“The Spanish isn’t there” : the beliefs and instructional technology practices of three graduate student instructors of Spanish
Matthews, Michelle Dion
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Our nation’s first Chief Technology Officer, Aneesh Chopra, has said that “technology in education is less about hardware and software and more about what we teach, the method in which we teach it, and professional development and support for educators” (Fletcher, 2009). While technology reform continues to provide schools and colleges with hardware and software (Kern & Warschauer, 2000; Kessler, 2006), the amount of technology teachers use remains low (Barron et al., 2003; Cuban et al., 2001). If our efforts are to reform, as Chopra suggests, what we teach and how we teach it, our instructional technology research must incorporate the voices of teachers who determine what happens inside the classroom. One theory regarding limited technology use has been that teachers’ beliefs and their relationship to practice might provide us with insight that will allow us to aid teachers in their craft (Becker & Riel, 1999; Ertmer, 2005). This qualitative case study examines three Spanish teachers’ pedagogical beliefs and how those beliefs relate to their instructional technology use. Data include interviews, observations, field notes and documents analyzed using a constant comparative approach (Lincoln & Guba, 1985). Findings show that beliefs about the classroom environment most influence their choices regarding instructional technology.