ICT and pedagogy

ict and pedagogy a review of the research literature and importance of ict in pedagogy
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Published Date:14-07-2017
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ICT in Schools Research and Evaluation Series – No.18 ICT and pedagogy A review of the research literature A report to the DfES by Margaret Cox, Mary Webb, Chris Abbott, Barry Blakeley, Tony Beauchamp and Valerie RhodesContents Executive summary 3 Introduction 5 Section 1 Theories of pedagogy 7 Section 2 ICT pedagogy and attainment in subject areas 12 Section 3 Emerging themes 24 Section 4 Case studies 29 Conclusions 33 Priorities for future research 35 References 36 1ICT and pedagogy 2to use the whiteboard to present dramas to the whole Executive summary class that they had planned and filmed themselves. The evidence from the research literature shows Studies show that the most effective uses of ICT are that teachers’ pedagogies and pedagogical those in which the teacher and the software can reasoning influence their uses of ICT and thereby challenge pupils’ understanding and thinking, either pupils’ attainment. through whole-class discussions using an interactive whiteboard or through individual or paired work on a Teachers’ subject knowledge computer. If the teacher has the skills to organise and The way ICT is used in lessons is influenced by the stimulate the ICT-based activity, then both whole-class teachers’ knowledge about their subject and how ICT is and individual work can be equally effective. related to it. Some teachers choose ICT resources that relate to a particular topic, while others use ICT to Access to ICT resources present the pupils’ work in an innovative way, without An important influence on the use made of ICT in subjects any direct application to the topic. and classes is the amount and range of ICT resources The evidence shows that when teachers use their available to the teachers. Where there are limited knowledge of both the subject and the way pupils numbers of computers in a class, mostly in primary understood the subject, their use of ICT has a more schools, this limits their impact, because each individual direct effect on pupils’ attainment. The effect on pupil is only able to use the computer for a few minutes. attainment is greatest when pupils are challenged to Whole-class use of an electronic whiteboard has both think and to question their own understanding, either positive and negative effects. It promotes pupils’ debates through pupils using topic-focused software on their own and helps them visualise difficult concepts and processes. or in pairs, or through a whole-class presentation. However, some teachers focus only on the presentation The effects of using ICT to present and discuss pupils’ aspects, disregarding the use of simulations and modelling work are less well researched, and therefore the effects which might be more challenging for the pupils. Only a few on pupils’ attainment are not so clear. teachers report using subject-specific software which links directly to the content and purpose of the curriculum. Teachers’ pedagogical knowledge Teachers’ knowledge of the potential of ICT in education The teacher’s own pedagogical beliefs and values play an important part in shaping technology-mediated In spite of teachers often being limited by the ICT resources learning opportunities. It is not yet clear from the available to them, there are many examples in the literature research literature whether this results in technology of teachers having a good understanding of a particular being used as a ‘servant’ to reinforce existing teaching resource. However, very few teachers have a comprehensive approaches, or as a ‘partner’ to change the way teachers knowledge of the wide range of ICT resources now available and pupils interact with each other and with the tasks. in education. This means that their pupils are not given all Teachers need extensive knowledge of ICT to be able to the learning opportunities which ICT could provide. select the most appropriate resources. They also need to understand how to incorporate the use of ICT into their Teachers’ confidence in using ICT lessons; they may need to develop new pedagogies to Teachers are confident in their chosen uses of ICT. Few achieve this. teachers are confident in using a wide range of ICT resources, and limited confidence affects the way the Pedagogical practices of the teacher using ICT lesson is conducted. Many teachers still fear some forms The pedagogical practices of teachers using ICT can of technology, which prevents them making much use of range from only small enhancements of practices using them in their teaching. what are essentially traditional methods, to more fundamental changes in their approach to teaching. For Organisation example, some teachers using an interactive whiteboard have displayed content and ideas for class discussions in The use of ICT has a limited impact on teaching and 3 a traditional way, while other teachers have allowed pupils learning where teachers fail to appreciate that interactivityICT and pedagogy requires a new approach to pedagogy, lesson planning frameworks if they are to integrate ICT effectively into and the curriculum. Some teachers reorganise the delivery teaching, learning and the curriculum. These include the of the curriculum, but the majority use ICT to add to or need for teachers to: enhance their existing practices. Teachers need to employ • understand the relationship between a range of ICT proactive and responsive strategies in order to guide, resources and the concepts, processes and skills in facilitate and support appropriate learning activities. their subject • use their subject expertise to select appropriate ICT Collaborative work and insights into pupils’ learning resources which will help them meet the specific Using ICT with pupils in pairs, groups or with a whole class, learning objectives; this includes subject-specific through, for example, the use of an interactive whiteboard, software as well as more generic resources enables teachers to gather extensive feedback from pupils by listening to their explanations. From this, teachers are • be aware of the potential of ICT resources both in able to gain deeper insights into pupils’ understanding and terms of their contribution to pupils’ presentation skills, progress. Pupils collaborating in pairs or teams using and their role in challenging pupils’ thinking and subject-specific ICT resources are able to challenge each extending their learning in a subject other’s understanding and learn from such collaborations. • develop confidence in using a range of ICT resources, via frequent practice and use beyond one or two Pedagogy beyond the classroom familiar applications Despite the need for a new pedagogy with ICT, including • appreciate that some uses of ICT will change the ways at times moving to a facilitator role, teachers still need to in which knowledge is represented, and the way the adopt a leadership role in the planning, preparation and subject is presented to and engages pupils follow-up of lessons. Where little planning has occurred, the evidence shows that the pupils’ class work is • know how to prepare and plan lessons where ICT is unfocused and leads to less than satisfactory outcomes. used in ways which will challenge pupils’ understanding and promote greater thinking and reflection Effects of pedagogical practices on pupils’ attainment • recognise which kinds of class organisation will be There is extensive evidence of ICT contributing to pupils’ most effective for particular learning tasks with ICT, for attainment (see for example the companion publication example, when pupils should work on their own, how to this literature review (Cox and Abbott, 2004)). However, working in pairs and groups should be organised, and the evidence shows that these benefits depend on the when to use ICT for whole-class teaching. way in which the teacher selects and organises ICT The majority of teachers, including the most innovative, resources, and how this use is integrated into other require more knowledge of and confidence with ICT, and a activities in the classroom and beyond. better understanding of its potential to help pupils’ learning. At present, the types of ICT resources available mean that This suggests that further substantial support for continuing ICT use is nearly always focused on specific aspects of professional development is necessary in order that teachers the curriculum. There are two clear areas where teachers integrate the use of ICT and improve pupils’ attainment. have been shown to embed ICT in their teaching, and where this has enhanced learning; these are in: Background and further reading This literature review is published alongside a companion • English and literacy, through the use of word processing, literature review on the impact of ICT on attainment (Cox presentation software and interactive video and Abbott, 2004). The reports complement each other • mathematics and science, through the use of and serve to provide a foundation in understanding the simulations, modelling and other specific ICT resources. research literature on ICT, attainment and pedagogy. The full report on which this publication is based is Effective pedagogical practices with ICT available on the Becta Research website This literature review has identified a range of practices www.becta.org.uk/research/. 