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The integration of ICT in educational process in IB education—A comparative case study

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This study aims to gain a deep understanding of international baccalaureate (IB) primary years programme (PYP) teachers’ perceptions about the use of information and communication technology (ICT) in IB PYP classes. Moreover, it seeks to critically identify the teachers’ barriers and needs in order to integrate ICT into teaching and learning. Following a qualitative comparative case study research design, semi-structured interviews were conducted with IB PYP teachers and coordinators in Sweden and Greece. Critical theory, critical pedagogy and critical theory of technology (CTT) were used as the theoretical framework for analysing teachers’ perceptions. From a critical point of view, the study reveals that deskilling of teachers, intensification of teachers’ work, low school’s financial budget, parents’ financial burden, commodification and privatisation of IB education are the fundamental factors that negatively intervene in teachers’ work in both schools and perpetuate the status quo of teaching and learning processes through integration of ICT. Keywords: International baccalaureate (IB), international and comparative education (ICE), integration of ICT, critical pedagogy, critical theory of technology (CTT).
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New Trends and Issues
Proceedings on Humanities
and Social Sciences
Volume 6, Issue 1 (2019) 192-204
www.prosoc.eu
Selected Paper of 11th World Conference on Educational Sciences (WCES-2019) 07-10 February 2019, Milano Novotel Milano
Nord Ca’ Granda Convention Center, Italy
The integration of ICT in educational process in
IB educationA comparative case study
Panagiotis Pantzos*, Learning in Engineering Education, School of Industrial Engineering and Management,
Royal Institute of Technology, 100 44 Stockholm, Sweden
Suggested Citation:
Pantzos, P. (2019). The integration of ICT in educational process in IB educationa comparative case study. New
Trends and Issues Proceedings on Humanities and Social Sciences. [Online]. 6(1), pp 192204. Available
from: www.prosoc.eu
Selection and peer review under responsibility of Prof. Dr. Jesus Garcia Laborda, University of Alcala, Spain.
©2019. All rights reserved.
Abstract
This study aims to gain a deep understanding of international baccalaureate (IB) primary years programme (PYP) teachers’
perceptions about the use of information and communication technology (ICT) in IB PYP classes. Moreover, it seeks to
critically identify the teachers’ barriers and needs in order to integrate ICT into teaching and learning. Following a qualitative
comparative case study research design, semi-structured interviews were conducted with IB PYP teachers and coordinators
in Sweden and Greece. Critical theory, critical pedagogy and critical theory of technology (CTT) were used as the theoretical
framework for analysing teachers’ perceptions. From a critical point of view, the study reveals that deskilling of teachers,
intensification of teachers’ work, low school’s financial budget, parents’ financial burden, commodification and privatisation
of IB education are the fundamental factors that negatively intervene in teachers’ work in both schools and perpetuate the
status quo of teaching and learning processes through integration of ICT.
Keywords: International baccalaureate (IB), international and comparative education (ICE), integration of ICT, critical
pedagogy, critical theory of technology (CTT).
* ADDRESS FOR CORRESPONDENCE: Panagiotis Pantzos, Learning in Engineering Education, School of Industrial Engineering and
Management, Royal Institute of Technology, 100 44 Stockholm, Sweden.
E-mail address: pantzos@kth.se /Tel.: 004-673-571-6633
Pantzos, P. (2019). The integration of ICT in educational process in IB educationa comparative case study. New Trends and Issues
Proceedings on Humanities and Social Sciences. [Online]. 6(1), pp 192-204. Available from: www.prosoc.eu
193
1. Introduction
Up to 20 years now, several empirical studies have focused on the factors that encourage and
facilitate primary school teachers to use information and communication technology (ICT) in the
school environment. In addition, it is a very common practice that these empirical studies also
examine and identify the factors that prevent the integration of ICT in teaching and learning
processes. The factors that complicate the use and finally the integration of ICT in schools are usually
called barriers or obstacles and are followed by teachers’ needs, which contribute their efforts to
more successful integration of ICT in educational process.
