Investigating the influences of teacher belief and contextual factors on the technology integration of Taiwanese high school teachers

Chen, Chao-hsiu
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The purposes of this study were to illustrate the technology integration of Taiwanese high school teachers, to explore the influence of the teachers’ pedagogical beliefs and beliefs about the potential of technology for their technology integration, and to investigate how contextual factors affect teacher belief and practice related to technology usage. Twelve Taiwanese high school teachers were recruited to participate in this project. With the interpretivist paradigm and qualitative case study methods, data were collected from classroom observation, interviews, and reviews of documents. The findings of this study can inform researchers and practitioners about how to improve the technology integration of Taiwanese high school teachers, and the findings can also provide different perspectives on the implementation of an educational innovation at different grade levels and at different educational systems. The study found that teachers’ pedagogical beliefs and beliefs about technology integration were not primary factors influencing technology integration. Instead, comparative analysis indicates primary mitigating factors were teachers’ concerns regarding obstacles to technology usage in classroom. Nevertheless, teachers’ pedagogical beliefs and beliefs about how technology could help them achieve their instructional goals did affect their perception and practice of technology integration. Teachers with more constructivist beliefs made efforts to allocate time for students to engage in problem- or project-based learning occasionally. Some of them used online discussion or presentation software to anchor and encourage discussion and interaction among teachers and students. Teachers who prioritized examination preparation mostly used technology to cover content, sometimes discarding technology when they considered technology not cost-effective or a distraction for student learning. The analysis of the influences of context factors on technology integration focused on the context of Taiwanese high schools. The College Joint Entrance Examination, the mandatory curriculum standards, adopted textbooks, and inflexible assessment methods allowed teachers limited time and freedom to integrate technology with creative instruction design. The available equipment and support from others could be another issue, and the attitudes of other stakeholders could give teachers either pressure or support. Finally, school culture as well as issues of racial, social, and culture difference should be considered while promoting technology integration.