About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 5612-5619
Publication year: 2011
ISBN: 978-84-614-7423-3
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-9 March, 2011
Location: Valencia, Spain

BLENDING TECHNOLOGY FOR TEACHER PREPARATION IN THE SPECIAL EDUCATION SECTOR: AN EXPLORATORY STUDY TOWARDS A CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK WITHIN THE SINGAPORE CONTEXT

M. Wettasinghe

National Institution of Education (SINGAPORE)
Information & Communication Technology (ICT) has had a profound effect on our society and the world. Educators are aware of the importance of computer literacy, hence the call to introduce ICT in special education. In Singapore, much effort has been spent in the area of ICT as learning and teaching resources. While mainstream school teachers have had the privilege of the integration of ICT in their teaching training programmes, this has not happened for special educators. In line with this, the introduction of ICT into Special Education programmes has been sporadic and situational. Since it is teachers who are the front-runners in using ICT in their classrooms, exposure in the use of ICT in special education as part of the teaching training programme is important. This study attempts to describe and explain how Special Education teachers in Singapore have learnt and changed professionally in response to attempts to use ICT as part of their Diploma in Special Education at the National Institute of Education, Singapore. Standard models of continuing professional development use approaches of transmitting formal abstract knowledge and acquiring knowledge by learning from experience in the workplace. However limited research has been conducted using the alternative model of professional development based on change and learning using Fox et al’s (1998) learning and change theory. To date, no published study has looked at how special educators have changed and learned in response the integration of ICT into teacher preparation programmes. The results from this study revealed three emergent themes that provide for a framework towards understanding how special education teachers learn and change, in the current context of the implementation of ICT in education, which is considered a massive educational reform in Singapore : special educators are comfortable with changes relating to professional causes; social causes of change are effective within a social network of peers that supported these changes and large changes were made as a result of personal motivation through professional causes. The practical implications generated from this study note that there are four areas of concerns to be addressed when planning for the blending of technology in special education teacher preparation programmes : educators must provide leadership in creating new models for the teachers to use ICT in their learning processes; the establishment of professional learning communities and networks; engaging special educators in a new set of technology-related skills and knowledge that allow them to work with ICT confidently and knowingly within their areas of specialization. This study also serves as a channel for teachers to provide feedback on their learning experiences in relation to the use of ICT in their classrooms. This could, in turn, provide a theoretical framework for further professional development of special educators in the area of IT in special education with proceeding studies.
@InProceedings{WETTASINGHE2011BLE,
author = {Wettasinghe, M.},
title = {BLENDING TECHNOLOGY FOR TEACHER PREPARATION IN THE SPECIAL EDUCATION SECTOR: AN EXPLORATORY STUDY TOWARDS A CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK WITHIN THE SINGAPORE CONTEXT},
series = {5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2011 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-614-7423-3},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {7-9 March, 2011},
year = {2011},
pages = {5612-5619}}
TY - CONF
AU - M. Wettasinghe
TI - BLENDING TECHNOLOGY FOR TEACHER PREPARATION IN THE SPECIAL EDUCATION SECTOR: AN EXPLORATORY STUDY TOWARDS A CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK WITHIN THE SINGAPORE CONTEXT
SN - 978-84-614-7423-3/2340-1079
PY - 2011
Y1 - 7-9 March, 2011
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2011 Proceedings
SP - 5612
EP - 5619
ER -
M. Wettasinghe (2011) BLENDING TECHNOLOGY FOR TEACHER PREPARATION IN THE SPECIAL EDUCATION SECTOR: AN EXPLORATORY STUDY TOWARDS A CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK WITHIN THE SINGAPORE CONTEXT, INTED2011 Proceedings, pp. 5612-5619.
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