However, the problematic situation of these studies lies in the fact of their positivist interpretations
of their findings and their solutions on the integration of ICT in education. Nevertheless, the present
study departs from the argument that assumption that the classical consideration of the educational
process as a neutral process, antiseptically isolated from the concepts of politics and their ideologies,
power, history and social context can no longer be accepted with conviction (Γούναρη & Γρόλλιος,
2010). Aronowitz & Giroux (1985) define ideology within education as a way of thinking about the
world that refers to the production and representation of values, ideas and beliefs that members of a
society accept as natural and common sense. More specifically, ideology refers to the production of
concern and meaning.
The interpretation of the problematic implementation and integration of ICT in education is often
identified as a result of the expected trajectory of educational reforms, which by its nature has the
aspects of ‘gradual’, ‘slowly evolving’ or ‘gradual adaptation’. Thus, the proposals and discourses are
regulated towards: a) accelerating the reform processes, whereas consist of increasing expenditure
and investments for digital equipment, b) intensive in-service teacher’s training and c) the
development of educational software and digital educational material (Cuban, 2001; Eurydice, 2004;
Kozma, 2003; OECD, 2001; OECD, 2005).
However, it can be claimed that the interpretations of slow development and slow revolution, as
well as the proposed solutions in order to cope with the issue of integration of ICT in educational
process, are disorienting regarding to general crucial schooling crisis, which effects to the use of ICT in
education. This happens due to disregarding the fact that the use of ICT cannot be autonomous and
identified in isolation from the wider social, economic, cultural and educational context in which it is
applied (Apple, 1998; Bromley, 1998). Consequently, both interpretations and solutions are based on
low decision-making.
The process of integrating ICT into teaching and learning is a complex practice which may involves a
number of obstacles/difficulties. These difficulties are known as barriers (Schoepp, 2005). Different
studies have classified the barriers and teachers’ needs into several categories. Research have shown
that barriers are: (a) lack of confidence and the teachers’ restraint on ICT knowledge and skills, which
cause stress and fear in their efforts to use ICT in schools; (b) lack of competence, which is directly
related to lack of teacher’s confidence; (c) lack of access to resources, which discourages teachers
from the integration of ICT in the primary education; (d) lack of experts on ICT in education and ICT
coordinators in schools; (e) teachers’ beliefs about teaching and learning mostly negative attitudes
and resistance to change; (f) limited project-related experience; (g) difficulties to re-organise
innovative practices involving digital technology; (h) teachers' unwillingness to change their teaching
practices; (i) the exclusion of ICT from the curriculum; (j) teachers’ fear of change; (k) lack of support
from school administration; (l) insufficient financing of teacher professional development on ICT in
teaching and (m) lack of time, which are obstacles affecting on the integration of ICT in primary
classrooms because of teachers’ workload and long-hour schooling schedules. On the other hand, the
teachers need the below terms and conditions in their efforts to use or/and integrate ICT in
educational process: (a) more digital resources including software and hardware; (b) effective
professional development; (c) sufficient time and technical support; (d) ICT skills and pedagogical
training on integration of ICT in teaching and learning; there is insufficient pace of in-service training
Pantzos, P. (2019). The integration of ICT in educational process in IB educationa comparative case study. New Trends and Issues
Proceedings on Humanities and Social Sciences. [Online]. 6(1), pp 192-204. Available from: www.prosoc.eu
194
programmes for primary teachers toward integration of ICT into teaching and learning; (e) educational
scenarios with implementation of digital technology for all school subjects and (f) educational reform
including new curriculum with integration of digital technology on teacher education programme in
the higher education (Badia, Meneses & Sigales, 2013; Blannin, 2015; Hew & Brush, 2007;
Munyengabe, Yiyi, He & Hitimana, 2017; Papaioannou & Charalambous, 2011; Pelgrum, 2001;
Shadreck, 2015; Sipila, 2014; Vrasidas, 2015).
