Constructing classroom meaning with the integration of computer technology into teaching
This thesis was a study of how teachers construct classroom meaning with the integration of computer technology into their teaching. The study was triggered in response to the overriding hegemony of educational computing as teaching and aims to demonstrate the primacy of teachers' roles as mediators of teaching within the culture-building process, integrating computer technology. The research questions; ''How do teachers construct classroom meaning integrating computer technology?" and "How do teachers' beliefs influence this construction of classroom meaning integrating computer technology into teaching?" were the foci of this study. A unified theoretical framework derived from a critical review of the educational computing research literature and four key theories of meaning construction (the Curriculum enactment theory, the Social Interaction theory, the Sociocultural theory and the Social practice theory) enabled the researcher to interpret the teachers' teaching actions with the integration of computer technology. In order to investigate the research questions, the teaching actions integrating computer technology of six science teachers was examined over five months in the Republic of Singapore. Through a predominantly qualitative method (anthropological methods of field observations and interviews; and, the generation of narratives) the six science teachers' roles in constructing classroom meaning, integrating computer technology was investigated and theorised. The teachers themselves assumed the role of researchers by generating metaphorical statements that encapsulated their teaching with the integration of computer technology. Data consisted of field notes; transcripts of individual interviews, focus group interviews and classroom discourse; metaphorical statements; narratives; and teachers' metaphoric language identified within the interview and lesson transcripts. Data were analysed within a collaborative and participatory mode of interaction between researcher and participants throughout the five months of the study. Findings revealed that teachers' construction of classroom meaning integrating computer technology into teaching involved a complex process of negotiations and mediations of these negotiations through the use of psychological tools enacted within social contexts. Teachers' negotiations created activity structures that are mediated by teachers' psychological tools such that the negotiated components within the activity structures, including the computer technology, all converge onto the transfer of cultural templates. These negotiations and mediations are in tum influenced by the teachers' beliefs, extant and functioning within these social contexts. In this way the critical role played by teachers' beliefs and the complexity of teachers' roles is reinforced.
Advisor: Ethell, Ruth; McMillan, Bruce
Degree Name: Doctor of Philosophy
Degree Discipline: School of Education
Research Type: Thesis