IMPLEMENTATION OF EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY IN PORTUGUESE PRIMARY TEACHER EDUCATION PROGRAMS
The background of Portuguese Higher Education Institutions has changed considerably in recent years, since the implementation of the Bologna Process. This led to several reorganizations in higher education courses at the level of its underlying principles such as curricular flexibility and life-long-learning.
As a result, Primary Teacher Education programs (Bologna 1st Cycle for teaching degree aimed at six to twelve year-old children) were restructured, throughout Portuguese universities and polytechnic institutions, in order to conceive educational opportunities to help students develop diverse competences, for instance critical evaluation of didactic resources.
Concomitantly, the implementation of the Bologna Process stressed the idea that integration of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in Higher Education Courses could contribute towards the improvement of teaching and learning experiences. Therefore, some Portuguese Higher Education Institutions considered essential to implement curricular areas related to Educational Technologies (ET) (for example, educational technology, computers in education, among others) in Primary Teacher Education programs. The main educational purpose of this curricular area is to develop students’ pedagogical and technological competences, in order to promote ICT effective use in several disciplinary areas, such as sciences teaching and learning.
In this context, it is important to understand if the curricular areas related to ET, implemented in Primary Teacher Education programs, are, or are not harmonized with the above statements. Therefore, the aim of this article is to present the first phase of an ongoing PhD study, at the University of Aveiro, whose focus is to analyse the “state of the art” of the implementation of Educational Technology (ET) in Primary Teacher Education programs.
Based on a qualitative research methodology, several curricular areas related to ET were analysed, from data obtained from seven universities and thirteen polytechnic institutions. Along with this research task, a content data analysis instrument was developed, evaluated and applied with the following aims: 1) to know which pedagogical and technological competences are being develop in ET contexts; 2) to identify the main programmatic areas included in ET; 3) to know which teaching and learning perspectives are implemented in ET; 4) to unveil the learning evaluation perspectives adopted. Additionally, we also consider important to verify if the implementation of ET is, or is not transversal to other areas, like science education.
A complete description of the research methodology as well as preliminary results achieved so far will be put forward in this article.
This research phase helped us find some practical guidelines in order to develop, implement and evaluate an in-service and initial teacher education program for science primary teachers, with a focus on the integration of the ET in the teaching and learning process in general, and in science teaching and learning in particular, which is the main purpose of the present PhD study.