Paradigmatic frames by malj

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									EDPSY 490 CG
Tony Byungho Lee


                      Experimenting mixed methods:
Pre-service teachers’ perspective on educational technology


                                      Introduction


       The project started from my experience with pre-service teachers in one
educational technology class. I observed the pre-service teachers showing mixed
response and achievement during and after the semester. This observation was
inconsistent with many of the researches emphasizing the positive aspect of educational
technology. I found this inconsistency interesting, and started to study the pre-service
teacher’s perspective on educational technology.
       My main focus was, 1) to hear how - the “real voice”- the pre-service teachers
think about educational technology, and 2) study why pre-service teachers have certain
perspective. I used qualitative method to study these questions in this study.
       As I was conducting this study, I also found one of my colleagues finished a
similar study in different approach. They used quantitative method to assess the pre-
service teachers’ experience and perspectives of educational technology.
I found that these two independent projects could be mixed in multiple ways. This
experience could provide an experience to study mixed method approach, and expand
both of our independent projects.


                                         Purpose


       The main purpose of this project is, 1) to experiment mixing method in multiple
approaches with actual data, and 2) to study the pre-service teachers’ perspectives on
educational technology in multiple approaches, and develop new concepts of educational
technology.


                                     Data collection


1. Selecting data
         This project used data from two independent studies. These two studies were used
for the following reasons: 1) Both studies focus on pre-service teachers’ perspective and
experience on educational technology, 2) Both studies conducted survey and interview on
a similar group (undergraduate students taking C&I educational technology class), and 3)
Two studies use distinct research method (either quantitative study or qualitative study).


2. Independent research description
         1) “A virtual help room of teacher’s technology adoption” (by Mustafa Koc &
Nesrin Bakir, http://staff.ed.uiuc.edu/nbakir/edpsy387/)
         This ongoing study included needs assessment survey to find out the pre-service
teachers’ background and needs in technology use. The survey questionnaire was
developed from the technology standards of the International Society for Technology in
Education (ISTE). The survey questionnaire consists of 37 questions and one open ended
question. The survey was sent to the undergraduate students in one C&I educational
technology class. The response rate was 8.7% (26/300).
I decided to use this data because it shows general ideas of the pre-service teachers on
computer, and summarizes some explicit perspectives on educational technology. I am
using this data with the permission of two graduate students Mustafa Koc and Nesrin
Bakir.
         2) Looking through the windows of future teachers: How do pre-service teachers
view educational technology? (by Tony Lee & Mei-Li Shih,
http://students.ed.uiuc.edu/byunglee/class/lis450/preservice-teacher.htm)
         This project focuses on searching the implicit perspectives of educational
technology within pre-service teachers. We focused on qualitative research methods,
interviewing 6 undergraduate students who attended an educational technology class. We
also interviewed 2 Teaching Assistants of the class to understand the interview in broader
view. This study reflects some of the pre-service teachers’ implicit perspectives on
educational technology. The study developed themes from the interview result, and
attempted find explanations of the pre-service teachers’ perspective. This data is used
with the permission of the other group member, Mei-Li Shih.


                                     Assumptions


    This project used separate data from two independent studies. There is limitation in
mixing these two independent studies, but these data is used for experiment purpose. The
project makes some assumptions to mix these two data studies.
    1) The following projects, using three different paradigmatic frames, are
        independent studies.
    2) The data was collected following the research design of each project.
    3) Each project has different phase of data collection, and different number of
        groups.


                    Experimenting by paradigmatic frames


       This project used two sets of data from two different projects, and mixed these
data in different ways. This mixing was based on three different paradigm frames to get
experience of mixing methods in different perspectives.


                      Project 1: Post-positivism paradigm


1. Definition
       Positivism has a view that social research should adopt scientific method, that this
method is exemplified in the work of modern physicists, and that it consists of the
rigorous testing of hypotheses by means of data that take the form of quantitative
measurements.
2. Project objective
       Technology has an important meaning in modern society. Especially educational
technology is being integrated into the curriculum, and becoming an important part of the
learning experience. Therefore, it is important to find the pre-service teachers’ experience
& perspective on educational technology to develop an appropriate educational
technology curriculum in the future. Also it is also important to evaluate the current
educational technology curriculum for pre-service teachers.
From this background, project 1 focuses on two objectives: 1) measuring the pre-service
teachers’ experience and perspective on educational technology, and 2) evaluating the
educational technology curriculum for pre-service teachers of the University.


