Practicing What You Believe

Today I was reviewing old notes about professional development and found this that I once wrote in response to a request for PD recommendations: “The professional development focus should not be on technology, rather on pedagogical practices. Should technology be found to be complementary to or facilitating of constructivist learning, teachers will seek training and education in the use of technology.” At the time I was certain that if teachers believed in the value of a student-centered approach to teaching,technology integration would naturally follow. Seemed logical, however,it was not exactly what I experienced when observing classroom teachers. Wondering if there were studies on this issue, I conducted a web search and found this: How teachers integrate technology and their beliefs about learning: is there a connection?. The final sentence in the FINDINGS section states, “Put simply, the researchers stepped into the classrooms with a constructivist lens and found there was no significant correlation between teachers’ reported beliefs about instruction and their actual practice of integrating technology.” The questions I am left with are: 1) technology integration aside, do teachers who profess to believe in the value of a contructivist pedagogy actually practice it? and 2) what do we do now, focus on technology integration disassociated from student-centered learning?

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