Australian Association of Research in Education (AARE) Conference 2021

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesContribution to conference


Re-evaluating technology in initial teacher education: What pre-service teachers really learn.
In Australia, politicians preach about the importance of preparing the next generation for a future filled with unanticipated problems that they will use technology to solve. Through the various Australian curriculums, and the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (APSTs), teachers have been asked to integrate technology into their practice. The rapid move of schools from on campus to online delivery due to the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted inequities among teachers in terms of digital confidence and competence. Initial teacher education (ITE) programs are expected to prepare graduates with the technological, pedagogical and content knowledge required for effective integration of technology in their teaching. Although all Australian ITE programs are required to address technology related APSTs in order to be accredited, often in dedicated units, the upheaval created by the pandemic suggests that the use of technology in education needs to be taught in all discipline or curriculum areas. Even with the best planning, however, not all Pre-Service Teachers (PSTs) will experience the program in the way it was intended.
The aim of this qualitative study is to investigate the intended and unintended lessons about technology which PSTs have learned in the first two years of their ITE. The intention is to highlight the content and experiences PSTs recognise or respond to in order to refine the inclusion of technology content in ITE. At the start of 2020, just as the pandemic was beginning to impact Australia, 66 PSTs beginning the third year of their ITE were surveyed and asked to reflect upon the ways they had been prepared to use digital technology in education thus far. Tondeur et al.’s (2012) SQD model was used to frame the analysis of the PST responses. The analysis revealed that almost half of PSTs did not feel confident or able to embed ICT in their own lessons to their satisfaction, that teacher educators and mentor teachers were not always seen as positive technology role models, that assumptions were made about PSTs digital competence, and that authentic experiences were highly valued. Recommendations include suggestions that PSTs’ reflections on what they have learned about technology in education in their ITE program should be considered when planning future units.
Tondeur, J., van Braak, J., Sang, G., Voogt, J., Fisser, P., & Ottenbreit-Leftwich, A. (2012). Preparing pre-service teachers to integrate technology in education: A synthesis of qualitative evidence. Computers & Education, 59(1), 134-144. 10.1016/j.compedu.2011.10.009
Period28 Nov 20212 Dec 2021
Event typeConference
LocationMelbourne, Australia, Victoria
Degree of RecognitionInternational