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Computers for primary students : teachers’ beliefs about classroom computer usage in primary classrooms Boedianto, Joyce Maria

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate teachers' beliefs about computer usage for primary students. Specifically, this study examined (a) the beliefs primary teachers hold about developmentally appropriate uses of computers in primary classrooms, (b) how these beliefs compare with their descriptions of their pedagogical practices, (c) how these beliefs resonate with teachers' beliefs about how primary students learn in general, and (d) how teachers' beliefs and pedagogical practices compare with the recommendations made by early childhood education institutions. A multiple case study with a qualitative approach was conducted. Four female primary-grade teachers who have between 10 to 30 years teaching experience in primary classrooms participated in two semi-structured interviews. Overall, teachers held relatively similar beliefs about developmentally appropriate uses of computers, particularly that computer uses should be age appropriate and integrated into the curriculum. Teachers' overall beliefs about the developmental appropriateness of computer uses were continuous with their beliefs about how primary students learn and with the recommendations made by early childhood education institutions. On the other hand, there were both continuity and discontinuity between teachers' espoused beliefs with their descriptions of their pedagogical practices. Thus, holding shared beliefs about developmentally appropriate computer uses with the community of practice and early childhood education institutions does not necessarily assure that teachers' pedagogical practices are consistent with their espoused beliefs. Suggestions on how to support teachers in the implementation of developmentally appropriate practice in their classroom computer uses are made.

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