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Use of Digital Technologies in Education: The Complexity of Teachers' Everyday Practice
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of Informatics.
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
Användning av Digital Teknik i Skolan : Komplexiteten i Lärares Vardagspraktik (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

In this dissertation the complex, dynamic, contextual and multi-dimensional practice of teachers’ use of digital technologies in their everyday work has been illustrated and presented. The research draws upon the experience of teachers and school leaders from two compulsory schools as well as representatives from the municipal Department of Education and IT-unit within a municipality in the south of Sweden.

A focused ethnographic approach has been undertaken and applied observations and interviews. Systems Thinking, specifically Soft Systems Methodology in combination with Cognitive Mapping have been applied to analyze the empirical material.

The theoretical foundation builds upon teachers’ worldview towards digital technologies, because it is noted that teachers more easily adopt and use innovations that are in accordance with their personal thoughts and beliefs about teaching and learning. Further, teachers’ attitude and perception towards use of digital technologies are addressed as well as the role of school leadership. Additionally, importance of context, teachers’ knowledge and pedagogics have been discussed referring to various frameworks.

The dissertation aims to illuminate the complex nature of teachers’ everyday practice. To gain understanding of the situation as a whole, there is also need to shed light on various aspects and underlying perspectives. Thus, this research aims to illuminate and advance the understanding of the complexity of compulsory school teachers’ everyday work practices using digital technologies.

The outcome of this dissertation illustrates the complexity of teachers’ everyday practices as well as additional issues adding to the complexity, and shows that these complex issues are worthy of further study. Among the issues emerged from this dissertation are differences in regard to how the complex situation is understood because different actors have multiple and sometimes conflicting worldviews. