Exploring technology integration by English Language teacher trainees in Uganda

UoM administered thesis: Phd

  • Authors:
  • Bona Maandera

Abstract

Title: Exploring technology integration by English Language teacher trainees in a Ugandan Teacher Training institution. No known empirical study in Uganda has focused on instructional use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) by secondary teacher trainees during both the training in secondary Teacher Training and Education (sTTE) and practicum in secondary schools. This study explored technology integration as intention and action by preservice English Language teacher trainees in a Ugandan sTTE institution. It was guided by three questions that sought to understand trainees’ intention to integrate technology for instruction, and factors associated with that intention; what trainees consider important to facilitate their use of technology for teaching English Language, how they rationalise such factors; and, how they demonstrate use of technology during practicum. Given that use of technology for teaching English Language had not been a focus in sTTE or in expectations of English Language trainees’ using it for instruction, syllabus content and facilitation in a Methods’ course was adjusted to support trainees’ possible use of technology, thereby presenting a discourse of re-positioning in instructional use of technology. Participants were 26 First Year English Language teacher trainees registered for a two-year diploma in sTTE. I used a mixed methods design: whole class surveys established associations between selected external and internal factors – ICT skills, policy-related obligations perceptions and beliefs – and intention; Nominal Group Techniques (NGT) with ten participants established perceptions of what trainees considered important to facilitate their use of technology for teaching English Language and how they rationalized these. With four trainees interviews were used to explore stated intentions, while lesson plans and observations established use of technology during practicum. Data from the surveys was analysed using descriptive analysis; interview and NGT data were analysed using open and thematic analysis. Data from lesson plans and classroom observation were analysed using open, and content, and deductive analysis based on the Technological Pedagogic Content Knowledge (TPACK) framework. In exploring technology integration as intention, whereas survey results showed the number of trainees intending to use technology for instruction increased at the end of the year, no clear association was initially established between intention and factors such as ICT skills, obligations, perceptions, and beliefs. However, probing through NGTs and interviews revealed an association between intention and ICT skills, based on a fluid interpretation of what constitutes instructional technology, to trainees’ experiences in instructional use of technology as secondary school learners, and to explorations during training of other technologies for instructions. Findings showing a parallel increase in perceived usefulness of technology for teaching English and intention to use it for instruction, but a decrease in perceived ease of use of technology and ICT-in-Education beliefs during the study were confounding. In terms of integration as action, the use of mobile phones for instruction by four trainees during practicum showed teacher-controlled use for presenting mainly self-designed content to engage learners. Trainees used groups to manoeuvre challenges of utilising a single mobile phone as instructional technology in relatively large classes. The technological-pedagogical-content knowledge which revealed better knowledge during teaching than in planning use of technology, also suggests an emerging agency of trainees envisioning and profiling of themselves as technology-using-teachers. The study concludes that trainees’ preliminary intention to use technology for instruction initially drew on past vicarious and real experiences in instructional use of technology. Nonetheless, adjustments in the Methods’ course facilitated a re-definition of ICTs for instruction, and of their perceptions and beliefs about instructional technology. These in turn were linked to trainees envisioning of themselves as technology-using teachers. The technological-pedagogic-content knowledge demonstrated during planning and teaching reveal an emerging agency in instructional use of technology, in co-constructing the figured world of use of technology for instruction. Implications for teacher training and limitations of the study are reported.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Advisors
Award date1 Aug 2019