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ERIC Number: EJ827904
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Dec
Pages: 25
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 30
ISSN: ISSN-0899-3408
Computer Science and IT Teachers' Conceptions of Successful and Unsuccessful Teaching: A Phenomenographic Study
Carbone, Angela; Mannila, Linda; Fitzgerald, Sue
Computer Science Education, v17 n4 p275-299 Dec 2007
In this paper we present the results of a phenomenographic study revealing the conceptions of successful and unsuccessful teaching among information and communication technology, information technology (IT), and computer science academics. We examine ways in which the understandings of IT teachers are similar to or differ from other teachers in domain-specific ways. Our categorizations of successful teaching (feeling successful, good delivery, developing student thinking) correspond to similar findings in the literature. However, our categorizations of unsuccessful teaching are more revealing. Undergraduate IT teachers understand unsuccessful teaching in five ways: teacher lacks skills, teacher lacks organizational support, students do not take responsibility, domain complexity, and students do not demonstrate understanding. These conceptualizations do not directly correspond to the ways in which teachers perceive successful teaching, revealing a gap between idealized notions of teaching and actual teaching in practice. Of specific interest, lack of administrative support in the form of insufficient funding, overloaded lecture hours, and inexperienced teaching assistants emerged as barriers to effective teaching. Equally important, difficulties in dealing with abstraction and complexity specific to IT disciplines have consequences for the way in which IT should be taught. These phenomenographic categories of description are intended to serve as a framework for IT teachers to engage in a process of self-reflection leading to improved teaching practices. We present ways in which the understandings of successful and unsuccessful teaching can aid in this process. (Contains 2 tables.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A