own learning
– cooperative/project-based-learning
– searching for info
– working at own pace

factor 2: traditional practices
– emphasis on development of skills
– students working on same materials
– at same pace

both practices exist at most schools!
– but there were large differences between schools
– EG for lower 2nd education
— Asian countries scored lower on emergent factors (NOR, DEN and HUN high, HKG and JPN lowest)
— in 20 out of 24: median values for traditionally important…

In late 90s, change was not very widespread

now in SITES-2 looking at how balance of traditional and emerging pedagogies

MY THOUGHT: THE SAME IDEA EWAN MCINTOSH WAS TALKING ABOUT LAST WEEK IN OUR INTERNATIONAL SKYPECAST IS COMING THROUGH HERE. WE MUST FOCUS ON ASSESSMENT, MAKING ASSESSMENT MORE AUTHENTIC, FORMATIVE AS WELL AS SUMMATIVE, IF WE WANT TO CHANGE PEDAGOGY.

These results were collected in 2001
– across innovative cases (n=174)
– 90% of teachers advise students
– 80% create structure for student activities (structuring in a different way)
– only 25% regularly lecture
– only 13% giving students drill and practice

What are students doing?
– 83% collaborating with other students
– 74% searching for info
– 61% desinging or creating products
– 66% publishing or presenting results of work
-…. more

ICT used by students
– 68% email, 78% productivity, 77% ICT support…
– only 9% using ICT to create collaborative environments

MY THOUGHT IS THAT THESE STATS HAVE CHANGED A LOT BECAUSE OF IM AND SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES

Patterns of ICT use
– tools use
– collaborative research
– information management
– teacher collaboration
– outside communication
– product creation
– tutorial

ICT and the curriculum
– only 32 cases (18%) said ICT contributed to changes in content or new goals

MY THOUGHT: THIS IS A HUGE FINDING! THIS IS SHOWING THAT TECHNOLOGY CHANGE WILL NOT BY ITSELF LEAD PEDAGOGICAL CHANGE!!!!!

Findings from a curriculum perspective
– not much new content was found in our innovative cases
– new goals WERE found
– from Voogt and Pelgrum, 2003
– teacher activities also changed, included more teacher collaboration

Assessment findings;
– more emphasis on formative assessment
– more variation in summative assessment
– schoolwide focus: new assessment approaches with formative and ….

Outcomes for teachers
– positive attitude toward ICT and new forms of teaching and learning
– acquired new ICT and pedagogical skills (esp where there was schoolwide focus on pedagogical reform, esp in those settings they learned and did more collaboration)
– this move toward collaboration in Dutch schools does not come naturally, it has to be encouraged

Role of ICT to improve specific content areas
– single-subject focus: specialized software and subject specific web environments
– thematic curriculum focus: general productivity….

General conclusions:
– in only 32 cases did they find changes in pedagogy, but even in those cases the changes in curriculum innovation was very modest

We also conclused that educational policies often did not encourage and mobilize ICT in support of significant curriculum changes

MY THOUGHT: AGAIN THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT FINDING

only 59 of 174 cases was evidence provided for sustainability and transferrance to other aspects of the school
– from analysis and based on literature: prof from York Univ created model including essential factors and contributing factors for change

Essential factors
– teacher support (! this is the most important one)
– student support: motivating for teachers to see that students enjoy it, are well supported
– perceived value of change: why would the teacher change if the changes they are making are valued
– peer study groups / communities of practice or learning were found
– teacher PD: non-traditional forms like the above
– without administrative support the change is not sustainable

contributing factors (not essential but they help)
– support from others (peers, parents, external officials)
– innovation champions in the schools
– funding
– supportive polices and plans, esp national and state organization plans

Sometimes the wording in similar studies may change, but the findings are generally consistent

ELFE was an EU study of 15 schools
– ICT part of the school’s culture
– adequate (technical and pedagogical) support was key
– most teachers can’t simply define how their pedagogy can be changed

Teachers are key actors
– new competencies needed
– management of info, groups and time
– technical ICT skills
– pedagogical skills to work with ICT in student-centered pedagogy
– redesigning of teaching profession is needed! (citation was given but I didn’t get it)

