N. Alvarez Mexia, T. Griego-Jones

University of Arizona (UNITED STATES)
This qualitative research focuses on the knowledge of the "práctica docente" associated with the use of the Mexican educational software program known as Enciclomedia and the pre-service preparation that Mexican elementary school teachers gain in order to use this pedagogical tool in their classrooms. Under this type of teacher preparation, the concept of "práctica docente" (translated in English as teaching practice) is primarily used to prepare educators in Mexico. While the primary theoretical framework that this study discusses is "práctica docente", previous studies about the use of technology in schools, education and teacher preparation programs are also included.

Beginning in 2001, educational reform in Mexico introduced the use of Enciclomedia in the fifth and sixth grades. The implementation and purpose of Enciclomedia seeks to guarantee access and quality in elementary education but teaching practices ( práctica docente ) were superficially examined to determine how educators can be better prepared in the use of Enciclomedia . The incorporation of Enciclomedia into Mexican elementary classrooms suggests the need for better teacher preparation programs in the use of technology for educational purposes.

The primary purpose of this research is to inform how teachers include the use of technology in their teaching practices and how these practices influence the use of technology in the classroom. The qualitative research design involved a study of two teachers, one female and one male, who were teaching in public schools situated in Ciudad Obregón, Sonora, a city located in Northern Mexico. The personal story, teacher preparation, and the observations of these two teachers using Enciclomedia served as a context for the portrait that was developed through this study.

This study reveals a strong relationship between the use of technology and teaching, teachers' ideology about teaching, daily teaching practices using technology versus the previous preparation teachers received, and the role of the education system in the use of technology. The findings of this study are used to formulate recommendations for staff development to prepare teachers in connect the use of Enciclomedia with their práctica docente and better understand the use of technology in the classroom.