Report Open Access

Readiness and Practice to Teach and Learn in a Digital World (RAP)

Pamela Cowan; Martin Brown; Stephen Roulston; Rachel Farrell

In Ireland and Northern Ireland, there is a paucity of empirical evidence relating to the extent to which ITE students are prepared to teach through the medium of digital technology. To fill the lacuna of research in this area, the overarching purpose of this study, that commenced in 2018 and concluded in 2020, was to glean insights into how, student teachers can be supported to embed digital technologies into their teaching and learning. More specifically, and building on previous research focusing on ITE tutors’ use of technology in teaching and learning (Austin et al., 2018), this research used the voice of the student to explore how ITE students cope with the challenges and expectations of the digital classroom and how they have managed their own technological and pedagogical development as teachers entering the profession. The research centred on four overarching questions:

  • What are student teachers’ perceptions of pre-service tuition in EducationalTechnology
  • What are the hindering and facilitating factors that impact on pre-service teachers’ use of technology in school placement?
  • To what extent do student teachers reflect on their use of technology in the classroom?
  • What is the role of the Co-operating Teacher in placement schools?
  • To what extent do student teachers feel digitally prepared to teach in a digital world at the end of their ITE course?

The report begins with, as described in the preceding section, an overview of the hindering and facilitating factors relating to the use of digital technologies in education. Leading on from this, the methodology used in the study is described. Next, the penultimate section of the report provides a presentation and analysis of the research findings. The final section provides a discussion of research findings with recommendations and implications for Initial Teacher Education Policy and Practice in Ireland and Northern Ireland.

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