The lack of research on the integration of ICT in international baccalaureate (IB) education is an
inhibitory factor for this study to make comparisons but on the other hand contributes to the
production of new knowledge on the topic and makes the study unique. However, the
research findings of the project Integration of Technology in the IB Diploma Programme in 2014
shown that while the use of digital technology in teaching and learning is more and more
qualitative and quantitative developing in IB education, the pedagogical issues of technology
should hold over priority of stakeholders who are leading these developments whether
they are students, teachers, IB and ICT coordinators, IB curriculum developers, or education
managers. Nevertheless, according to IB teachers’ perceptions, the research has shown that the
teachers’ barriers that prevent to ICT use in educational processes are: (a) insufficient technical
support; (b) lack of funds to purchase educational content/material; (c) no, or unclear, benefits on
the using of ICT for teaching; (d) pressure to prepare students for the international exams; (e)
school space organisation and school time organisation; (f) appropriate ICT material does not exist
in IB schools and (h) not enough computers in IB school classrooms (Cooker, Crook & Ainsworth,
2014).
2. Aim of the study
This study seeks to develop a critical understanding of the IB primary years programme (PYP)
teachers’ perceptions on the integration of ICT in teaching and learning processes. The overall aim is
to gain a deep understanding of IB PYP teachers’ perceptions on ICT benefits as well as they integrate
ICT in their teaching. In addition, the purpose of this study is to critically evaluate and explain the
barriers and needs of PYP teachers in their efforts to integrate ICT into teaching and learning
processes. This educational research also focuses on the comparison across two IB schools in two
different countries, namely, Sweden and Greece and investigates if there are any similarities and
differences in the research findings. Research on the selected level of education (PYP) in this study is
significant because the several challenges that are faced by the school community, teachers and
students, should be resolved by the fundamental basis of education and it is none other than the
Primary Education. If you do not cope with the obstacles from the root of problem, then they will
perpetuate and transfer to higher levels of education (Pantzos, 2017).
Finally, this research on integration of ICT in education is crucial in the field of international and
comparative education (ICE). The common theoretical framework about the role of ICT in the PYP in
different IB schools in all around the world fits within ICE research.
2.1. Research questions
What are teachers’ perceptions on the usefulness of ICT in teaching and learning in IB PYP?
How is ICT integrated into teaching and learning in IB PYP classrooms?
What are the teachers’ barriers that prevent them from integrating ICT in teaching and learning
processes?
What are the teachers’ needs so that they can integrate ICT successfully into teaching and learning
processes?
Pantzos, P. (2019). The integration of ICT in educational process in IB educationa comparative case study. New Trends and Issues
Proceedings on Humanities and Social Sciences. [Online]. 6(1), pp 192-204. Available from: www.prosoc.eu
195
What is the role of the official ICT policy in PYP classes in IB schools?
What are the similarities and the differences in the findings between the two IB PYP school
settings?
3. Theoretical frameworks and pedagogical approaches
The fundamental areas of knowledge that informed the execution and design of this study as well
as the interpretation of the findings are: critical theory and education, critical pedagogy and
technology, critical theory of technology (CTT) and critical perspectives on integration of ICT in
education.
More specifically, the basic philosophical aim of critical theory is to uncover the interests at work in
particular situations and to interrogate the legitimacy of those interests, identifying the extent to
which they are legitimate in their service of equality and democracy. Its intention is transformative: to
transform society and individuals to social democracy (Cohen, Manion & Morrison, 2007, p. 26).
Critical pedagogy and critical theory are interrelated, since critical pedagogy is an educational
interpretation of postmodern critical theory (Kanpol, 1994). Moreover, critical pedagogy can be
epitomised as a practical and political effort that tries to influence experiences that will impact on the
understanding of educational issues (Giroux & Simon, 1989).
CTT refuses the techno-utopianism of those who claim there is a panacea-technical solution for all
challenges and barriers facing teachers and students. In addition, CTT analyses that technologies are
not separate from society but are adapted to specific social and political systems and their use urges
and reinforces the values, perceptions and truths of those systems. Thus, technology is not
considered as economically or politically neutral (Feenberg, 2009).
