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ERIC Number: ED524284
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 379
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1242-5488-3
Teacher Perceptions and Use of the Internet in the Classroom: A Descriptive Case Study
Garcia, Steven Michael
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Teachers College, Columbia University
The purpose of this descriptive qualitative case study was to explore teacher perceptions and use of the Internet as a tool for constructivist learning. Based on a review of the literature, some researchers concluded that the Internet may be a catalyst for an instructional paradigm towards constructivism (Collins, 1991; Sheingold, 1991; Hadley & Sheingold, 1993; LeFoe, 1998; Wilson & Lowry, 2000). Yet despite the increase presence of information technology in schools, the vast majority of student learning experiences remained similar to those of students fifty years ago (Peck, Cuba, & Kirkpatrick, 2002). My research explored teachers' perceptions of the Internet as a vehicle for constructivist learning, their use of the Internet in the classroom to promote constructivist learning, and if they perceived such use influenced their instructional beliefs and practices. To do so, I selected a specific school district as a case study site due to its richness in teacher and student access to online learning applications and its proven record in educational technology innovation. I gathered data through key informant interviews, document analysis, focus group and individual teacher interviews, and direct observations. Documents and observations were analyzed using field observation rubrics reflecting my Attributes of Constructivist Learning Framework. Although limited in scope, my study provided opportunities for further study. A majority of teacher participants did not perceive the Internet as a vehicle for constructivist learning, citing the pivotal role of the teacher in determining such experiences. My findings may support the research of Green and O'Brien (2002): although the Internet projects appeared to be constructivist in nature, the assignments did not actually require students to solve questions beyond "knowledge retrieval." Web 2.0 applications emerged as a more constructivist approach to Internet-based learning than static Web 1.0 uses, depending on lesson design and purposeful student learning. My findings failed to concur with Becker and Ravitz's (1999) conclusion that under favorable circumstances, teachers' sustained use of computers and exploration of Internet resources may change teachers' pedagogical beliefs. Yet most participants reflected Hadley and Sheingold's (1993) research that teachers believed educational technology changed their instructional practice. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A