3. Research question
 What is the pre-service teachers’ educational technology experience?
 What is the pre-service teachers’ perspective on educational technology?

 How effective is the University educational technology curriculum?


4. Mixed method purpose
       The project purpose is complementarity (seeks elaboration, enhancement,
illustration, clarification of the result from one method with the results from the other
method, to increase meaningfulness-Greene 1989) and triangulation (the combinations
and comparisons of multiple data sources, data collection and analysis procedures,
research methods, and/or inferences that occur at the end of a study).


5. Design
       This project was based on the positivism paradigm. The project used sequential
implementation of methods.
       1) Sample: Project 1 was conducted on pre-service teachers who attended an
educational technology class in University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The sample
is diverse, but majority are in elementary education program.
       2) Phase 1 (Quantitative): The project conducted a survey to study the pre-service
teachers’ experience & perspective on educational technology, and evaluation on the
University educational technology class. Survey was used to find the general tendency of
pre-service teachers.
       3) Phase 2 (Qualitative): The project conducted an interview to clarify and
elaborate issues from the survey data of phase 1.


6. Findings
       1) Phase 1 (Survey data)
 Although the participants have used computers and have received training, they don't
understand the pedagogy that lies in integrating technology into their classrooms.
 17 participants (65%) find technology frustrating to use when they don't receive
adequate support.
 More than half of the participants indicate that the college does not prepare them to use
technology in their teaching. 73% of the participants need training to learn how to
implement computer technologies in order to enhance their students' learning.
 However, our data indicates that teachers are still using technologies within objectivist
model of teaching and learning. Most of the participants said that they feel comfortable
using computers as drill-practice and tutorial tools in their instruction; however ,they are
not able to use computers for engaging students in critical and higher order thinking.
 12 participants (almost 50%) refer to and base their selections on current research
regarding the effectiveness of those technologies when planning how to use computer
technologies for instruction.


       2) Phase 2 (Interview data)
 Participants had experience of using computers. Most of the participants describe
themselves as “heavy computer user.”

 Participants had generally positive attitude on educational technology.
 Participants stressed that educational technology has important meaning in class -
elementary level.
 Many of the participants had idea of using educational technology in constructive
learning environment. They also emphasized the teachers’ role in implementing
educational technology.


7. Analysis
Two sets of data were compared for complementarity and triangulation purpose. The
project used sequential mixed analysis.




The interview data is used to complement and triangulate the survey data. But in the
comparison process, I found more inconsistency between the two sets of data. Data from
phase 1 (survey data) shows that pre-service teachers have more negative perspective on
educational technology, did not develop enough understanding of educational technology,
and curriculum is not preparing them. But data from phase 2 (interview data) shows that
many of the teachers developed certain level of understanding of educational technology,
and are generally positive on educational technology.




 Phase 1 (survey data) ->                   Phase 2 (interview data)                 Comparison
  Participants don't understand the         Many of the participants had idea of
 pedagogy that lies in integrating          using educational technology in
 technology into their classrooms.          constructive learning environment.
                                                                                     Inconsistent
  Data indicates that teachers are still
 using technologies within objectivist
 model of teaching and learning.
  More than half of the participants
 indicate that the college does not
                                                                                Inconsistent
 prepare them to use technology in
 their teaching.
  17 participants (65%) find            Participants had generally positive
 technology frustrating to use when     attitude on educational technology      Inconsistent
 they don't receive adequate support.


These inconsistencies could be explained in few different perspectives:
    (1) Sampling problem or bias exists.
    (2) Research method was inappropriate for the research question. The survey or
        interview question had validity problem.
    (3) Phase 1 (survey) was more focused on evaluation of the course, while phase 2
        (interview) more emphasized the perspectives of the pre-service teachers.
    (4) Pre-service teachers have inner conflict within their perspectives on educational
        technology. This inconsistency implies that the pre-service teacher do not have a
        clear idea or perspective of educational technology.
    (5) Educational technology is over emphasized in pre-service teacher education, but
        pre-service teachers did not fully internalize this value of educational technology.
        The data comparison shows that pre-service teachers’ external value and internal
        value of educational technology is inconsistent.


8. Further development
This project attempted to study the pre-service teachers’ experience & perspectives on
educational technology, and evaluate the educational technology curriculum. But
comparison of two sequential data shows that inconsistency exists in the analysis process.
This inconsistency could be explained in many ways, but it is difficult to confirm any
explanations within this research design.
Additional phase of data, based on data of phase 1 and 2, could help the researcher find a
better explanation of this inconsistency.


