Conceptualising the Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) journeys of future teachers and practising teachers: Findings, challenges and reflections

Year: 2003

Author: Finger, Glenn, Charleston, Deborah, O'Brien, Ros, Pugh, Lara

Type of paper: Refereed paper

As documented by MCEETYA (2002) and Finger and Trinidad (2002), all Australian States and Territories have embarked upon systemic Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) initiatives. Those initiatives represent evidence of growing momentum in the changing expectations of schools and school systems to require teachers to undertake a professional development journey which enables the successful integration of ICTs, referred to here as the ICTs Journey. This paper, in providing a conceptualisation of that ICTs Journey as requiring effective pre-service teacher education and continuing professional development in ICTs, draws upon recent major Australian reports Making Better Connections (DEST 2001) and Raising the Standards (DEST 2002) aimed at driving the ICTs agenda further. In addition, this paper provides a summary of key findings from the research undertaken by three Bachelor of Education (Primary) Honours students. This research focused on illuminating and identifying challenges posed by the ICTs journey for future teachers, teachers in their first years of teaching, and for more experienced, practising teachers. Specific investigations were conducted with teacher education students in their third year of preservice teacher education, teachers in their establishing phase of teaching, and experienced teachers who had undertaken a formal, 3 day ICTs professional development program. Implications are identified for preservice teacher education and continuing professional development in terms of the ICTs journey. Finally, reflections are presented by the three Honours research students in terms of the tensions and personal sacrifices made in choosing to undertake research during their preservice teacher education. As co-authors of this paper, this paper highlights the demands upon these student teachers in not only undertaking their own ICTs Journeys but also the intellectual demands and potential rewards of accompanying that ICTs journey with their intensive research journeys.