An Activity Theory Perspective to Examine Three Secondary School English Teachers' Beliefs and Practices in Technology Integration
|關鍵字:||社會文化理論;活動理論;資訊融入;教師信念;sociocultural theory;activity theory;technology integration;teacher belief|
為了能夠有更全盤的理解，本研究採用了活動理論(activity theory)為研究的理論架構，用來檢視中學英語教師在資訊融入教學所抱持的理念與實踐。活動理論(Engeström, 1987, 1999)是隸屬於社會文化理論之下，其架構並可以被用來解釋個人行為、心智與環境之間錯綜複雜的關係。透過活動理論，本研究以個案研究的方式，探討三位在中學任教的英語教師對於資訊融入教學的信念，以及其個體的活動系統(activity system)如何影響教師在資訊融入上的實行。研究資料擷取於面談訪問與課室觀察，並藉由活動理論中的六個物件來進行更深入的分析，其中包括對象(subject)、目標(object)、媒介工具(mediating artifact)、規則(rule)、角色(division of labor)、以及教師所身處的社群(community)。
In the recent years research on the relationship between teachers’ beliefs and practices in technology has undergone a redirection of foci on social and cultural factors. Previous studies have identified a variety of contextual factors which may impede teachers from integrating technology in their classroom. Those factors, however, mostly being treated as independent variables, fail to provide a more complete view for the limited integration of computer technology in the classroom, especially in secondary education. To gain a holistic picture of secondary English teachers’ beliefs and practices in technology integration, activity theory (Engeström, 1987, 1999), an important component of sociocultural theory, was adopted as the theoretical framework to map out the complexity of individuals’ behaviors and capture the dynamic interplay between individual minds and social surroundings (Hopwood & Stocks, 2008; Kahveci, et al., 2008). Case study methodology was adopted to explore three secondary English teachers’ beliefs toward technology integration and their activity systems that shaped their pedagogical practices regarding technology. Qualitative data were elicited from interviews and classroom observations. Data were analyzed based on the six components of an activity theory system, including personal agency, objects, mediating artifacts, rules, division of labors, and the community where the teachers were situated. The findings revealed that the teachers’ pedagogical practices in terms of technology integration were affected by their beliefs as well as the situated contextual factors. As the subject of their activity systems, each participant carried their own beliefs regarding the role of computer technology in teaching, and such beliefs formed the fundamental subject agency that determined how technology could be integrated in their teaching. Furthermore, contextual factors also exerted strong influence upon their technology integration. These contextual factors, embedded within teachers’ situated community, could contradict or reinforce their beliefs, causing them to either make compromises or solidify their belief as to the role of technology in the classroom. Four pedagogical implications derived from the study were provided. First, teachers can be introduced to feasible examples and demonstrations of effective technology integration so they can be more convinced of the potential and relevance of technology in teaching. Second, teachers can collaborate with one another to design classroom materials through technology to save the preparation time. Instead of total adherence to textbooks, teachers should also treat them as guidance and enrich its content through computer technology. Third, communication among all stakeholders should be in place to understand more about teachers’ needs and concerns regarding technology integration. Finally, technology should be integrated under the premise that it can enhance students’ learning in meaningful ways.
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