        * Phase 3 (focus group interview)
        Phase 1 (survey) and phase 2 (interview) data were collected from a
        similar sample of University of Illinois students. This project could
        select a focus group from this sample, and have an open discussion
        or interview with the focus group. This data could be helpful because
        pre-service could have a chance to express their reflection on the
        inconsistent data, and group discussion could provide a chance to
        develop and share common ideas of educational technology.


By adding this Phase 3 to the project, this project also mixes different paradigms: Post-
positivism – Interpretivism, and possibly Pragmatism.




       Project 2 - Interpretivism (Constructivism) + Post-positivism


1. Definition
        Interpretivism has a view that observation cannot be pure in the sense of
altogether excluding the interests and values of individuals. Investigations must employ
empathic understanding of those being studied. The paradigm supports qualitative
methods.


2. Project objective
        Modern society is strongly influenced by technology. The field of education is
also rapidly integrating technology into the curriculum. But this integration process often
lacks critical reflection, and voices of the educators are often lost.
        How important is educational technology to educators, and why is it important?
What does this imply? It is difficult to answer these questions from a single perspective.
Therefore, this project focused finding the pre-service teachers’ perspective on
educational technology using multiple paradigms.


3. Research question
       What is the pre-service teachers’ perspective on educational technology?


4. Mixed method purpose
       The project purpose is initiation (the discovery of paradox and contradiction, new
perspectives or frameworks, the recasting of questions or results from one method with
questions or results from the other method) and comprehensiveness (developing more
comprehensive, more complete, more full portraits of our social world). .


5. Design
       This project was based on the interpretivism and post-positivist paradigm.
        1) Sample: Project 2 was conducted on pre-service teachers who attended an
educational technology class in University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The sample
is also includes teaching Assistants from different background.
        2) Phase 1 (Qualitative): Face to face interview was conducted with 5 pre-service
teachers and 2 Teaching Assistants to study the pre-service teachers’ perspectives on
educational technology – to hear their real voice and to find different ways to understand
their voice.
        3) Phase 2 (Quantitative): Survey was conducted to find the general tendency of
the group (pre-service teachers) and develop implication.


6. Analysis
        1) Data transformation: Quantitative survey data from phase 2 is transformed into
a form of qualitative data - a profile of one pre-service teacher.
       Suzie is an undergraduate student in elementary education program. She
       considers herself as “experienced” computer user. She enjoys internet
       surfing and sending emails. But when it comes to her educational
       technology class, she feels somewhat stressed.
       “I feel I am quite comfortable using computer, but when I think of using
       computer in the classroom, it is little bit different. I think I should use it as
       a tool for teaching, for internet search things for projects… but I am not
       sure if I can teach critical level of thinking to children. I think drill-and-
       practice stuff will also be used ….I feel that our teachers give us great
       ideas but I don't really know how to implement these ideas into our
       instruction. I know many of the general SW, like Microsoft Office. But
       there are also so many educational SW. I think they will be useful, but I
       don’t know how to use some of them. I am quite comfortable and prepared
       to use computer. I think it will help teachers and students, but I will have
       to learn … continuously” (profile developed from survey data).


       2) Data comparison and correlation: The qualitative data from phase 1 (interview)
and the transformed data (student profile) was compared to find any relationship.




                  Qualitative                             Quantitative -> Qualitative
Computer           Heavy user                             Experienced
experience
Constructive       “Basically it will be more like a      “When I think of using
learning          research…or a powerpoint                computer in the classroom, it is
environment       thing….that the only thing I will       little bit different. I think I should
                  be using for teaching…Group             use it as a tool for teaching, for
                  work… where I come up with a            internet search things for
                  topic and I will expect them to do      projects… but I am not sure if I
                  research on computer…to find out        can teach critical level of thinking
                  things … in cooperative                 to children. I think drill-and-
                  work…And then I am pretty sure          practice stuff will also be used ….
                  the libraries have computers, they
                  can all meet at the library…”
Attitude on        “I think it is very important. Not     “I am quite comfortable and
educational       because it is a right thing to say or   prepared to use computer. I think
technology        it sounds good for teachers but it      it will help teachers and students,
                  definitely accelerates instruction,     but I will have to learn …
                  it can make them easier for you”        continuously”


       This comparison shows that these two data share similar perspective in certain
level. For example, both data explains the concept of educational technology in
constructive learning environment. But qualitative data describes broader and more
detailed perspectives on integrating technology into constructive learning environment –
some participants have surface understanding of using computer as a learning tool, while
some participant gives a clear idea of technology integration.