Finally, many positivist studies have shown that the use and finally the integration of ICT in teaching
and learning can be succeeded, if the experts realise the barriers and the needs about the use of ICT
for educational benefit, as well as understand these research findings. Thus, innovative ICT policies
and funding investments are implied. However, five enduring myths have been discussed in order to
develop a critical framework and understanding of the ways in which these findings are used not only
to reinforce state apparatus but also to redefine social practices within education. According to Waller
(2007), these five enduring myths on the utilisation of ICT in education are summarised as:
(1) technology is considered as a neutral tool; (2) setting ICT in schools and classrooms automatically
leads learning gains; (3) increasing accessibility of educational technology makes the teachers more
efficient and professional; (4) equipping classrooms and schools boost ICT equals to school
improvement and (5) students should have increased ICT literacy so that they become employable
(p. 289).
4. Research methodology
4.1. Research design
The research design fits out a framework for the gathering and analysis of data (Bryman, 2016,
p. 40). This educational research, case study, is going to be a comparative one. This research is a cross-
national study and for this reason the Bray and Thomas Cube for Comparative Education Analyses is
applied for the setting of a comparative framework for this research study (Bray, Adamson & Mason,
2014, p. 9). More specifically, the research focuses on integration of ICT in teaching and learning as a
teaching method from the aspect of education. It takes IB PYP teachers as the nonlocational
demographics group and focuses on the geographic/locational level of Sweden and Greece and their
IB schools in Stockholm and Athens area.
Pantzos, P. (2019). The integration of ICT in educational process in IB educationa comparative case study. New Trends and Issues
Proceedings on Humanities and Social Sciences. [Online]. 6(1), pp 192-204. Available from: www.prosoc.eu
196
4.2. Research strategy
This study seeks to investigate the participants’ beliefs on integration of ICT in teaching and
learning in international primary education. Because of the nature of the research question, this
research is a qualitative case study of an interpretive nature, within the frames of critical approach
and pedagogy. Furthermore, interpretivism is used to analyse and compare the qualitative data based
on the teachers’ perceptions and critically identify the way these teachers’ beliefs are shaping the
integration of ICT in teaching and learning. In addition, the purpose of this research is not to
understand and gain knowledge of the cases by using an inductive approach but to reveal the hidden
mechanisms that influence to participants’ opinions, through critical approaches, since knowledge is
socially constructed and is produced by power, as well as, it is an expression of power rather than
truth (Mack, 2010, pp. 910). As a consequence, in this study, abductive reasoning characterises the
use of theory.
4.3. Research methods
As the nature of an interview is a production of knowledge in a qualitative research, semi-
structured interviews are conducted in this study. The questionnaire of the semi-structured interviews
includes questions and sub-questions into thematic categories so that the research questions are
covered (Bryman, 2016, p. 468). Moreover, it is important to highlight that two separate interview
questionnaires are designed, one for the teachers and one for the coordinators, tailored to the
different roles that they have at schools.
4.4. Sampling design and selection process
Because of the characteristics of a qualitative research (Bryman, 2016, p. 407; Cohen et al., 2007,
p. 114), purposive sampling is used in this research. The teachers and coordinators participating in this
research are selected based on four criteria, ensuring that: (a) participating schools are IB
international primary schools; (b) schools are located in urban areas, such as Stockholm and Athens
for better accessibility; (c) teachers and coordinators interviewed are teaching in PYP classes, using ICT
tools in their teaching and (d) scalable use of ICT by teachers in their classrooms. These criteria are
determined for compatible and reliable sample in both countries. Two IB PYP schools are selected
from each country so that the research can be feasible. In each school, four teachers and one
coordinator are interviewed. In total, ten participants are interviewed taking place in this educational
research.
