Teachers' Beliefs and Technology Practices: A Mixed-methods Approach

In a sequential mixed methods design, we sought to examine the relationship between teachers' beliefs and their instructional technology practices among technology-using teachers who worked at technology-rich schools to ultimately describe if change in practice toward a student-centered paradigm occurred. The integrated mixed-methods results provide evidence for the following: (a) teachers use technology most frequently for preparation, management, and administrative purposes; (b) teachers' use of technology to support student-centered practice is rare even among those who work at technology-rich schools and hold student-centered beliefs; (c) teachers in technology-rich schools continue to use technology in ways that support their already existing teacher-centered instructional practices. We conclude that future technology professional development efforts need to focus on integration of technology into curriculum via student-centered pedagogy while attending to multiple contextual conditions under which teacher practice takes place. Future technology research must use mixed methods and consider teachers' beliefs if change in practice is the desired outcome. (Contains 4 tables.)

Palak, D. & Walls, R.T.
Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 41 (4), 417-441.
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Grade Level: 
early elementary
intermediate elementary
middle school
Instructional Support: 
alternate access devices and systems
electronic references and resources
multimedia products and projects
organize and plan
practice and reinforcement activities
NSTA Content Standards: 
personal & social perspectives
science & technology
unifying concepts & processes