Preservice teachers' preconceptions about the role of the computer in learning and teaching
The purpose of this research study was to examine preservice teachers' preconceptions of the role of the computer in learning and teaching and the factors effecting those preconceptions. During the 1997 fall semester, 279 preservice teachers in an introductory instructional technology course were given the three survey instruments. The instruments were designed to gather data about the subjects' background, experience with computers, attitudes toward computers, attitudes toward computers in education, computer proficiency, beliefs about effective computer use, and epistemological beliefs. The results of this research study revealed several factors that significantly effected preservice teachers' ability to conceptualize advanced ways of using the computer in the classroom such as: computer attitudes, computer proficiency, and beliefs about knowledge acquisition. The results have interesting implications for all aspects of teacher education, particularly the development of preservice teachers' beliefs about teaching, learning, and computer use in education. Knowledge of preservice teachers' existing attitudes and beliefs about teaching, learning, and computers, affords teacher educators the opportunity to design and implement instruction that will help preservice teachers to develop more comprehensive conceptions of the role of the computer in the classroom.