A Case Study: Social Studies Preservice Teachers' Perceptons and Attitudes Toward Computer Technologies

Open Access
Author:
Kesten, Alper
Graduate Program:
Curriculum and Instruction
Degree:
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Dissertation
Date of Defense:
March 13, 2006
Committee Members:
  • Murry R Nelson, Committee Chair
  • Marily Page, Committee Member
  • Patrick Willard Shannon, Committee Member
  • Edgar Paul Yoder, Committee Member
Keywords:
  • Preservice teachers
  • social studies
  • computer technology
  • attitudes
  • perceptions
Abstract:
A Case Study: Social Studies Preservice Teachers’ Perceptions and Attitudes toward Computer Technologies has its rational basis in the proliferation of technology throughout every aspect of the contemporary world. Specifically, the purpose of this study is to explore the perceptions, attitudes and knowledge of preservice teachers as they pertain to technology in social studies education. This investigation examines whether preservice teachers want to use computer technology in social studies, their motivations and how they plan to employ computer technology in social studies instruction. In addition, the factors that influence social studies preservice teachers’ use of computer technology will be explored and described. The value of this study lies in three areas: 1) Growing interest technology’s use in classrooms and limited research illustrate the importance of examining integration of information technology as teaching and learning tools on the attitudes and practices of preservice teachers. 2) Adding to the body of knowledge in preservice teacher education and information technology integration is important for methods courses. 3) And, the prescriptive findings of this research provide an effective model for integrating information technology in social studies teacher education. Data consisted of observations, interviews, surveys, informal conversations, and email communications. Twenty-eight preservice teachers were given a survey that asked how often they use computer technology, how familiar they are with computer technology, and what they think about the place of computer technology in social studies education. From these survey results, eight preservice teachers were chosen to participate in in-depth interviews. This study’s findings confirm that conducting new research regarding the place of computer technologies in social studies education, especially, in preservice teachers’ education is necessary to understand current situation in the use of computer technologies in social studies education. Research suggesting the place of computer technologies in social studies education dated data should be extremely careful not to avoid inaccurate judgments about this critical issue, especially about social studies preservice teachers’ perceptions and attitudes toward computer technologies. As exemplified, social studies preservice teachers’ computer technology backgrounds, and experiences and problems with computer technologies has changed over the years and using ten years old research as a basis for improving teacher education programs or to making new policies could pose extra problems instead of offering solutions. Therefore, all social studies research should conduct more investigations regarding social studies preservice teachers’ perceptions and attitudes toward computer technologies before taking any further steps in social studies teacher education programs. Also supported by the data is that universities could reorganize their social studies education programs for more effective methods courses designed to enhance the use of computer technologies in social studies education. In addition, research shows the requirement for updated insight into preservice teachers’ needs regarding computer technologies. Even though the social studies preservice teachers participating in this study requested training at a minimal level, they still articulated appreciation if training integrates into methods classes.