                      Qualitative                Qualitative               Quantitative ->
                                                                            Qualitative
Field         2 years                     Observation only
experience
Constructive  I do believe that’s the     “Basically it will be      “When I think of using
learning     best way to incorporate      more like a research…or     computer in the
environment
               technology into            a powerpoint                classroom, it is little bit
               elementary                    thing….that the only        different. I think I should
               classroom…to integrate        thing I will be using for   use it as a tool for
               into what the classroom       teaching…Group work… teaching, for internet
               curricula is…not just a       where I come up with a      search things for
               subject as what we were       topic and I will expect     projects… but I am not
               doing… there was              them to do research on      sure if I can teach critical
               teacher who was doing a       computer…to find out        level of thinking to
               art project, or study on      things … in cooperative     children. I think drill-
               artist, and so we did         work…And then I am          and-practice stuff will
               Powerpoint presentations      pretty sure the libraries   also be used ….
               on all of their research      have computers, they can
               they’ve done... Another       all meet at the library…”
               project we did was,
               again, it was more like
               an artist, it was a Picasso
               self portrait, so they
               actually drew this cutest
               painting of themselves –
               they were very young
               kids-, and we put that
               together. So there were
               those kind of things that I
               integrated with teachers.
               But it wasn’t… it was on
               my own, it was on my
               part and on teacher’s
               part, and we decided
               what to do with that.


       This data comparison indicates that there are difference in understanding and
implementing educational technology in constructive learning environment between
different individuals. There could be different factors influencing these differences, but
field experience and educational technology learning experience seems to be some of the
major factors.


7. Inferences
         Shulman (1987) explained that “the key to distinguishing the knowledge base of
teaching lies at the intersection of content and pedagogy, in the capacity of a teacher to
transform the content knowledge he or she possesses into forms that are pedagogically
powerful and yet adaptive to the variations in ability and background presented by the
students.”
         This shows how the different capacity of “pedagogical content knowledge” has
important meaning for teachers and pre-service teachers in developing a constructive
learning environment. It also shows that both content knowledge and pedagogical
knowledge have important influence in constructive learning environment.
         Each teacher has different capacity of this intersection between computer
knowledge and classroom management knowledge. This capacity of “content
pedagogical knowledge” is not given. It requires knowledge, experience, and critical
thinking about what the teachers are teaching (Fenstermacher, 1978, as cited in Shulman,
1987).
               Classroom
              management                   Computer
              Knowledge,                   knowledge
                  etc


         Process of                                        Knowledge of
       internalizing                                        educational
        educational                                         technology
        technology


                            Knowledge of
                             educational
                             technology


       Classroom                                         Computer
      management                                         knowledge
      Knowledge,
          etc


8. Further development
This project attempted to use integrated analysis to explain the pre-service teachers’
perspective on educational technology. The analysis intended to have equal weight on
Phase 1(qualitative interview) and Phase 2 (quantitative interview -> profile). But during
the analysis process, the project became to focus more on the qualitative paradigm.
Adding another transformation phase could help to maintain the balance of the study.


     * Data transformation 2
     Quantitizing the qualitative data. Measure the frequency of each
     interview data segment, based on the themes developed from the
     analysis. Measuring the level of correlation with the interview data and
     the themes could also be a way of data transformation.
                                        Reflections


1. Challenges of mixing methods
With these two mixed method experiments, I experienced some difficulties in conducting
the study.
       First, in the mixing process, intended and unintended mixing occurs concurrently.
During this mixing method experiment, I had more possibilities and flexibilities in
mixing process. But sometimes the mixing in certain level influences the whole paradigm
of the project. And this sometimes brings unintended result such as change of paradigms.
       Second, inconsistent data within mixing methods are not always developed into
initiation. For example, Project 1, which started with post-positivist paradigm found
inconsistent data within the study. There were some possible explanations for this
inconsistent data. But I concluded the best way is to include additional data collection
phase to clarify the explanations. But during this process, I felt like losing control of the
overall research procedure.


2. Considering audience
       Many of the researches dealing with educational technology focus on quantitative
method or mixed method emphasizing quantitative component. This tendency is partly
related to the issue of audience. Educational technology researches need to consider
administrators and funding institutions, and show the efficacy of educational technology.
But this unbalanced type of research methods generates problems. They lack the critical
perspective of educational technology, and also overlook the human value in
implementing educational technology. I think there needs to be more researches using
diverse methods that could enable the audience to get a broad picture of educational
technology.

								
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