ERIC Number: ED310740
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Apr
Information Technology in Schools: Institutional Rewards and Moral Dilemmas.
Olson, John K.
Institutional rewards and practical problems are associated with access to information technology. Pursuit of rewards may offer teachers career recognition and profile in school systems but may also, if taken up in an unreflective way, lead to injustice in the classroom and hinder achieving desirable social and academic goals. This peril is illustrated in a case study which examines the practice of one teacher who was given a computer in response to a successful proposal to do research in her classroom. Despite the fact that use of the computer did not significantly contribute to her goal of improving students' writing skills, the teacher continued to use the new technology and, because only one computer was available, restricted access to only a select group of students. Through the use of computers in their classrooms, teachers obtain a powerful language for communicating their interest in innovative methods to university people, others involved in new developments, and administrators looking for centers of innovation. This institutional reward structure makes it difficult for teachers to reflect on the value of new technologies and thus exercise the virtues of honesty, courage, and justice which enable them to make their practice worthwhile. Reflection on practice in relation to its institutional setting is critical because it alerts teachers to the ways in which the institutions of schooling can undermine their own practice. (GL)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Francisco, CA, March 25-April 1, 1989).