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Singaporean and Taiwanese pre-service teachers’ beliefs and their attitude towards ICT: A comparative study

The Asia-Pacific Education Researcher (Impact Factor: 0.96). 06/2009; 18(1). DOI: 10.3860/taper.v18i1.1040

ABSTRACT Teachers’ epistemological and pedagogical beliefs and their attitude about ICT are identified as the second-order barrier for the integration of ICTinto classrooms. In this paper, we report the findings obtained from our recent survey and conducted among,Singaporean and Taiwanese,pre-service teachers (N=108). The results indicate that the teachers’ epistemological beliefs were generally relativistic. They were also inclined to believe rather strongly the constructivist notion of teaching. The profile we obtained in this study seems to suggest that pre-service teachers from Singapore and Taiwan are holding beliefs that are congruent to the education reform efforts. However, the teachers’ attitude about ICT use does not seem to relate to their epistemological and pedagogical beliefs. The findings suggest that further effort needs to be taken in order to foster more productive use of ICT to support constructivism-oriented teaching. These results need to be verified with further study. Keywords:Epistemological beliefs , pedagogical beliefs, attitudes toward ICT

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    ABSTRACT: Available research is helpful to list a wide variety of factors influencing ICT adoption and integration in classroom teaching. But, existing studies hardly center on the combined impact of these variables. In addition, little research is available set up in the Chinese context. The latter is important given the rather limited extent ICT is currently being used in China and given the different cultural context in which the interplay between teacher beliefs and educational practices has yet been little documented. The present study centers on the complex interplay of a number of internal teacher variables to explain ICT classroom integration. These variables comprise "teachers' constructivist teaching beliefs", "teacher attitudes towards computers in education", "teachers' computer motivation", "teacher perception of ICT-related policy". A survey was set up, involving 820 Chinese primary school teachers. Path modeling was used to explore the direct and indirect effects of the teacher related variables on their level of classroom ICT integration. Firstly, two distinctive types of ICT use can be distinguished in this Chinese context: (a) Teacher supportive use of ICT that refers to the use of ICT for e.g., student administration, preparing worksheets, developing evaluation activities, keeping track of pupils' learning progress, (b) Classroom use of ICT to support and enhance the actual teaching and learning process. The results show that classroom use of ICT directly depends on teachers' computer motivation and the supportive use of ICT. Teachers' constructivist beliefs, their attitudes towards computers in education and perceptions about the ICT-related school policy influence ICT integration in an indirect way. The results demonstrate how a the complex interplay between teacher related variables and ICT integration in the classroom is partly in line with findings in non-Asian contexts. A number of differences can be explained by the particular Chinese context. In particular an indirect relationship was found between teachers' constructivist beliefs and their level of ICT integration. This is partly be explained by the Chinese educational tradition, based on the Confucian philosophy emphasizing "a group-based, teacher-dominated, and centrally organized pedagogical culture".

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