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An investigation into the use of Activity Theory to Mirror ICT Practices in the Teacher Professional

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... the Teacher Professional Development Landscape of a Development Country Context ... Complex landscape. Myriad of national and international initiatives ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: An investigation into the use of Activity Theory to Mirror ICT Practices in the Teacher Professional


1
An investigation into the use of Activity Theory
to Mirror ICT Practices in the Teacher
Professional Development Landscape of a
Development Country Context
  • Mary Hooker
  • EdTech 2009
  • Post-graduate Track Dublin City University

2
Action Research
  • Action researchers start with an idea and follow
    it where it leads them...
  • Mc Niff and Whitehead (2006 31)

3
Research Question
  • How can I improve my practice as a facilitator
    to engage teacher educator institutions in a
    reflexive discourse on the use of ICT in Teacher
    Professional Development?

4
My Context
  • I am an Education Specialist
  • I work for an INGO called Global eSchools and
    Communities Initiatives (GeSCI)
  • GeSCI provides strategic advice to Ministries of
    Education in developing countries on the
    effective use of Information and Communication
    Technologies (ICTs) for education and communities
    of learning.

5
My Values
  • I reject power imbalances evident in north-south
    relationships in development
  • Knowledge has to represent something far greater
    than a transfer of packaged models or frameworks
    from one system to another
  • I value other peoples capacity to come to know
    in their own way, to create their own knowledge,
    to draw on insights from the knowledge of others

6
My Concerns
  • An equitable relationship with partners developed
    upon processes of mutual learning and change
  • Approaching issues on a basis of co-construction
    of knowledge, through processes of critical
    reflection and experience

7
Why am I concerned?
  • North-south transfer of capacity which is often
    assumed, rather than a process of mutual learning
  • (Taylor and Clarke, 2008)
  • Problematic nature of collaboration if
    participants have not been properly involved in
    defining the need and purpose of the
    developmental process and their views and
    interests are not addressed
  • (Kontiainen 2007, cited in Hakkarainen, 2007)
  • The gap between classroots and policy level
  • (O Sullivan, 2004)
  • The absence of the teachers voice in policy
    discourse and formulation

8
What am I going to do about it?
  • I need to develop appropriate tools to support
    knowledge building and understanding of the
    issues and challenges in Teacher Professional
    Development policy and practice

9
Literature
Global Agenda Education For All
  • Education for All (EFA) agenda as a Global Social
    Justice (GSJ) Project
  • Concept of quality is fundamental to its
    achievement
  • A quality education is dependent on the
    development of high quality teachers
  • Momentous challenge in a global context of ever
    more complex demands on systems for educational
    provision
  • Acute shortages in the supply of suitably
    qualified and experienced teachers north and
    south
  • Disparities in quality provision accelerate as
    richer countries lure qualified teachers from
    less favoured regions.
  • Davis, 2000 Leach 2008

10
Literature
Global Agenda Knowledge Society for All
  • Systemic economic growth is the key to poverty
    reduction and increased prosperity
  • New Growth economic models emphasize the
    importance of new knowledge, innovation, and the
    development of human capacity as the sources of
    sustainable economic growth
  • ICTs are engines for new growth and tools for
    empowering societies to change into knowledge
    economies or information societies

Source AKRI Ltd.
11
Literature
Global Agenda Knowledge Society for All
  • Education is a major pillar of a knowledge
    economy and a human right
  • Citizens will need to be prepared in new
    technology literacy competencies inclusive of
    higher order thinking and sound reasoning skills
    - the ability to learn how to learn (i.e. to be a
    life-long learner), the ability to reflect, to
    analyse synthesize, to find solutions and to
    adapt
  • Through access to an inclusive high-quality
    education by all benefits to individual,
    business, private and public enterprise are
    multiplied and will lead to economic growth that
    is more equitably distributed and enjoyed by all.
  • GeSCI, 2008 UNESCO 2008

12
Literature
Use of ICT in Teacher Professional Development
in Africa
  • Complex landscape
  • Myriad of national and international initiatives
  • Proliferation of one-off, topic-led, short-term
    training programmes that aim to develop specific
    skills of teachers
  • Paradigm shift towards longer term, systemic TPD
    initiatives
  • Features of ICT integration in and across
    curricula, on-line learning, virtual communities
    of practice, web portals of resources,
    certification of progress
  • Farrell and Isaacs, 2007

