To skill or to construct? Effective Information and Communication Technology professional development within the context of current school reform

Year: 2002

Author: Prestridge, Sarah, Watson, Glenice

Type of paper: Refereed paper

Within the context of a current school reform, professional development in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is seen as a necessary ingredient for all stakeholders involved in educating the children of tomorrow. This paper reports on an initial stage of a research project that is concerned with models of teacher ICT professional development that achieve multiliterate outcomes. The paper explores the alignment between the teachers' understandings of their need for ICT professional development and the demands presented within the reform itself. Initial findings suggest that a conflicting paradigm exist in that the teacher's demand for skill based ICT professional development does not equate with the constructivist ideology present within the school reform. This has consequently lead to two key prepositions. Firstly that skill based training in ICT may not enable the transition to a more constructivist approach to the use of ICT within the classroom. Secondly that the school based reform itself has created an antithetical position that is limiting to the potential educational use of ICT and can be seen as driving the form and function of professional development.