Distinction between basic ICT skills and pedagogical use of ICT
– developed a European license on basic ICT skills and competencies
– this is widely used in Europe
– are 7 models: concepts of IT, using computer and managing files, wp, spreadsheet, etc.

more on www.ecdl.com

This is used in civil service as well as education

We have decided, however that knowing

So Dutch gov’t developed a European Pedagogical License (EPICT)
– has 5 compulsory modules, 3 optional
– ICT in teaching and learning, teh computer, search and communication using the Internet, word processing and the writing process, ICT and school innovation (these are the compulsory modules)
– optional modules: thematic, may vary for school types and according to teacher interests
– technical optional modules: layout, digital images, presentations, producation of webpages, databases
– others…

www.epict.org

Philosophy is teach as you preach is the philosophy

In Denmark, there are something like 35K teachers who have done this

Now a story from 2000 about a Gov’t program from England that has not been so successful
– “to equip teachers [and school librarians] with the necessary knowledge, skills and understanding to make sound decisions about when, and when not, and how to use ICT effectively in teaching particular subjects.”

Program was:
– voluntary, but teachers “encouraged”
– each school received ‘entitlement’ (pocket of money) to buy ICT training from a catalog from approved providers
– BUT: school had to submit ICT development plan to demonstrate availability of infrastructure

2004 office for standards in education concluded
– program did not differentiate enough between different teacher ICT skills (they were all lumped together in one training)
– teachers felt there was not enough focus on pedagogical issues, too much on technical
– teachers perceived that presenters didn’t have enough understanding of teaching (they were more technical than teacher oriented)

Teachers also objected because after a full day’s teaching, this after school training was expected along with homework (not all teachers had a computer at home, but they were expected to practice at home)

THIS IS THE ESSENTIAL TIME FACTOR

We need to think about these lessons learned from real world implementations

Another piece of research: “What factors influenced innovative use of ICT by teacher educators?”
– 2nd analysis of ICT monitor (survey) among Dutch primary teacher Educators (Drent, 2005)
– exploratory study
– study not designed to answer this question

Showed innovative use of ICT operationalized with 5 items
– info gathering
– data processing
– presenting
– introducing a new subject
– problem solving

Represents “growth” in use of ICT

MY THOUGHT: THERE IS NO DIFFERENTIATION BETWEEN WELL STRUCTURED AND ILL STRUCTURED PROBLEMS HERE, AS DR. DAVID JOHNASSEN AT THE UNIV OF MISSOURI POINTS OUT IS ESSENTIAL

4 key factors found
1- student oriented pedagogy
2- positive attitude toward ICT
3- years of computer experience
4- personal entrepreneurship

This last one was a new idea, and a construct coming out of the data based on two variables:
1- communiication/interaction: degree of having contacts with colleguges inside and outside their organization about using ICT
2- utilizing your professional network: number of organizations persons from which teacher gets support in using ICT

amount of contacts (inside/outside) initiated by teacher educator for own professional development…

THIS REMINDS ME OF AIM FIGHT!!!

more on personal entreprenuearship
– direct influence on innovative use of ICT
– also indirect influence
– new term….

PET is directly influenced by internal support structure
– support from management
– availability of pedag and technical support

so: the school’s support and the school’s ….

we hope more research will be done on this
– it results in a profile of a teacher educator who uses ICT in an innovative way
– capable of keeping contacts with colleagues and experts on ICT for sake of own professional development
– sees and experiences advantages of innovative uses of ICT in own teaching
– has student-oriented approach

New in-press model for introducing pedagogical use of ICT in schools (ICTOS, in press)

Send him an email and he’ll make sure you get it

side: leadership
top: collaboration and support
middle: vision, knowledge skills and attitudes, software and content, ICT infrastructure
bottom: pedagogical use of ICT for learning

HANS IS GOING TO POST AN IMAGE OF THIS MODEL, HE HAS A BETTER CAMERA WITH HIM AND I’LL LINK TO HIS FLICKER HERE, IT SHOULD SHOW UP IN THE SITE 2006 FLICKR POOL. 🙂

t.plomp at gw dot utwente dot nl

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