4.5. Data collection methods
For investigating the beliefs, views and practices of teachers and coordinators, semi-structured
interviews are employed and open-ended questions are conducted with the interview process to
be rather flexible, lasting approximately 45 minutes. Both teachers and coordinators in Sweden
and Greece are interviewed in English, since the main language of instruction in IB schools is
English. Finally, interviews are recorded using digital tools, such as voice recorder mobile phone
application and Skype recording, and the collected data are transcribed and analysed
thematically.
5. Data analysis
IB ICT policy documents are analysed using qualitative content analysis. As noted by Bryman (2016),
this approach comprises a searching-out of underlying themes in the materials being analysed as well
as it lies at the heart of the coding approaches that are often employed in the analysis of qualitative
data (pp. 563565).
Pantzos, P. (2019). The integration of ICT in educational process in IB educationa comparative case study. New Trends and Issues
Proceedings on Humanities and Social Sciences. [Online]. 6(1), pp 192-204. Available from: www.prosoc.eu
197
A thematic analysis approach is employed for the qualitative data analysis, since it is a common
approach that can be conducted in relation to qualitative content analysis (Bryman, 2016). In addition,
charts of key themes and subthemes for the interviews are made. More specifically, making themes is
considered as the links of making comparisons between the two IB schools into two different
countries, Sweden and Greece.
Furthermore, Bereday’s comparative design is adopted as a four-step method of comparative
analysis from an interpretive point of stance, consisting of description, interpretation, juxtaposition
and simultaneous comparison (as cited in Manzon, 2007, pp. 8687). Afterwards, differences and
similarities are determined and in the discussion part of this study, the empirical data are compared
simultaneously. Finally, divergences and convergences among participants’ discourses, schools and
policy are identified.
All in all, it is important to point out that throughout the qualitative research analysis, the critical
approach theoretical framework is applied in order to investigate and identify the perspectives that
are drawn from the data.
5.1. Findings
The main themes identified after the re-reading and coding of interviews included teachers’
perception. The data are organised following the below themes and sub-themes including questions of
the interview guide (see Figures 1 and 2). However, despite the fact that the main themes that are
identified in IB PYP school in Greece remain the same as in Sweden, the sub-themes are different as
following below.
Figure 1. Themes and sub-themes for Sweden
Pantzos, P. (2019). The integration of ICT in educational process in IB educationa comparative case study. New Trends and Issues
Proceedings on Humanities and Social Sciences. [Online]. 6(1), pp 192-204. Available from: www.prosoc.eu
198
Figure 2. Themes and sub-themes for Greece
The teachers identified several different kinds of immediate cause about the necessity of using ICT
in IB PYP, including IB curriculum, IBO and government.
In research-inquiry process, I think that it is a quiet obvious reason because of IB PYP
framework and curriculum (teacher-Sweden).
The teachers try to find and use free source available on the Internet; however, the majority of
teachers pay on their own electronic subscriptions to download digital content which fits to IB PYP
subjects. In addition, the teachers avoid to search on IB organisation for digital content because of lack
of sources and ICT material on IBO website.
I would like to say also about how much I am disappointed about the IB official documents
regarding to teaching material. It is so boring to find content from IBO sites (teacher-Sweden).
The teachers usually ignore the fact that the integration of ICT is when the technology-inspired
pedagogy and ways of thinking, since they are not following a specific pedagogical approach in their
teaching according to their perceptions, but they serve the cognitivist, constructivist and behaviourist
approaches unconsciously and equally good, and they are conducive to individualistic confinement, as
well as to more cooperative forms of their teaching.
...If I observe that the students use ICT in an inefficient way then I use the traditional way of
teaching with books and exercises. In that case, I prefer to show them special videos through
projector, or/and to give copies of articles or magazines and work on it (teacher-Sweden).
The teachers seemed to cannot realise the complexity of critical thinking for empowerment. Both
teachers and coordinators set dispositions, such as creative and the desire to be well-informed as
relevant to critical thinking.
