Graduation Year

2004

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Ph.D.

Degree Granting Department

Secondary Education

Major Professor

White, James A.

Keywords

proficiency, pre-service teachers, VIBES action plan, model, computers

Abstract

Over the last five years, there has been an increased number of computers in schools and teachers' colleges in Jamaica. In addition, recently revised national policy documents have indicated the need to infuse technology into the curricula of all schools. Despite these investments in computers, however, there has been little corresponding development in training teachers to use computers and emerging technologies as teaching learning tools.

The purposes of the study were three-fold: (a) to describe the current state of technology integration in Jamaica's teacher training programs (b) assess the extent to which teachers' college faculty and pre-service teachers perceived themselves as prepared to teach with computers, as well as their perceived computer proficiency; and (c) to use data gathered in the study to inform an action plan for integrating technology into Jamaica's teacher training programs. To gather required data, a survey design was employed because the study required collection of data from a large number of persons located in diverse sections of the island. Data were collected from three distinct groups of participants in three teachers' colleges in Jamaica. These included six teachers' college administrators--two principals and four vice-principals, 121 teachers' college faculty, and 268 final-year pre-service teachers.

Data were gathered through interviews with college administrators and IT faculty, questionnaires administered to college faculty and pre-service teachers, and focus group discussions with pre-service teachers.The results indicate that, in general, teacher training programs in Jamaica have not systematically incorporated technology in the college curricula. In addition, to a large extent, teachers' college faculty and pre-service teachers did not perceive themselves as prepared to teach with computers. These respondents also reported low levels of proficiency with various computer tools. In response to the urgent need to integrate technology into Jamaica's teachers' college curricula, the author proposes a new VIBES conceptual framework as an action plan specifically designed to facilitate technology integration into this setting. VIBES is comprised of five components: Vision, Infrastructure, Behaviour, Experience, and Support, hence the acronym.

Each component of VIBES is required in teacher training programs if technology is to be systematically incorporated into the college curricula.

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