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Higher Order Thinking through ICT: What do middle years teachers think really matters?

By Mary Elizabeth Lincoln


The middle years of schooling has emerged as an important focus in Australian education. Student disengagement and alienation, the negative effects of non-completion of the senior years of schooling and underachievement have raised concerns about the quality of education during the middle years. For many schools, reshaping the middle years has involved incorporating Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to motivate students. However, simultaneously there is a need to ensure that programs are academically rigorous. There is little doubt that there are potential benefits to integrating ICT into programs for middle years’ students. However, little is known about how middle years’ teachers perceive higher order thinking, which is a component of academic rigour. This paper investigates the question of What are teachers’ perceptions of higher order thinking in an ICT environment? The study is underpinned by socio-cultural theory which is based on the belief that learning occurs through social interaction and that individuals are shaped by the social and cultural tools and instruments they engage with. This investigation used a collective case study design. Two methods were used for data collection. These methods are semi-structured interviews with individual teachers and a class and a focus group discussion with teachers. Findings indicate that teachers hold various perceptions of higher order thinking that lead to productive approaches to integrating ICT in middle years’ classrooms. The paper highlights that there may be a continuum of perceptions of higher order thinking with ICT. This continuum may inform professional developers who are guiding and supporting teachers to integrate ICT into middle years’ classrooms

Topics: 130202 Curriculum and Pedagogy Theory and Development, 109999 Technology not elsewhere classified, Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), Middle years of schooling, higher order thinking, Academic rigour, Socio-cultural theory of learning, Middle schooling, Teachers' perceptions
Year: 2009
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