Source UNESCO
13
Literature
Benchmarking ICT in Teacher Professional
Development

14
Literature
Cultural Historical Activity Theory (CHAT)...
New solutions, new model for practice
Mirror of everyday practice (Historical
and ongoing)
Future
Conceptual tools
Present
Past
Activity system framework
Facilitators
Stakeholders
Engestrom, 2003
15
CHAT Cycles for Expansive Learning
Literature
16
Methodology
  • Qualitative approach Action Research Living
    Theory
  • (Whitehead and Mc Niff, 2006)
  • Studying my practice and generating practical
    knowledge that is rooted in my practice in
    relation to the ideas of others

17
CHAT... Cycle 1 Past
Mirror of everyday practice (Historical
and ongoing)
Conceptual tools
Past
Activity system framework
Facilitators
Stakeholders
Engestrom, 2003
18
CYCLE 1 TEACHERS STORIES
Story telling in a conversational setting with
its associations for risk-taking and
permissiveness, may be more likely to reveal
uncomfortable experiences, ideas, issues and
concerns… conditions (that) can increase the odds
for productive learning. McDrury and Alterio
2002, cited in Haigh, 200512
19
THE MOST SIGNIFICANT CHANGE (MSC) TECHNIQUE
  • Process involves
  • The collection of significant change (SC) stories
    from the practice level
  • The systematic selection of the most significant
    of these stories by panels or working groups of
    stakeholders or staff

20
THE MOST SIGNIFICANT CHANGE (MSC) TECHNIQUE
Looking back over the last month, what do you
think was the most significant change in your
practice since using computers in your
classroom?
THE KERNEL
21
THE MOST SIGNIFICANT CHANGE (MSC) TECHNIQUE
From among all these significant change
stories, what do you think was the most
significant change of all?
THE KERNEL
22
Story Selection Criteria
  • Shift in teacher role
  • teacher is no longer the gatekeeper of knowledge
  • teacher is emerging as co-learner - learning with
    and from students about the technology
  •  
  • Shift in pedagogy
  • student-centred approach
  • discovering learning through exploring
  • ICT as catalyst for change
  • ICTs can change pedagogy
  • student can become addicted and distracted from
    learning
  • war inside teacher leading to anxiety
  • Shift in learner role
  • from passive to active engagement
  • student more confident in using technology than
    teacher
  • Shift in pedagogy
  • Learning becomes real - changes world view
  • Student can learn from research, team work,
    communication (self-learning)
  • ICT as catalyst for change
  • ICT breaking down geographic barriers - world
    accessible through the internet
  • 3d multi-media dynamic learning instead of 2d
    static learning
  • Interactivity for student
  • Education For All Relationship

23
CHAT... Cycle 2 Present
Mirror of everyday practice (Historical
and ongoing)
Conceptual tools
Present
Past
Activity system framework
Facilitators
Stakeholders
Engestrom, 2003
24
CYCLE 2 TEACHERS WORK ENVIRONMENTS
Activity Theory Lens What tensions do the
stories reveal in educational practice?
25
Facilitating Expansive School Transformation
Using ICT in the SADC Region A Botswana Pilot
Project
Nleya, 2009
26
School Time-table
Teacher-Rules Do you collaborate with other
teachers about how ICT can be used in teaching
and learning? For now no, the teacher has a lot
of, many periods, 27, 28, we are not permitted to
get time to discuss about it... The high priority
for teachers is to prepare notes for what they
have to teach their students in their subjects...
And marking, that is what I think...
Tools
ICT


Teacher B Object

ICT
Literacy


Rules
Role

School time-table
Liaise between school and
partner Curriculum
National Examinations
27
Community of Practice
Teacher-Community Do teachers ever communicate
with teachers in other schools? Not so much
actually, not so much... But if we can discuss
with the teachers, during our time, our free
time, we can say, we can help each other


Tools - ICT


Teacher B
Object

ICT Literacy



Rules
Community Role
School
time-table Teachers
Liaise between school and
partner Curriculum
Management National Examinations
28
Tensions in School Environment
  • Teachertools The insufficiency of ICT training
    and inadequacy of lab resources hampers the
    teachers efforts to implement ICT in the
    teaching-learning process.
  • Teacherrules Tight time-tables and bureaucratic
    planning inhibit opportunities for the teacher to
    research, to direct self-learning to communicate
    with other teachers on ICT use. Teachers tend to
    be excluded from school policy and planning on
    ICT use in the school environment.
  • Teacher-objective The teachers are not involved
    in defining objectives for their training needs
    for ICT integration. There are many constraints
    and no incentives for teachers to apply ICT in
    their daily practice.
  • Tools-community The insufficiency of ICT
    resources available to teachers inhibits
    inter-disciplinary collaboration internally
    between teachers and ICT liaison/ coordinators,
    and between teachers and other teachers from
    other schools.