4 which should be part of teachers’ pedagogicalimportant. Additional attention was also given to the Introduction variables considered and the applicability of results. Background to the study The areas and types of studies for review included: This study was commissioned by the British Educational • the ways in which ICT has been used and the Communications and Technology Agency (Becta) on attainment outcomes for Key Stages 1–4 behalf of the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) • specific studies of clearly defined uses of ICT for to investigate the effects of ICT pedagogy on attainment, learning particular concepts, processes or skills based on evidence from the published research literature and a small set of cases studies in schools identified for • meta-studies which have measured the large-scale their advanced and or integrated uses of ICT. impact of ICT on attainment This study aims to address the following questions: • research evidence relating to specific curriculum subjects •a review of the existing literature on ICT pedagogy, in • research evidence relating to specific social order to identify how ICT can have some impact on characteristics, for example, age, gender, class and attainment, through studying aspects of the ways in ethnicity which ICT is used, and the accompanying actions of • evidence relating to factors which might influence the teachers learning outcomes, such as teachers’ pedagogies, the •a small-scale study of schools known to be using ICT environment in which ICT is used, and level of ICT effectively to support attainment, to gather additional resources. data and to illuminate the findings emerging from the study of the literature. Approach to the case studies The study aimed to addess the following questions: The short case studies involved 26 teachers who are already known to be using ICT effectively to support • What are teachers’ pedagogies? attainment, drawn from six primary and seven secondary • What is the relationship between different types of ICT schools. The selection criteria were based on evidence of use and teachers’ pedagogical practices? improved learning outcomes of their pupils through one or more of the following: • What types of hardware, software and communications are being used by teachers and for what purposes? • Increased gains in subject tests compared with comparable classes • In what ways has ICT been integrated with other more traditional teaching methods? • Improvements in class work compared with other classes in the school • What are the levels of use of ICT in schools for different types of ICT? •Quality of pupils’ work compared with the achievements of pupils in previous years. • What impact has ICT had on specific concept knowledge, on specific skills and on specific processes, A more detailed account of the procedures and sources and how does this relate to different teaching practices? used can be found in the full report on which this publication is based, available on the Becta Research Approach to the literature review website www.becta.org.uk/research/. The study involved collecting data from various sources, This study is one of two literature reviews, commissioned published in the English language from 1990 to the as part of the ICT and Attainment project. The other present day (with the exception of a few key sources), review (Cox and Abbott, 2004) considers the research including quantitative surveys and statistical publications, evidence relating to the impact of ICT on attainment. qualitative or case study data and previously published Both studies were carried out by the same research meta-analyses (studies which aggregate the findings team, and many of the procedures and methods used by from many other studies). The emphasis was on the team were the same for both studies. The reports identifying work that was both original and nationally 5 complement each other and serve to provide aICT and pedagogy foundation in understanding the research literature on ICT attainment and pedagogy. It was not possible within the time-scale of the project to review all the published evidence. However, in order to utilise the evidence from this broader literature the project team produced two literature bases. The first is a list of references to which this report specifically refers, which are included in this publication. These include a wide range of empirical findings and theoretical perspectives. The second is a wider bibliography which has informed and underpinned the approach and analysis. This is available along with the full version of this report on the Becta Research website www.becta.org.uk/research/. The project team Editor and project director – Margaret Cox Study editors – Chris Abbott and Mary Webb Endnote co-ordinator – Barry Blakeley Research team – Chris Abbott, Tony Beauchamp, Barry Blakeley, Margaret Cox, Valerie Rhodes and Mary Webb Educational consultant – Deryn Watson Project administrator – Montanut Turnbull All members of the project team are based in the Department of Education and Professional Studies at King’s College London. Acknowledgements The project team wishes to acknowledge the support of Becta and the DfES for initiating and funding the two projects reviewing the literature into ICT and attainment and ICT pedagogy, and also acknowledge the ongoing advice, encouragement and support received, in particular from Malcolm Hunt, Head of Evidence and Research, Becta, and from Andrew Jones and Michael Harris, Education Officers, Becta. The team would also like to acknowledge the support and advice from academic and administrative colleagues at King’s College London and also at the University of Leeds. Finally the team would like to thank all the teachers and schools who participated in the study into ICT pedagogy, who gave their time willingly and freely and who provided exciting examples of innovative uses of ICT in their teaching. 6educational practice (see Figure 1.1) where pedagogy is Section 1 Theories of pedagogy one of seven interrelated aspects (Alexander describes the dimensions of his framework as a minimum list rather This section presents a discussion of different than a fully comprehensive framework). pedagogical perspectives and theories derived from the literature review. There is clear evidence that teachers’ This suggests that the pedagogy of ICT should be perceptions of pedagogy relating to ICT are often confined understood within a broader framework of educational to classroom practice. This section provides a broader practice. What is observed in the classroom is only part base for understanding what pedagogy involves and how of this practice. Thus, illuminating good practice in this might apply to the use of ICT in teaching. For a more teaching and learning with ICT will require examining extensive review of pedagogy see Webb (2002). teachers’ ideas, values, beliefs, and the thinking that leads to observable elements in practice. What is pedagogy? Pedagogical reasoning Watkins and Mortimore (1999), in a review of research literature on pedagogy, assert that the models of The processes of planning, teaching, assessing and pedagogy held by researchers and academics have evaluating, and the knowledge needed for these become more complex over time, incorporating, for processes, are described in Shulman’s model of example, recent developments in our understanding of pedagogical reasoning (Shulman,1987). Shulman 1 cognition and meta-cognition. focuses on knowledge rather than ideas and beliefs. Moreover, there is evidence that teachers’ ideas, beliefs Alexander (1992) identifies teaching methods and pupil and values may also influence practice (Fang, 1996; organisation as the two facets of pedagogy. These are Moseley et al., 1999). Therefore both facets need to be included in Alexander's conceptual framework for ASPECTS CENTRAL EDUCATIONAL QUESTIONS CONTENT whole curriculum WHAT should children learn subject/areas CONTENT physical OBSERVABLE interpersonal PRACTICE PEDAGOGY teaching methods HOW should children learn pupil organisation and teachers teach? MANAGEMENT planning operation assessment of learning evaluation of teaching CHILDREN development WHY should children be needs educated in this way? learning IDEAS VALUES SOCIETY needs of society and BELIEFS needs of the individual KNOWLEDGE children’s ways of knowing WHAT is an educated person? culturally evolved ways of knowing Figure 1.1 – Educational practice: A conceptual framework (Alexander, 1992, p. 184) 1 Meta-cognition can be simply defined as ‘thinking about thinking’. It refers to higher order thinking and includes activities such as planning how to 7 approach a learning task and self-evaluation of progress in a task.ICT and pedagogy considered. According to Shulman, teachers’ knowledge during the processes of pedagogical reasoning they are bases include the following categories of knowledge: only drawing on a limited subset of the knowledge base. •Content knowledge. Shulman’s model includes a range of pedagogical reasoning skills: • General pedagogical knowledge (knowledge related to general teaching issues, for example, teaching • Comprehension – examining the content to be taught approaches and classroom management). and considering its interrelationships with other subject content. •Curriculum knowledge (knowledge about the ‘tools of the trade’: schemes of work, resources, and so on). •Transformation – transforming ideas of knowledge so that they can be learnt by pupils. •Pedagogical content knowledge: ‘that special amalgam of content and pedagogy that is uniquely the • Preparation – preparing the curriculum in relation to province of teachers, their own special form of aims and objectives. professional understanding.’ (Shulman, 1987, p. 8.) • Representation – thinking of ways that the ideas and • Knowledge of learners and their characteristics. skills may be made accessible to pupils. • Knowledge of educational contexts: groups, classes, •Adaptation – fitting the material to the characteristics of the the school and the wider community. pupils, taking account of age, gender, culture, and so on. • Knowledge of educational ends, purpose and values •Tailoring – fitting the curriculum and teaching plans to a and their philosophical and historical grounds. specific group of pupils. This list matches many of the elements in Alexander’s • Instruction – performing a variety of teaching and class list. One of the implications of this model for teachers’ management activities. uses of ICT is that they need to have sufficient • Evaluation – assessing the effectiveness of the knowledge about the topic or subject. Therefore they teaching through the assessment of pupils, as well as also need to understand how this knowledge will be other types of evaluation. affected by the use of ICT, in order to make appropriate Learning environments, particularly those based on decisions about using ICT with pupils. multimedia, are increasingly being described in terms of Alexander (1992) suggests that, in the UK, we have 2 ‘affordances’ which focus on how the learning focused more on content rather than pedagogy, and he environment is perceived by the user (Laurillard et al., argues that content and pedagogy are linked. In order to 3 2000). Affordances may be similar to scaffolding, but explore this link, Shulman’s model of pedagogical may be a more useful way of conceptualising aspects of reasoning (Shulman, 1987) focuses on the processes the system, as scaffolding suggests something involved in teaching, including the transformation of additional, possibly external to the system, whereas knowledge and how this knowledge can be taught. An affordances may be integrated into the system. important component of knowledge in Shulman’s model Linn and Hsi (2000) report on a collaborative project that is pedagogical content knowledge. has investigated these pedagogical issues for science The implication for the use of ICT in education is that education within ICT classrooms, and produced a list of since pedagogical content knowledge differs between ‘pragmatic pedagogical principles’: subjects, the choice and use of ICT resources will differ • Encourage pupils to build on their scientific ideas as in terms of pedagogical practices for different subject they develop more and more powerful and useful teachers. In some situations, teachers may use their pragmatic scientific principles. beliefs to filter their knowledge bases at the start, so that 2 ‘Affordances’ are the properties of a system, as perceived by the user, which allow certain actions to be performed and which encourage specific types of behaviour. 3 ‘Scaffolding’ means that pupils build up knowledge and understanding by linking new concepts to those previous understood through a mental 8 framework of linked concepts.• Encourage pupils to investigate personally relevant Teacher-centred or pupil-centered pedagogy problems and revisit their scientific ideas regularly. Shulman’s model has been criticised for leaning on a • Scaffold science activities so pupils participate in the theory of cognition that views knowledge as fixed and enquiry process. external, and on a teacher-centred pedagogy (Banks et al., 1999). Because the model does not incorporate • Model the scientific process of considering alternative pupils’ thinking processes or provide a basis for explanations and diagnosing mistakes. analysing pupil–teacher interactions, it may fail to • Scaffold pupils’ feedback to explain their ideas. address the important experiences resulting from ICT use. Understanding or identifying the thinking processes • Provide multiple visual representations from varied media. of learners, as far as possible, is particularly important for • Encourage pupils to listen and learn from each other. new technologies, since research has shown that new ways of learning and new representations are presented • Design social activities to promote productive and to pupils through ICT. respectful interactions. ‘Students can literally initiate the process, • Scaffold groups to design criteria and standards. proceeding by discovering, inventing, or inquiring, • Employ multiple social activity structures. to prepare their own representations and transformations. Then it is the role of the teacher to • Engage pupils in reflecting on their scientific ideas and respond actively and creatively to those student on their own progress in understanding science. initiatives. In each case the teacher needs to • Engage pupils as critics of diverse scientific information. possess both the comprehension and the • Engage pupils in varied sustained scientific project capacities for transformation. In the student- experiences. initiated case, the flexibility to respond, judge, nurture, and provoke student creativity will depend • Establish an enquiry process which can be generalised on the teacher’s own capacities for sympathetic and is suitable for diverse scientific projects. transformation and interpretation.’ Linn and Hsi (2000) found that each pupil drew on (Shulman, 1987, p. 14.) different pivotal cases to organise their thinking. For However, there are aspects of pedagogy in the classroom, each class, the teacher needed to research pupils’ other than pupil-led ICT activities, which teachers need to understanding, analyse their thinking and identify pivotal embrace in order to devise and follow through worthwhile cases that would build on pupils’ ideas and inspire them learning experiences with the use of ICT. to reflect on and restructure their views. The teachers then had to use these pivotal cases at appropriate ICT and the changing nature of pedagogy times in discussion with the pupils. For example, a Researchers’ and academics’ conceptualisation of pupil that believes that metals have the capacity to pedagogy has changed in tandem with recent impart cold would be asked “How do metals feel in a developments in our understanding of cognition and hot or cold car?” meta-cognition (Watkins and Mortimore, 1997). Many Assessment is one of the most important and difficult writers have also suggested that developments in ICT aspects of the educational process, especially where provide very different learning opportunities, and a need assessment procedures involve ICT, and there is much to design a new ‘integrated pedagogy’ has been research evidence to show that the everyday practice of identified (Cornu, 1995). For example, McLoughlin and assessment in classrooms is beset with problems and Oliver (1999) define pedagogical roles for teachers in a shortcomings (for example Black and Wiliam, 1998). It is technology-supported classroom as including setting also especially difficult to measure attainment which is joint tasks, rotating roles, promoting student self- attributable to ICT, because the pupils are often not management, supporting meta-cognition, fostering assessed in these activities other than through the multiple perspectives and scaffolding learning. An products they produce at the end of ICT-based lessons. assumption here is that the use of ICT is changing the 9 pedagogical roles of teachers, and a compellingICT and pedagogy rationale for using ICT in schools is its potential to act as class management activities. In general terms, much of a catalyst in transforming the teaching and learning this is observable and documented in the research process (Hawkridge, 1990). The processes described by literature on effective teaching, for example the Hay Shulman will still be necessary but the decisions and McBer (2000) report to