Universidad de Huelva (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2009 Proceedings
Publication year: 2009
Pages: 843-853
ISBN: 978-84-612-7578-6
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 9-11 March, 2009
Location: Valencia, Spain
The aim, therefore, of this research project, entitled, “Observatics”: the implementation of freeware in ICT Schools in Andalusia. Analysis of repercussions on the teaching/learning process, promoted and funded by the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science as part of its National R+D Plan, is to examine one of the second order factors that facilitates/impedes processes of technological integration, namely the beliefs of teachers about the meaning of technology in education, and subsequently to verify the influence of these beliefs on the use and application of technology in the classroom. Hence, the purpose of this analysis is to define teachers’ beliefs about the use of technology in education, thereby contributing to the generation of necessary discourse that could guide technological integration.

This research project focuses on analysing the beliefs of teaching staff, based on the starting hypothesis that even though teachers in general do not have one theoretically well-defined belief that is clearly accepted over others, they do display an overall positive or negative/sceptical conviction about the contributions of technology to education. Both types of beliefs, optimistic and sceptical, will influence the use and didactic application of technologies in a positive or negative direction. If this is so, one practical application could be the direction of specific support measures that mediate in intrinsic factors such as beliefs about technology in order to influence teachers’ positive involvement in these kinds of educational reforms. Therefore, the main aim is to demonstrate how the opinions of teaching staff about technology influence its didactic usage and curricular integration, in the firm belief that measures that help teachers to form defined opinions about the goals of education, thinking specifically about technology, would have a positive effect on the productivity and efficacy of these resources.

Having distinguished between five approaches to the presence of ICT in society and education systems, and even though almost none of these visions is based on solid arguments and there is no rational continuous discourse between the defenders of the different views, this study aims to achieve the following objectives:
1. Ascertain the degree to which these beliefs – theoretically well defined – are manifested among the true agents of education (the teaching staff).
2. Discover whether these theoretical positions only clash theoretically and not in practice, and whether there is a predominance of eclectic beliefs.
3. Ascertain whether a certain type of belief regarding ICT prevails over the others.
4. Discover the beliefs of teachers about the role and possibilities of education technologies.
5. Corroborate how teachers’ beliefs towards the use of technology in education influence their application of technology and attitudes towards curricular integration.