The ICT can foster critical thinking of students and this learning outcome could be seemed when
the students present their projects from the way of presenting their findings of inquires as well as
by what apps and programmes, they used to create something (IB PYP coordinator-Greece).
Pantzos, P. (2019). The integration of ICT in educational process in IB educationa comparative case study. New Trends and Issues
Proceedings on Humanities and Social Sciences. [Online]. 6(1), pp 192-204. Available from: www.prosoc.eu
199
The teachers did not able to find extra time for learning the full potential of technologies in order to
feel more comfortable with ICT. The lack of time for the plan, use and finally the integration of ICT in
the educational process seemed to be due to the intensification of teachers' work.
All of the process of integration of ICT is very hard to be planned. It takes a lot of time for me and
it takes a lot of time for the children and it does not have always fast results for them (teacher-
Sweden).
The teachers underlined the significance of their professional development as one of the key
aspects to overcome the problems and difficulties. Both teachers’ perceptions and coordinator’s
evaluation are seemed that there is heterogeneity in ICT teachers’ training needs.
I believe that all the teachers in the school should have ICT training and this hasn’t happened yet.
The school leadership and school’s financial budget are the cause (teacher-Sweden).
Both IB PYP coordinators and teachers claimed that the school does not receive enough support
from the municipality (the state follows decentralised system) in Sweden and the IB school is fully
private in Greece, as well as, there is no economic support from the IBO as it is a non-profit
governmental organisation.
The IB organisation provides us only the philosophy and guidelines but there is no enough support
on ICT implementation and integration in teaching and learning (teacher-Sweden).
Finally, most of the teachers both in two countries stated that they do not have any idea about the
existence of an official document on IB PYP ICT policy about the role of ICT in IB PYP classrooms.
However, if there is any news or new strategy for integrating ICT in to PYP, they are probably going to
be informed through meetings or emails from their coordinator.
No, I do not know that there is IB PYP ICT policy! I cannot remember! (teacher-Sweden)
I must tell you that it is very weak! The including descriptions and their’s content are very brief,
complex and general. I do not give any further matter on this document. I have already forgot it
(teacher-Greece).
6. Discussion of findings
6.1. Comparing teachers’ and coordinators’ perceptions
With regards to how and what IB PYP teachers use digital content in their classes, all teachers from
both IB PYP schools try to find and use free sources available on the Internet. However, the majority of
teachers need to pay on their own for electronic subscriptions in order to download digital content
which matches to IB PYP subjects. First, this factor causes additional financial burden for teachers as
well as they are reluctant, scared and determined to accept the status quo of school. Second, as Apple
(2003) has stated, the teachers’ reliance on pre-packaged software can be the reason for losing skills
and dispositions, since local curriculum planning and evaluation become obsolete (deskilling, see also
Apple, 2008). Through searching for online curriculum materials to fit in teaching and learning
processes, teachers become ‘isolated executioners of someone else’s plans’ (Apple, 2003, p. 448).
Moreover, the already pre-packaged material can determine the content and format of the lessons
lacking further intervention of teachers (separation of conception from execution). Thus, the
technocratic definitions of technology result in non-social groups of technical skills and neutral
mechanisms and it is appearing just as a common sense. Finally, teachers are used to perform these
practices, however, without understanding why these occur in this rationale way.
In accordance with the methods and practices of teaching and learning with ICT, teachers in both IB
PYP schools predominantly emphasise more on the implementation of New Technologies than the
integration of ICT in teaching and learning in which learning theory or pedagogy should be
implemented. For this reason, they are often trapped in philological and overused progressive
Pantzos, P. (2019). The integration of ICT in educational process in IB educationa comparative case study. New Trends and Issues
Proceedings on Humanities and Social Sciences. [Online]. 6(1), pp 192-204. Available from: www.prosoc.eu
200
pedagogical theories and methods, and their depreciation in an adapted application to, in other
respects, conservative and technocratic teaching, and learning practices and adhere to encyclopaedic
curricula such as IB PYP ICT policy and curriculum (Ντρενογιάννη, 2010).
