Using online primary source resources in fostering historical thinking skills : the pre-service social studies teachers’ understanding
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This dissertation entailed a qualitative case study on the confluence of technology and social studies in fostering a constructivist education. Through the examination of pre-service social studies teachers’ understanding of the online primary source resources (OPSR), three themes emerged. The first exposed the fragmented understanding of important pedagogical theories of constructivism and historical thinking among participants; the second suggested that OPSR was mostly valued by pre-service teachers for its provision of primary sources; and the third related to how pre-service teachers viewed the current state of technology and context as problematic for technology integration. Accordingly, four findings were revealed. First, the pre-service teachers in the study demonstrated a limited understanding of the application of foundational theories central to their field of study; second, there were instances of deeper appreciation of the potential of OPSR, indicating that pre-service teachers’ theoretical understanding is ix nascent and may deepen overtime; third, the full potential of technologies such as OPSR was not recognized; and fourth, the pre-service teachers’ perceptions of school and educational system conditions tended to negatively influence their views toward the integration of technology into their teaching practices. Implications indicate that first, foundational pedagogical theories are critical with regard to technology integration in education and as such teacher preparation programs must not assume what is taught is what is learned; second, instances of deeper understanding among pre-service teachers only appeared during the application of their theoretical understandings; third, context is critical in how OPSR would be used in classrooms and such contextual issues must not be ignored by teacher preparation programs; and fourth, teachers’ technological pedagogical content knowledge (PCK/TPCK) is critical in the integration of technology in education.