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Theses Doctoral

How Prepared Are Pre-service Early Childhood Teachers to Integrate Mathematics Software in the Classroom?...

Labrecque, Rachael Jeanne

Technology has long been viewed an important tool in education and instructional software offers unique affordances that when designed well can help improve teaching and learning. However, for software to effectively impact education, teachers must be prepared to effectively incorporate it into the classroom. This is a task that involves many factors, three of which explored in this study include the abilities to integrate, find, and evaluate quality of educational software.
With the increasing support for the use of educational software with young children, it is imperative to understand the unique challenges early childhood teachers face and how teacher education programs are preparing them to meet the demands of an evolving 21st century education system. Contrary to their colleagues who teach older students, extensive research on this population and topic is largely absent.
Given that little research has been done to evaluate how prepared pre-service teachers are to enter the early childhood classroom and integrate educational software, the main goals of this study were to offer preliminary insight on their experiences using and preparing to use educational software with young children; how they approach evaluating quality of educational software; and beliefs on how well their teacher education programs have prepared them.
Results from this study have important implications for the design of teacher education programs and in-service professional development on the integration of educational software at the early childhood grade levels. This paper provides initial evidence that pre-service early childhood teachers may be under-prepared to enter the classroom ready to effectively integrate educational software and demonstrates a clear need for more research on how teacher education programs prepare their students to integrate, find, and evaluate quality of educational software in the classroom setting. Furthermore, results also offer school administrators insight on how prepared first year teachers are meet classroom expectations. For educational technology to significantly impact teaching and learning, targeted in-service professional development opportunities and enhanced teacher education may be necessary, even for the generations of teachers who grew up during the technological explosion.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Cognitive Studies in Education
Thesis Advisors
Ginsburg, Herbert P.
Degree
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
August 19, 2015

Notes

Full Title: How Prepared Are Pre-service Early Childhood Teachers to Integrate Mathematics Software in the Classroom? An Exploratory Study on the Implementation, Evaluation, and Search of Mathematics Software for the Early Grades.

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