Furthermore, the teachers in both IB schools seemed to still struggle to define and orient critical
thinking and how fostering critical thinking could be achieved through integration and implementation
of ICT in the educational process. The teachers cannot realise the complexity of critical thinking for
empowerment. Both teachers and coordinators set dispositions, such as to become creative and the
desire to be well-informed as relevant to critical thinking. However, according to Kincheloe (2000)
when the psychologised critical thinking is trapped and is sophisticated within a modernist logic and
its dispositions, this is called uncritical critical thinking. Hence, it is considered as hyper-rationalised,
lowered micrological skills that support a pattern of procedural knowledge. Moreover, the political
and ethical orientations of thinking have been removed from the uncritical critical thinking (p. 26). In
an uncritical context, such as the predetermined curricula and educational policy documents, the
teachers cannot realise the complexity of critical thinking for empowerment (Macedo, 1994). The
critical content analysis of IB ICT document reveals that the formulated notion of critical thinking is
based on the norms of ratiocination, behaviourist approach and critical thinking psychologised
patterns, which completely matches in the modern neo-liberal democracies, such as Sweden and
Greece.
As far ICT equipment is concerned that all IB PYP school teachers in Sweden stated that there are
not enough computers or laptops, iPads and smartboards in their PYP classrooms and in some cases,
they need to share them. In addition, the teachers in Greece believed that the lack of ICT equipment is
due to low school’s financial budget and parents’ financial burden for purchasing iPads for their
children. Cuban (1993) and Scrimshaw (1997) emphasise that any ‘potential’ of ICT in schools arises
out not from the ICTs itself, but out of the critical interaction between teachers and students in the
context of using ICT in the classroom and in the context of integration of ICT in teaching and learning
(Cuban, 1993; Scrimshaw, 1997).
Besides this, the IB PYP teachers and coordinator in Sweden seemed to agree with each other about
the lack of time as the most important barrier on their efforts to successfully integration of ICT in the
educational process. Moreover, despite the fact that the teachers in Greece did not refer to lack of
time as an obstacle, they seemed to spend a lot of their leisure time on searching and preparation of
ICT’s implementation in their classrooms. Apple (2008), regarding digital technology in schools, argues
that the students’ needs are mostly ignored or dispelled by teachers and educational policy who rush
to find a certain negativity and complaints as typical adolescent behaviour in schools. This happens
because of huge teachers’ workload on other managerial and control practices, out of their framework
responsibilities in school. Furthermore, teachers’ working practice is also intensified outside of the
school setting, since they use their laptops or computers or tablets at home, working online and being
contactable through mobile phones at any time both in school and home (intensification of work). The
intensification of teachers’ workload not only influences their efficiency and professionalism in
schools, but also teachers’ leisure time in their lives. According to Waller (2007), the intensification of
teachers’ workload blurs the boundaries between work and leisurethe lifetime/work-time
distinction becomes unclear. Thus, educational technology enhances the surplus value of teachers (p.
303). From the above, it is evident the fact that teachers perceive lack of time as a barrier to the
integration of ICT, which could be critically explained by the intensification of their work.
In addition, the IB PYP teachers in Greece identified that English language can be a barrier to
students’ learning through the integration of ICT. The students in Greece face English language
difficulties on iPads’ apps. However, despite the fact that there was not the same issue in the IB PYP
school in Sweden, research has shown that many teachers who are working in international schools
referred problems with Apple Company in Sweden, which had to do with multiple downloading of
apps that needs to be tested in the English setting (Jackson & Cooper, 2016). Knowledge is
commercialised; students have become objects of the commodification of education and schools
Pantzos, P. (2019). The integration of ICT in educational process in IB educationa comparative case study. New Trends and Issues
Proceedings on Humanities and Social Sciences. [Online]. 6(1), pp 192-204. Available from: www.prosoc.eu
201
operate as businesses (Boyd, 2016). Under this prism, it is revealed that these companies are not
taking into consideration languages’ settings, as well as students’ and teachers’ needs, since the
pedagogical design and mission of these apps are lacking in their development.