the then Department for outcomes from those processes may be different as Education and Employment has been particularly teachers’ knowledge, beliefs and values change in line influential in the UK. The literature on effective teaching, with affordances provided by new technologies. including the Hay McBer report, makes little reference to the use of ICT. A dynamic model for such a transforming pedagogy for ICT was derived from the Palm project (Somekh and The Hay McBer report looked for characteristics of Davies, 1991). The authors identified pedagogical teachers that were associated with good progress in change as the following types of progress: pupils. They found that pupils’ progress is most significantly influenced by a teacher who displays both • ‘from a view of teaching and learning as discrete, high levels of professional characteristics and good complementary activities to an understanding that teaching skills which lead to the creation of a good teaching and learning are independent aspects of a classroom climate. They identified characteristics of single activity good teachers as: • from a sequential to an organic structuring of learning Professionalism experiences • Challenge and support. • from individualised to communicative learning • Confidence. • from a view of the teacher’s role as an organiser of • Creating trust. learning activities to one as a shaper of quality learning • Respect for others. experiences Thinking • from a preoccupation with fitting teaching to a group, • Analytical thinking. to a knowledge that teaching needs to be suited to • Conceptual thinking. individuals, which calls for continual self-monitoring to ensure sensitivity to unintended forms of bias and Planning and setting expectations discrimination • Drive for improvement. • Information seeking. • from a view of the learning context as confined to the • Initiative. classroom and controlled by the teacher to one of the learning context as a supportive, interactive, whole- Leading school culture •Flexibility. • from a view of technology as either a tutor or a tool to • Holding people accountable. one where it is part of a complex of interactions with • Managing pupils. learners, sometimes providing ideas, sometimes •Passion for learning. providing a resource for enquiry, and sometimes Relating to others supporting creativity.’ • Impact and influence. (ibid., p. 156–157.) •Team working. •Understanding others. The theories discussed in this section provided the foundation for the analysis of the empirical evidence in In relation to the model of pedagogical reasoning, there the next section, and they are referred to where relevant are some aspects of the Hay McBer report of particular in the analysis. interest. Many of the characteristics relating to professionalism are based on beliefs and values. The Studies of effective teaching ‘thinking’ characteristics of teachers include the complex The process of instruction as described by Shulman analytical thinking required for planning and evaluating, 10 (1987) involves performing a variety of teaching andand the conceptual thinking links to the transformation Studies of teachers’ views of pedagogy process. For example at the highest level the teacher: The review by Watkins and Mortimore (1999) of research ‘Makes the complex simple… into practitioners’ views on pedagogy suggested that Helps pupils and others to understand something teachers recognised the complexity of pedagogy and the complex by finding a new and creative way to complex nature of classroom life. Watkins and Mortimore explain it in simple terms.’ identified some tensions between the review of (Shulman, 1987, p. 14.) pedagogy in the academic and research literature and the views of practitioners. In particular, while the trend It is interesting to note that the development of pupils as among researchers and academics has been towards a independent learners, an ability that is often considered model that supports the active construction of meaning to be crucial for making effective use of ICT, and which is and endeavours to help learners learn about learning, categorised under ‘passion for learning’, is only teachers may adopt a simplified model of practice in the demonstrated at the highest level: face of contextual constraints. ‘Motivates pupils to learn independently Survey methods for measuring pedagogical knowledge Continuously provides pupils with opportunities to are being developed. However, the multifaceted nature of experience learning as enjoyable and satisfying, to the knowledge and the fact that much still needs to be increase their self-motivation. Consistently learnt about its nature makes this a difficult task (Rowan provides a range of opportunities for pupils to et al., 2001). direct their own learning; provides independent learning options, and enables pupils to access Studies that examine specific aspects of teachers’ these. Encourages self and peer evaluation. Builds detailed knowledge of learners and their misconceptions pupils’ capacity to question themselves.’ require careful investigation of pupils’ learning compared (Hay McBer, 2000. p. 61.) with teachers’ predictions of their difficulties and misconceptions. For example Hadjidemetriou and According to Brown et al. (2001) the Hay McBer study is Williams (2001) propose a methodology that will help to likely to be flawed, but it does provide a set of general bridge the gap between pupils’ difficulties and teachers’ characteristics that were certainly associated with some perceptions of these difficulties. They devised a effective teachers. diagnostic assessment instrument to elicit pupils’ Moseley et al.(1999), in a study of primary school misconceptions of graphing, and used it as a teachers known to be achieving either average or above questionnaire for teachers. average gains on measures of relative attainment by Many of these studies are considered in more detail in pupils, focused on pedagogy using ICT. They also found subsequent sections of this report. a very complex picture in which it was difficult to characterise effective teachers using ICT. The teachers were supported in developing their practice in literacy and numeracy using ICT. The project explored links between teachers’ thinking about their teaching behaviours or actions in the classroom and pupils’ learning gains. The work indicated that a key feature of the more effective teachers was their use of effective explanations. Observations showed that these teachers used examples and counter-examples and involved pupils in explaining and modelling to the class. Teachers who favoured ICT were likely to have well-developed ICT skills and to see ICT as an important tool for learning and instruction. They were also likely to value collaborative working, enquiry and decision making by pupils. 11ICT and pedagogy are looking for a wide range of effects and they may or Section 2 ICT pedagogy and may not involve teachers’ professional development. attainment in subject areas Some reports yield disappointing results. For example, Jarvis et al. (1997) evaluated the effect of collaboration Overview of the research literature via email on the quality of 10- to 11-year-old pupils’ investigative skills in science in six rural primary The focus of this section is on the relationship between schools. They found no real indications that the use of attainment and pedagogical practices involving the use email enhanced learning in science. In this instance, the of ICT, as revealed through published, empirical study encountered problems with hardware, software research. The studies that have contributed to this review and the teachers’ abilities. can be classified into six main groups: • Studies focused on specific aspects of pedagogy in • Bibliographies, literature reviews and meta-analyses specific subjects, involving development work with Several articles in this category made some analysis of ICT over two to three years pedagogy, although these did not focus specifically on See for example Moseley et al. (1999). pedagogy for ICT use at school. For example, Draper (1998) reviewed evaluations of software in use in • Longitudinal studies involving development work, higher education that was associated not just with usually over at least five years satisfactory learning but with demonstrable These studies address the changing nature of teaching improvements. A review by Scanlon et al. (2002) that and learning associated with the introduction of aimed to develop understanding of technology- technology. See for example Linn and Hsi (2000). mediated practical work in science for higher education drew on studies at secondary school level. ICT in primary education – key aspects • Studies of effective teaching and teachers’ views that There is evidence that ICT helps primary school teachers make little reference to ICT use to be more effective in their teaching, especially if they are One example is Askew et al. (1997). A small number of well resourced (Becta, 2001). In this