The Future of Education

Edition 12

Accepted Abstracts

Role of Teacher Educators in Preparing Technologically Competent Teachers

Smriti Sharma, Department of Elementary Education, Lady Shri Ram College, University of Delhi (India)

Roopak Chauhan, American India Foundation, Delhi (India)

Abstract

Technological discourse in education is an oft debated issue with multiple philosophical perspectives ranging from bridging digital divide to incorporating technology in education as a pedagogic tool. Despite the upsurge of interest in the paradigmatic shift to technology in education, construct of ‘A Technologically Competent Teacher’ is fraught with tensions with views on the same coming from people belonging to the technology sector and those in the educational domain. Even amongst the educational fraternity there is no consensus regarding who a technologically competent teacher is. The ideas on the same range from – acquiring an understanding of the necessary hardware and requisite software; using ICT for administration purposes such as time-tables, assessment; incorporation of ICT in school curriculum; ICT as a pedagogic tool to using ICT for teacher’s own learning and networking with peers. Almost all the recent policy documents, including National Curriculum Framework 2005 and National Curriculum Framework for Teacher Education 2009, call for incorporation of ICT in school education. Specific focus is laid upon pedagogy in teacher education and there is a call for a shift in the same to make it more meaningful and relevant to the student-teachers to facilitate critical thinking in prospective teachers.  The potential of technology in education discourse specifically pertaining to preparation of teachers is tremendous. While on the one hand teacher need to be prepared to be able to incorporate technological tools while teaching, technology offers the teachers a viable option for their own growth and learning on the other hand. Technology can be a leveller and an empowering tool for both the teachers and students. Preparing teachers to be able to use technology that does not get caught or remain restricted to hardware or computer software can be quite a challenge. Given this background the present research aims to document the perception and experiences of teacher educators in preparing technologically competent teachers. Select teacher educators (chosen through purposive sampling) are interviewed regarding their praxis with the objective of capturing their voices pertaining to preparing technologically competent teachers. The paper, using qualitative analysis, analyses the responses of teacher educators and discusses the possibilities of preparing technologically competent teachers as per these themes- the philosophical underpinning of the teacher preparation programme, the curriculum of teacher education, pedagogy of teacher education, assessment. The paper would culminate with juxtaposing the acuities of the teacher educators with the policy framework on the same and offering suggestions in that light. The paper (through the data) also highlights how the use of films as a pedagogic tool surfaces in the work of teacher educators in preparing technologically competent teachers.

 

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