In accordance with teachers’ needs, it is identified that teachers’ training in integration of ICT in
educational process is a necessity in both IB PYP schools and the hiring of ICT coordinator-pedagogue.
Actually, it is also mentioned that teachers’ training on ICT and the needs of support from school
administration and the state are interrelated. The teachers in both schools claimed that their
professional knowledge and ICT skills are insufficient. In addition, governmental and local authorities
provide increased external technical support to the schools that is based on private IT companies;
however, their support is insufficient and problematic. Finally, according to teachers’ perceptions, the
persons who work as ICT staff in schools are unqualified and they do not have any kind of pedagogical
training (Jackson & Cooper, 2016). It can be argued that state funding to private IT companies should
not be a solution for the teachers, since they do not participate in decision-making.
Finally, the teachers and coordinators in both IB PYP schools seem to ignore and resist to IB PYP ICT
policy document, since the most of the teachers do not have any idea or it is considered very weak
and not enough to help them on the integration of ICT in their teaching. It can be argued here that
teachers show their first signs of resistance to the school’s educational policy, although the general
impact from the school’s hegemony on them. Through history, it is evident that workers have created
resistance to processes in which they show lack of obedience towards the authority. An apparent
example can be strikes in order to achieve higher wages or other benefits. Therefore, Michael Apple
states that viewing schools as absolute generative institutions is illogical. Accordingly, students in a
classroom show aspects of disagreement, resistance and proportionate autonomy. Social
reproduction is by its nature a contradictory process, not something that simply happens without a
struggle (Apple, 1995, p. 84). This can be evident though the students’ rejections of the explicit and
hidden curriculum and the teachers’ resistance to the dominant educational policy (Carrero &
Cunnigham, 2016, p. 132).
6.2. Convergences and divergences between IB PYP teachers’ perceptions on integration of ICT in teaching and
learning in Sweden and Greece
In conclusion of discussion of the research findings, it can be asserted that there are not many
differences among the teachers’ and coordinators’ perceptions in both IB PYP schools in Sweden and
Greece. Despite the fact that teachers did not state exactly the same barriers of integrating ICT in their
schools, this does not mean that there is a vital divergence among their perceptions. This occurs due
to the fact that some of those different obstacles are already interrelated with other aspects of
research findings, such as the digital content or teachers’ needs. Therefore, it would be a good
suggestion that the factors that cause these few differences would be further investigated.
Finally, with regards to the teachers’ perceptions on their needs for facing the above barriers in
their efforts to integrate ICT in teaching and learning successfully, these focus on teachers’ training,
supporting from the school leadership and the state, and school funding. Although teachers from both
schools expressed the same needs, this study critically identified that these needs are not likely to be
met by the state-government or a new reform of educational policy, since similar attempts have failed
in the past.
7. Limitations and delimitations of the research
This study is conducted as part of a master programme in ICE at Stockholm University. It is an
undeniable fact that any research study has certain limitations and delimitations, which affects its
complete accuracy and progress. First of all, as a master thesis, the analysis of the data cannot be
exhaustive due to restricted time and the limited size of this study.
Pantzos, P. (2019). The integration of ICT in educational process in IB educationa comparative case study. New Trends and Issues
Proceedings on Humanities and Social Sciences. [Online]. 6(1), pp 192-204. Available from: www.prosoc.eu
202
This educational research is qualitative and comparative case study limited to two primary IB
schools, in Sweden and Greece. As a consequence, this could be considered as a small-scale study. For
this reason, the production of generalisations is not the aim of this research, rather to critically
interpret teachers’ perceptions through critical theory and other critical studies within ICE and ICT in
education.
In conclusion, it is also important to underline that the IB official document referring to the role of
ICT in PYP is not used as a panacea tool to accurately analyse its content. It is used as a guide for a
better understanding of IB ICT policy philosophy and teachers’ perceptions on integration of ICT in
teaching and learning.
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