series of reports recent studies in this category are discussed briefly analysing pupils’ attainment at Key Stage 2 alongside because recent research on the contribution of ICT to Ofsted inspection judgements, statistically significant links attainment shows that ICT is effective only when have been revealed between the good use of ICT combined with good teaching. resources and higher attainment in ICT and other subjects. Given the nature of the analysis, this does not prove a • Short-term interventions associated with causal link – that is, that the good use of ICT causes software design, in which a specific aspect of ICT higher attainment – but it does point to an important and use is evaluated developing relationship. However, the reports also show An example of this type of study is Lavonen et al. that other factors, such as good leadership and the (2003). Many of these studies focus on the interaction general quality of teaching, remain important. between the computer and the pupils rather than Teachers’ confidence with ICT has increased in recent considering the role of the teacher and of peers. years, but the use of ICT remains relatively low. According Only those that address pedagogical issues are to government statistics (Department for Education and discussed. They may involve a few hours’ or a few Skills, 2001), 75% of teachers reported that they felt weeks’ work. Despite the very short-term nature of the confident in using ICT, 78% had received some training, studies, some provide useful evidence of specific and 71% had updated their training in the last two years. benefits of ICT and how it enables learning objectives Yet a survey conducted by Preston et al. (2000) of 100 ICT to be achieved. teachers found that over 90% used only word processing more frequently than once a month out of all the generic • Studies associated with the introduction of an applications. additional general ICT resource Such resources include the use of laptop computers or Findings of a research and development project which 12 the internet in science lessons. Many of these studies investigated effective pedagogy with ICT in literacy andnumeracy in primary schools (Moseley et al., 1999) provide the traditional classroom environment simply as illustrations of teachers’ practices and the complexity of word-processors and presentational devices, then choices which teachers make in deciding when and how to it is unlikely that improvements in student use ICT to strengthen their teaching. At this time, many achievement or changes to classroom primary classrooms still only had regular access to one or environments will be reported.’ two computers, and this affected the choices teachers were (Boyd, 2002, p. 30.) able to make about using ICT. Moseley et al. (1999) used It is also important to consider the extent of home use of pre- and post- standardised tests to check improvements in ICT, and the way this may affect pupils’ perceptions of pupils’ attainment. Part of the development work involved an school use. Research suggests that there is a gap between exploration of the links between teachers’ thinking, their the types of use at home and at school. One survey teaching behaviours or actions in the classroom, and pupils’ (Mumtaz, 2001) of pupils in years 3 and 5 (ages 7–8 and learning gains. It was found that teachers’ thinking and 9–10) found that the most frequent activity at school was beliefs about teaching and learning were linked to what they word processing (which the pupils found boring), while the did in the classroom and to the choices they made in most popular activity at home was playing games. As a selecting how to integrate ICT into their teaching. A key result, the author suggested that schools should learn from feature of the more effective teachers was their use of what works at home and allow pupils to work on activities effective explanations. Teachers who favour ICT are likely to that they find valuable, motivating and worthwhile. Another have well developed ICT skills and to see ICT as an problem arises from the fact that pupils’ computers at important tool for learning and instruction. They are also home are often far in advance of those they have access to likely to value collaborative working, enquiry and decision at school. Teachers need to acknowledge pupils’ innovative making by pupils. Teachers who have reservations about uses of technology at home when developing their using ICT are likely either to exercise a higher degree of practices at school (Comber et al., 2002). direction or to prefer pupils to work individually. This said, while many primary school children could be This study also recognised the value of support from the considered to be sophisticated and knowledgeable users of head teacher, or of a collaborative working environment. ICT, access to ICT resources at home does vary widely. The It suggested that the task of developing teachers’ study by Selwyn and Bullon (2000) of 267 year 2 and year 5 effectiveness in using ICT is a long-term goal and needs children in south Wales revealed that although the majority to become established as a regular part of their of pupils reported making some use of computers in professional development. As new equipment and schools, patterns of sustained use and varied engagement software become available, teachers will need to develop with ICT were rare. Writing and drawing were identified as new skills and pedagogical approaches. the most widely experienced uses of computers. Given that A literature review for the evaluation of Digital home use is variable, the authors argued that the Opportunities projects in New Zealand (Boyd, 2002), in paramount role of schools should be to balance the needs analysing the lack of impact of some innovations of the computer ‘haves’ and ‘have lesses’. involving laptops, includes this valuable reminder that it is Organisation the type of use that is most important: In a study of three primary schools, Goodison (2002) ‘There are two possible reasons for the reported confirmed that a range of organisational factors, such as the lack of impact. One is that the use of laptops does commitment of the head teacher and good forward not in fact have any effect on student planning, were correlated with successful implementation of achievement. The other, perhaps more likely the use of ICT, and the commitment of staff played a pivotal reason, is that changes to student achievement role in the process. However, as Goodison pointed out, the are conditional on context, changes are due to a implementation of new technology needs to be managed complex interplay of factors such as teachers properly, to ensure the continued commitment of teachers. changing their pedagogical approaches to support a more student-centred environment in Group work which ICT use is integrated into the curriculum. If There is little evidence in the research literature to 13 this does not occur and laptops are used within indicate that collaboration inevitably enhances learning.ICT and pedagogy As Eraut (1995) has pointed out, group work is a teaching ICT as a subject can limit other teachers’ access complex process which limits the ability to generalise on to the technology (Beauchamp, 2003). its benefits, but his study involving 19 case studies in 16 The following sections discuss the research evidence classes of 8- to 12-year-olds offers strong support for a relating to pedagogy and attainment with ICT in specific- 4 5 Vygotskian rather than a cognitive conflict explanation of subject areas. Further research relating to attainment can the benefits of group work among pupils. be found in the companion literature review to this Yu (2001) examined the effect of competition in publication (Cox and Abbott, 2004). computer-assisted co-operative learning situations on English pupils’ cognitive, affective and social outcomes, in a study of 192 5th-grade students (aged 11–12 years) in Primary English six classes in one Taiwanese school. The results showed The first ImpacT project (Watson, 1993) found teachers that co-operation without competition engendered better using a range of software, including word processing, in attitudes towards the subject matter and promoted more primary school English lessons. However, there was a interpersonal relationships. However, studies of pupils conflict between teachers wanting to help pupils progress in using ICT at primary school level suggest that effective their writing by the use of word processing, for example, pupil collaboration for learning is not easily achieved and their desire to ensure that all pupils had equal access (Crook, 1998) to the computer. This resulted in each pupil in some classes only having about five minutes’ use of word processing per ICT in secondary education – key aspects term. Because there was only one computer in the Two of the fundamental differences between primary and classroom and the teacher wanted to provide equal access secondary schools are in the allocation of ICT