Technology integration, beliefs, and pedagogical practices in the social studies: a phenomenological case study of teacher-initiated, one-to-one technology in middle school social studies

Marie K. Heath
In the United States, social studies education plays a critical role in preparing students to be active citizens in a democracy. Student centered, inquiry-based instruction helps foster learner agency, but it occurs infrequently in social studies classrooms. One-to-one (1:1) technology, in which every learner uses a personal computing device, has been suggested as a tool to facilitate shifts in social studies pedagogy. Despite this potential, little research exists which examines one-to-one
more » ... nology in social studies. The purpose of this study was to explore the experiences of two social studies teachers who initiated and integrated one-to-one technology over a two-year period in a racially diverse, high-poverty middle school. Using a phenomenological methodology, data were collected through interviews, observations, and artifacts and were interpreted using transcendental phenomenological reduction. The theory of Technological, Pedagogical, and Content Knowledge (TPACK) (Koehler & Mishra, 2005) framed discussion of findings. Findings reveal themes of teachers' positive beliefs about technology, teachers' belief in themselves as professionals with agency, teachers' relationship with the larger school district, and the ways in which teacher empowerment, technological knowledge, and pedagogical shifts led to greater student autonomy in learning. The study contributes to the foundation for one-to-one research in social studies by concluding: meaningful integration of one-to-one in social studies occurs at a confluence of complex factors; positive teacher beliefs about technology and teacher beliefs about professional agency impact integration; teacher voice is critical to research; and a modified version of TPACK is necessary in order to more fully capture the complex relationship between teacher beliefs and the teacher's interaction with administration and district goals. The study recommends that policymakers and practitioners should empower teachers by: building teacher capacity and supporting development o [...]
doi:10.13016/m25r62 fatcat:iqhu6vuffrah3kyg35yzkcyoo4