Teachers’ struggles to use technology in career magnet schools
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Do teachers expect the learning environment to change in response to new technology? Or do they expect the technology to adapt to their routine classroom practices? Or is it a combination of both? Underlying these questions are teachers’ views of what they teach and how it should be taught. This paper discusses our work with a group of teachers at a Mid-western, suburban vocational school to implement a computer-based approach in teaching integrated curricular units. We examined the ways in which technology was used to help enhance instruction in the core areas of mathematics and science within career-centered classrooms. We found that teachers were reluctant to change their curricula and instead expected technology to adapt to their current teaching methods. These teaching methods reflected a static view of curriculum and the learning environment. Data were collected from interviews, email, and classroom observations of three teachers. We discuss the complex interactions among teacher attitudes, core content, technology, and career concerns that curriculum developers may face while engaging in technology-based reform efforts.