resources for pupils, this led the teacher into inappropriate practices and the cross-curricular nature of primary education where pupils first hand wrote their stories and then typed compared with the subject-specific teaching and them onto the computer in pairs. This finding is supported organisation in secondary schools. Most primary schools by more recent evidence from the ImpaCT2 project case have a few computers in each classroom, and sometimes studies (Comber et al., 2002). The results again suggested an electronic whiteboard, whereas most secondary that because of the limited number of computers in primary schools have a greater emphasis on networked computer classrooms, the sustained and regular use of ICT rarely rooms. In some secondary schools, ICT is taught as a occurred. For ICT to have any benefit, teachers therefore discrete subject within an ICT department; in others ICT is need to make the right decisions to enable pupils to have taught across the secondary curriculum through other frequent and substantial access to resources. subjects (Beauchamp, 2003). The 2001 survey by the Mumtaz and Hammond (2002) found that much of the use British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA, 2001) of word processing at primary level is individualised and found that in 86% of secondary schools the majority of largely for presentational purposes – that is, mainly for computers are located in labs, compared with only 16 per entering texts previously written by hand. These researchers cent for classrooms, while in primary schools the reported little intervention by teachers in this activity. They equivalent figures are virtually equal. conclude that schools are a ‘long way from seeing the use This difference has implications for teachers’ pedagogies, of the word processor embedded...to support pupils’ for example it has been shown to be a key influence on writing’ and that ‘teachers need more time for reflection on the way primary school teachers have been using ICT their learning objectives.’ (ibid., p.346.) (Watson, 1993, Selwyn and Bullon, 2000). In secondary The preliminary results of a survey designed to identify how 6 schools, there is more focus on ICT within subjects, but talking book software was being used in the classroom the demands of ICT teachers who are responsible for (Lewin, 1998) highlighted the success of this type of 4 Vygotsky’s theory emphasises social, cultural and contextual influences, and is based on the idea that learning is a process of internalising social and cultural values. Learning therefore takes place when there is social interaction and agreement between learners. 5 Piaget argued that cognitive conflict is the principal mechanism for learning. This conflict occurs when there are disagreements between learners 14 regarding their understanding of a problem, which are then resolved through teacher-led discussion.software for both early readers and those older children According to some researchers, the use of ICT has the experiencing difficulties in learning to read. However, potential to transform English teaching, although the vast many teachers reported that they would like to see future changes to pedagogy that this will entail may well be implementations of the software enhanced to provide resisted by teachers (Russell, 1998). The author additional reinforcement activities which would enable describes secondary pupils’ experiences of writing a 7 the software to meet the needs of individual learners series of hypertext stories over an 18-month period. more effectively. The results showed that the software Each individual story was written over a period of about was used mainly with pairs of children (82%), but three weeks and the pupils were encouraged to write in occasionally with individuals (29%). A smaller number of pairs. Just over half the students supported the use of teachers specified that the software was usually used by collaboration in hypertext story writing and all the groups of three or more children at one computer (11%). teachers and the majority of the students supported the Use in groups or pairs was more commonly associated multi-linear aspect of hypertext. A few students, however, with early readers who were progressing normally. Most preferred to write straightforward stories without of the children were able to use the software branching. Students presented their stories to the independently with minimal adult support, after receiving audience, and this was seen as an important way to some initial training. Several of the classes which encourage them to consider the needs of their involved older children experiencing difficulties learning audiences. Teachers felt that the collaborative pedagogy to read, or those identified as having special needs, was encouraging students to think carefully about the worked with an adult for the duration of the session. meaning of words in their hypertext. It was concluded that non-linear writing requires different teaching Secondary English practices from a story centred on expectations of Much of the empirical evidence in English reports similar closure, and incorporating pictures into text runs contrary uses of ICT to those found at primary level, although the to discourse based on words. uses made of ICT are more demanding, and English is taught as a separate subject in secondary schools with Mathematics much less focus on literacy skills. In a study across six There is much reported research into the uses of ICT in curriculum areas, which included English, Hennessy et al. mathematics teaching at both primary and secondary (2003) found that the use of the technology was associated levels. Some large-scale studies involve investigating the with a decrease in direction by the teacher, and an increase effects of a range of ICT environments, and others focus in pupil self-regulation and collaboration. One effect of these on specific uses of ICT. There is clear evidence of the changes in classroom practice was that teachers felt the positive effects of ICT being associated, in many cases, need to employ a proactive approach in their teaching and with the particular pedagogies of the teacher and also develop more responsive strategies in order to support, with the relevance of the ICT activity to the curriculum. guide and facilitate pupils’ learning. This also involved monitoring pupils’ progress more closely and maintaining a Primary mathematics focus on the learning of the subject. Pupils were also The research evidence shows that, in order to integrate encouraged to take more responsibility for their own ICT into their mathematics teaching, it is necessary for learning through increased participation. While an extensive teachers to have a substantial understanding of ICT range of successful strategies were employed, many of resources and familiarity with a range of applications. which built on established practice, the authors concluded Effective uses of ICT should enable pupils to focus on that the pedagogy associated with using ICT to support reasoning rather than on answers, and enable them to subject teaching and learning was still evolving. develop significant mathematical strategies and connect mathematical ideas with the real world. 6 Talking books are designed to be read on a computer, with a combination of features such as text, photographs, drawings, animations, sound effects and video, and often the option of having the computer read out the text for the user. They are usually stored on CD-ROM. 7 Hypertext documents are usually presented by a computer, and contain a web of links to separate but related texts. They express the non-linear 15 structure of ideas.ICT and pedagogy When teachers use ICT in ways which challenge pupils’ Topic-specific ICT in small studies thinking and engage them in investigations, pupils Much of the research literature is based on small-scale demonstrate a higher order of mathematical reasoning and studies of children in a narrow learning context, and it increased attention than when teachers adopt a generally shows that the use of ICT produces some ‘transmission’ view of teaching (where knowledge is improvement in pupils’ performance for a limited set of ‘transmitted’ directly from teacher to pupil). For example, tasks. As the review by Hennessy and Dunham (2002) Connell (1998) concludes that technology should be used points out, studies involving contrasting control and as a tool for pupils to create their own personally meaningful experimental groups are fraught with difficulties because representations. The presence of the computer alone as a complex factors arising (particularly teachers’ behaviours delivery system of static expert representations does not and pedagogy) are rarely accounted for; fair guarantee, and indeed may inhibit, the development of such comparisons using test scores alone are almost pupil representations. For more details of this study see the impossible. Further, ICT itself can play an important role section on mathematics in secondary teaching (p.17). in shaping the mathematical activity being studied. 