ICT is nothing more than an opportunity for students and teachers to bludge': The contradictions within pre-service teachers views of ICT use for themselves and their students.

Year: 2012

Author: Smith, Joanna, Roberts, Philip, Leonard, Simon

Type of paper: Abstract refereed


Chair: Dr Simon Leonard

While developing their teacher identities, pre-service teachers are experiencing tensions on what it is to be a 'good' teacher.  In this paper we explore evidence that these tensions are driving practice in apparently contradictory ways.  Using the idea of cross-field effects (Rawolle 2005) this paper illustrates how pre-service teachers perceptions of good teaching are aligned with the notion of the reformed teacher contained in the public policy discourse.  However the 'back to basics' of literacy and numeracy and architecture of performativity contained in this discourse is contradictory to the promotion of ICT and the collaborative teacher identity and collaborative pedagogies it envisages.  This tension is evident in students work as they struggle to incorporate ideas of a reflective practitioner within a reformist teacher identity, while rejecting the value of ICT and the pedagogies it enables.

In an assessment item early in their course students were asked to respond to one of nine 'provocations' designed to challenge pre-services teachers assumptions about the nature of professional practice. Using evidence gathered from an analysis of these student assignments this paper shows that a number of pre-service teachers chose to address provocations on the kind of teacher they wanted to be through the analysis of a specific event they had observed in school-based professional experience.  Common themes in their analysis included a desire to avoid power struggles with students, the importance of positive teacher-student relationships, and the adoption of diverse pedagogies built on foundations such as Bloom's Taxonomy and Gardner's Multiple Intelligence Theory.  In contrast, when addressing the use of Information Communication Technologies (ICT) in their teaching practice, the pre-service teachers provided a persistent critique of the use of ICT as disruptive to classroom control.  This was also in contrast to the survey results of the value the pre-service teachers saw in the use of ICT in their own university studies.


Rawolle, S. (2005) Cross-field effects and temporary social fields: a case study of the mediatization of recent Australian knowledge economy policies, Journal of Education Policy, 20:6, 705-724