The Choices and Uses of Technological Tools in High School Government Classes
Wigginton, Erin O'Donnell
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The purpose of this study was to examine how government teachers make decisions regarding the type of technological tools they incorporate in their instruction. As a case study of two teachers, this work was oriented by the question: How are U.S. Government teachersâ beliefs and perspectives about learning and teaching reflected in their pedagogical practice and use of technological tools. There is little work about how teachers prepare students for the 21st century. Teaching U.S. Government or about the U.S. government has been ignored in much of the research of social studies classes. Additionally, most studies that examine the use of technological tools in the social studies classroom have either investigated the use of non-digital tools specifically or the use of digital tools specifically. Few studies combine how social studies teachers use both non-digital and digital tools in their instruction. My goal was to shift the gaze and include the swirl of influences shaping U.S. Government teachersâ decision-making process as when both types of technological tools are used with their classes. This study has its antecedents in my desire to examine Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge, TPCK. TPCK is a theoretical framework that posits that technological knowledge, pedagogical knowledge, and content knowledge are the key elements to understand teachersâ instructional choices. The findings in this study indicate that while TPCK can offer teachers a framework to help begin to understand knowledge bases one could consider when planning class instruction, it falls short of providing the complete picture necessary to describe teacher decisions.
- Doctoral Dissertations