8 In a meta-analysis of many focused studies, Clements Large-scale projects (2000) describes the unique contribution of computers to Topics within the first ImpacT study (Cox, 1993) included problem- and project-oriented pedagogical approaches. the use of ICT and mathematics in primary schools. The His research showed that pupils’ collaborative activities results did show a positive effect for the use of ICT in resulted in enhanced achievement. An increase in pupils’ mathematics in the 8–10 age range (see also Johnson et collaboration resulted in ‘deep conception’, and the al., 1994). The conclusions on pedagogy were that pupils seeing learning as dependent on thinking and ‘effective use of IT required substantial demands in terms understanding. Control groups possessed ‘shallow’ of (teachers’) knowledge and understanding of, and conceptions of learning, seeing it as a matter of paying familiarisation with, a variety of software in order to attention, doing assigned work, and memorising. integrate the activity, in philosophical and pedagogical However, such results could be independent of ICT use terms, with a larger scheme of work.’ (ibid., p. 3.) since the effectiveness of computer software is likely to Another large study involving over 2,000 middle school be dependent on the pedagogical context within which it pupils (Waxman and Huang, 1996) examined whether the is used (Hoyles, 2001). degree of implementation of technology in mathematics Another convincing experiment, but with a very small classes affected outcomes such as changes in classroom sample (McFarlane et al., 1995), introduced line graphs organisation and interaction, the selection of activities, and to 8-year-old children, using data logging. Children who pupils’ on- and off-task behaviour. The results indicated that had been exposed to data logging showed an increased there were significant differences in instruction in the ability to read, interpret and sketch line graphs when classroom depending on the amount of technology used. compared to children using traditional apparatus. The Whole-class approaches, where pupils generally listened to results suggested that the manual plotting of points as a or watched the teacher, tended to be used in classrooms first introduction to graphs interfered with understanding. where technology was not often used, whereas in classrooms where technology was used moderately there Programming and microworlds tended to be much less whole-class instruction and more One of the most widely researched areas of ICT in 9 independent work. This study suggests that the use of mathematics is programming and using microworlds. technology may help to change teaching from a traditional Many studies using the programming language Logo teacher-centred approach to one that is more pupil centred. with primary school children have been reported. The use In addition, pupils in classrooms where technology was of Logo has been shown to improve children’s estimation used moderately were found to be significantly more ‘on of distance (Campbell et al., 1991) and improve their task’ than pupils in classrooms with less use. 8 A meta-analysis is a study which aggregates the findings from many other studies. 9 ‘Microworld’ is a term coined at the MIT Media Lab Learning and Common Sense Group. It means a tiny world inside which a pupil can explore 16 alternatives, test hypotheses, and discover facts. It differs from a simulation in that the student is encouraged to think about it as a ‘real’ world.ability to create accurate sets of instructions to plot a in a microworld embedded in a mathematics topic path through a maze (Johnson and Kane, 1992). reported that the children engaged in activities with a high level of concentration and found them both In a meta-analysis, Clements (2000) described a number challenging and fun to complete. of ways in which the appropriate use of Logo programming has been shown to help pupils. These Internet use include the development of higher levels of mathematical There is little research into the effects of internet use on and especially geometric thinking, and problem-solving teachers pedagogies and pupils’ attainment in skills (Au and Leung, 1991), and enhanced social mathematics at primary level, although there are early interaction (Yelland, 2003). suggestions that websites dedicated to mathematics could encourage more effective teaching (Jones and In a study of primary school pupils using Logo, Cope Simons, 1999). More data specific to the pedagogy of and Walsh (1990) found that pupils who spent a long teaching primary mathematics when using such websites time programming became more accustomed to is needed. New research should examine both the sustained intellectual activity, which had positive benefits pupils’ and teachers’ use of such a resource for both for their work in other areas of the curriculum. However, teaching and learning, and its effectiveness in positively some problems may arise if too little time is spent affecting learning outcomes. ensuring that pupils have sufficient prior mathematical knowledge (Cope et al., 1992). Secondary mathematics There is some debate regarding Logo as to how much There have been both large-scale projects and meta- learning by autonomous discovery should be expected of analyses which provide evidence of a positive effect of pupils (Hoyles and Noss, 1992). There is a need to ICT use on secondary school pupils’ attainment. An early provide a tight framework within which pupil autonomy large-scale project conducted in the USA (Educational and mathematical expression can take place, and for the Technology Centre Harvard Graduate School of teacher to bridge the differences between Logo Education, 1990) involved studying the uses of computers environments and school mathematics. and other technologies to improve instruction in mathematics, science and computing, in the context of Results from one study pointed out that Logo may foster teaching for understanding. This study identified the need cognitive growth, in part by engendering effective to take account of pupils’ prior conceptions, link multiple motivation, because ‘success’ is determined internally representations, extend the range of manipulatable within the Logo environment (Nastasi and Clements, 1994), objects, and use software to reveal pupils’ thinking. though pupils may still seek external approval. When learning about variables in a Logo environment, there is a Moseley et al. (1999) identified that a key feature of more need for the teacher to be aware of, and be explicit about, effective teachers was their use of explanations. The using a Vygotskian approach (encouraging pupils to co- researchers emphasised the importance of taking into operate), since such concepts cannot be taught directly account teachers’ preferences and beliefs about teaching (Sutherland, 1993). Other findings have supported the as well as their attitude to ICT. Teachers need to match efficacy of Logo as a medium conducive to the teaching pedagogy with the intended learning outcomes of an and learning of problem solving, but only when particular activity. However, Brown et al. (2001) failed to identify any problem-solving skills are taught explicitly (Swan, 1991). factors relating to pedagogical practices which might have significant effects on pupils’ attainment. Although this These technologies have also been shown to support research cast doubt on claims that teachers’ effectiveness collaborative learning. Xin (1999) examined the effects of can be rigorously assessed by observation in the computer-assisted co-operative learning in the USA 3rd- grade mathematics instruction within integrated classroom, the study team did identify many behaviours classrooms for pupils with and without disabilities, and that they felt most reliably distinguished effective teachers. found that the co-operative learning group had These included challenging pupils to think mathematically, statistically higher achievement than did the whole-class ensuring a consistency between task and objectives, using learning group. Similarly, an Australian study (Yelland, a range of modes of expression, and focusing on 2002) of 28 year 2 children who worked in pairs on tasks 17 reasoning rather than answers.ICT and pedagogy Ruthven and Hennessy (2002) analysed the pedagogical interesting learning activities. However, the teachers did ideas underpinning teachers’ accounts of the successful not find any greater benefit from using the spreadsheet use of computer-based tools and resources to support software on the palmtops compared with using it on the the teaching and learning of mathematics. Mathematics desktops already available to them. teachers as a group were found to be relatively strongly Connell (1998) investigated the potential roles which oriented towards a transmission view of teaching as technology might play in enhancing a constructivist opposed to a constructivist one (where pupils’ learning is approach. He observed two classes from the same school based on them reconstructing and adding to their existing in a rural area over a one-year period. Both classes were knowledge), but the use of ICT did help to develop taught by teachers who agreed to implement technology pedagogy: ‘As well as serving as a ‘lever’ through which within their lessons in markedly different fashions. One teachers seek to make established practice more class adopted a constructivist approach and utilised the effective, technology appears also to act as a ‘fulcrum’ for computer as a tool for pupils for mathematics exploration, some degree of reorientation of practice and a measured the other as a presentation tool, more in line with a development of teachers’ pedagogical thinking.’ (Ruthven 10 behaviourist approach. By the end of the research and Hennessy, 2002, p. 85.) period, both classes had shown a significant improvement Similarly, Goos et al. (2003) in a three-year project in in achievement, and easily surpassed both regional and Australia found that teachers’ own pedagogical beliefs local achievement goals. The pupils in the class where the and values play an important part in influencing the use of technology was consciously aligned with the learning opportunities provided by ICT. This is true guiding constructivist philosophy showed a marked and whether ICT is being used to reinforce existing teaching consistent increase in performance. approaches or as a catalyst which will change the way In a summary of research on dynamic geometry 11 teachers and students interact with each other and with systems, Jones (2002) reports that ‘interacting with the tasks. In particular, it was found to be the way in DGS can help students to explore, conjecture, construct which the teacher orchestrates pupils’ interaction with the and explain geometrical relationships. It can even task, the technology and their peers which was crucial to provide them with the basis from which to build pupils’ success (in this case in finding a solution to a deductive proofs. Overall, this research has found that cubic equation). The researchers suggest four roles for discussions and group work in the classroom are technology in relation to such teaching and learning important components.’ Also that ‘the teacher plays a interactions: ‘master’, ‘servant’, ‘partner’, and ‘extension very important role in guiding students to theoretical of self’. Their report highlights the vital role of the teacher thinking.’ (ibid., p. 20.) in moving pupils towards more thoughtful and powerful The use of computers to support constructivist pedagogy ways of working with technology. was shown to be effective by Dreyfus and Halevi (1991) The vital role of the teacher is echoed by Glover and also. They showed that the use of computer programs to Miller (2001), in a smaller study exploring the impact on provide an open learning environment allowed pupils to teaching of the use of interactive whiteboards in one explore within a framework, and, given that the teacher comprehensive secondary school. Such technology is was working as a guide, even weak students were able likely to have limited impact where teachers fail to to deal in depth with a difficult topic. Alternatively, Hoyles appreciate that interactivity requires a new approach and Noss (1992), as a result of their studies in Logo- to pedagogy. based microworlds, suggested that teachers restrict the Hennessy (2000), working with graphing software on software environment within which pupils may explore palmtop computers, observed that the main gains were and within which pupil autonomy and mathematical in the motivation of the pupils. Graph plotting became expression may take place. simple, giving the teacher more time for other, more 10 The behaviourist approach studies observed behavioural responses of humans and animals. The approach is based on the belief that we learn to behave in response to our environment, either by stimulus–response association, or as a result of reinforcement. 18 11 Dynamic geometry systems are software packages which allow users to create shapes and mathematical models and then explore their properties.Science science. The influence of the teacher was recognised as a crucial element. When teachers provided limited supervision The most extensive uses of ICT in education have been in and guidance there were often periods of unproductive science at both primary and secondary levels. This can be activity. Teachers with more confidence in science tended to seen through different types of ICT environments such as monitor activities more closely and intervene more, as a simulations and modelling, as discussed below. result of which pupils extended their scientific skills. Primary science Secondary science Simulations Simulations For practical reasons, it is not possible to study certain The evidence from experimental studies shows that scientific processes first hand in the primary classroom. various aspects of achievement can be improved by ICT provides opportunities for pupils to explore integrating simulations into topics that pupils find simulations of these processes in the classroom, where conceptually difficult. The activities set by the teacher previously they would have needed to travel to a science involving simulations are often problem solving and centre or museum. A body of researchers have enquiry tasks, in which pupils interact with each other as investigated the extent to which ICT-based simulations well as with the teacher. Although these studies rarely can substitute for advanced experiments or experiences consider pedagogy in detail, they do suggest that the in a museum or science centre. collaboration between pupils was an outcome that was For example, Baxter and Preece (2000) found that the encouraged, but not specifically designed, by the learning of 48 pupils in years 5 and 6 (9- and 10-year- teachers, and that the collaboration is one of the factors olds) when they were taught with the aid of computer that leads to improved attainment. planetaria was equally effective as teaching with dome Computer simulations of experiments are often used in planetaria. Pupils worked in pairs at a computer, using short episodes in existing curricula. For example, planetarium software. Huppert et al. (1998) conducted an experimental study of the effect of using computer simulations on 10th-grade Modelling pupils’ (year 11 in the UK) ability to apply their Another important aspect of ICT in science at both primary knowledge to the growth curve of micro-organisms. The and secondary levels is modelling, in which pupils build use of simulations allowed the pupils to carry out their own models by identifying relevant factors and investigations more quickly and focus on analysing the variables and hypothesising relationships. Most of the results and hypothesising. The structure of the course research in this area focuses on learning and attainment, helped to create a collaborative learning atmosphere, but large projects such as the London Mental Models with pupils comparing results and exchanging ideas. project (Mellar et al., 1994) have also studied the role of the These aspects resulted in gains in cognitive learning. teacher in the classroom when pupils are building scientific models. This study and others have shown that although Tao and Gunstone (1999) investigated the use of primary school pupils could investigate existing models and computer simulations integrated into 10 weeks of physics hypothesise relationships, it was more difficult for them to instruction for one class in an Australian high school. The build their own model without the guidance and support of simulations were specifically developed to confront pupils’ the teacher. They tended to build very basic models, and alternative conceptions in mechanics. The classroom could not decide on strategies for further work without being study investigated whether and how collaborative learning told about the goals which they were trying to achieve. using computers fosters conceptual change. The programs provided the pupils with many opportunities for Jarvis et al. (1997), for instance, evaluated the effect of the co-construction of knowledge. During the process, collaboration by email on the quality of 10- to 11-year-old pupils complemented and built on each other’s ideas and pupils’ investigative skills in science in six rural primary incrementally reached shared understandings. Their schools. Although the children demonstrated a variety of interactions led to conceptual change. Although this study scientific skills, in particular observing and recording, and did not directly address the role of the teacher, it does developed some general computer skills, there was no suggest the desirability of providing opportunities for indication that the use of email enhanced their learning in 19 collaborative learning.

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