29
CHAT... Cycle 3 Future
New solutions, new model for practice
Mirror of everyday practice (Historical
and ongoing)
Future
Conceptual tools
Present
Past
Activity system framework
Facilitators
Stakeholders
Engestrom, 2003
30
CYCLE 3 WORKSHOP TEACHER PROFESSIONAL
DEVELOPMENT FOR TOMORROW, TODAY
31
Change Story Lens
Mirror 1 - Past Which story represents the most
significant change? Teacher A? Teacher
B? Teacher C? Student D?
32
Activity System Lens
  • Mirror 2 - Present
  • What tensions do the stories reveal about
    current educational practice?

33
Future Scenario Lens
  • Mirror 3 - Future
  • What scenarios will teachers populate in future
    practice?

34
Expansive Learning
  • Creating a new model
  • What will be the Development Path for the next
    ten years?
  • Tailoring TPD programmes to a particular country,
    its policies and its current educational
    conditions...
  • UNESCO, 2008

35
Living Contradiction
  • We take as the starting point of our research
    the idea that we experience ourselves as living
    contradictions when our values are denied in our
    practice
  • Whitehead 1989 cited in Whitehead and McNiff
    2006 25

36
Workshop evaluation
  • Workshop was successful due to strong
    communication, facilitation and organizational
    skills of facilitators but it had some
    shortcomings.
  • To organize a workshop which yields no
    significant outcomes, is a wastage of money, time
    and resources which otherwise can be utilized in
    another productive mission.
  • Participant Feedback - Workshop Teacher
    Professional Development for Tomorrow, Today

37
Workshop on North/South Research Partnerships for
ICT in Education April 21st Irish Aid Centre,
Dublin
  • New joint research projects
  • New models for integrating research to education
    development and policy making
  • New capacities in South and North

Research
GeSCI
Education Development
Policy making
38
References
  • Davies, R and Dart, J. 2007. The Most
    Significant Change Technique Online. Available
    from http//www.mande.co.uk/docs/MSCGuide.pdf
  • Davis, N. 2000. International Contrast of
    Information Technology in Teacher Education
    multiple perspectives of change. Editorial.
    Journal of Technology for Teacher Education
    Online. 9 (2) pp 139-147 Available from
    Academic Search Premier http//www.library.dcu.ie/
    Eresources/databases-az.htm Accessed 26 March
    2009
  • Engestrom, R. 2003. Change lab a new
    perspective to teachers professional development
    Online. Available from WITFOR at
    www.witfor.org.bw/doc/dr_ritva_education.ppt
    Accessed 19 April 2009
  • Farrell, G. and Isaacs, S. 2007. Survey of ICT
    and Education in Africa Online. Available from
    infoDEV at www.infodev.org/en/Document.353.pdf
    Accessed 9 April 2009
  • GeSCI 2008. Strategic Plan 2009 2011 Online.
    Available from GeSCI at www.gesci.org Accessed
    15 December 2008
  • Hakkarainen, K. et al. 2008. A Research Plan for
    the Academy of Finland. Helensinki University of
    Helsinki (internal document)
  • Kennedy, A. 2005. Models for Continuing
    Professional Development A framework for
    Analysis. Journal of In-Service Education
    Online. 31 (2), pp235-250. Available from
    Professional Development Collection at
    http//www.library.dcu.ie/Eresources/databases-az.
    htm Accessed 15 December 2008
  • Leach, J. 2008. Do new information and
    communications technologies have a role to play
    in the achievement of education for all? British
    Educational Research Journal Online. 34 (6),
    pp783 805. Available from Academic Search
    Premier http//www.library.dcu.ie/Eresources/datab
    ases-az.htm Accessed 26 March 2009
  • OSullivan, M. 2004. The reconceptualisation of
    learner-centred approaches a Namibian case
    study. International Journal of Educational
    Development Online. 24 pp 585-602. Available
    from Academic Search Premier http//www.library.d
    cu.ie/Eresources/databases-az.htm Accessed 15
    December 2008
  • Taylor, P. and Clarke, P. 2008. Capacity for
    Change. Sussex CUIDS, University of Sussex
  • UNESCO 2008. ICT Competency Standards for
    Teachers Policy Framework Online. Available
    from UNESCO at http//cst.unesco-ci.org/sites/pro
    jects/cst/The20Standards/ICT-CST-Policy20Framewo
    rk.pdf Accessed 11 April 2009
  • Whitehead, J. and Mc Niff, J. 2006. Action
    Research Living Theory.London Sage Publications
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