Information and communication technology in Cyprus primary schools : a study of the integration process, teachers' use, and the influential factors
Thesis or dissertation
- © 2011 Manolis Michaelides. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.
Information and Communication Technology (ICT), and specifically computer technology, was abruptly introduced in Cyprus primary schools in the early 1990s without ensuring that the facilitating conditions for its unhindered infusion into education’s core processes of teaching and learning were in place. Nevertheless, the recently launched overall reform of the Cypriot educational system intensified and systematised the process of ICT integration in schools. In this context, the thesis researches the process of ICT integration in Cyprus primary education, taking into consideration teachers’ perceptions on a diversity of issues related to ICT implementation, the factors that seem to be influencing ICT use, as well as their professional development in ICT.
The analysis of the collected data resulted in several findings, indicating that the process of ICT integration is unsatisfactory, since teachers’ ICT use is low and restricted only to a small number of resources. Simultaneously, the applications of ICT are mostly for tasks that are not directly connected to actual teaching and learning. Overall, the study shows that ICT did not manage to be smoothly interwoven into teachers’ everyday instructional practices, nor did it manage to be naturally incorporated into students’ learning environment as an integral part of their everyday learning experiences.
Teachers indicate that the lack of time, their uncertainty of how to integrate ICT in their work, the unsuitable curriculum, the problematic access to equipment, the frequent technical problems, as well as the lack of immediate technical support, are some of the most significant factors affecting ICT use. Nevertheless, the study shows that there is a positive ground on which ICT can be successfully and meaningfully integrated in schools, like teachers’ positive ICT attitudes, their willingness and demand for quality ICT training, and the positive impact that ICT seems to have on some of teachers’ professional responsibilities. Additionally, the study indicates that teachers’ use of audiovisual resources, their ICT self-efficacy beliefs, their attitudes toward ICT, their pedagogical beliefs, as well as their views on the barriers and enablers to ICT use are significant predictors of teachers’ ICT use.
Based on the study’s results, the thesis suggests that the ongoing reform of the educational system provides a great opportunity to set up the right conditions that will facilitate the sound integration of ICT in schools. This includes the reconsideration of ICT integration’s theoretical background and objectives, the release of time to teachers as a result of the new curriculum, the reconsideration of teachers’ professional development in ICT, as well as the establishment of an updated technical infrastructure and a solid technical support mechanism.
- Centre for Educational Studies, The University of Hull
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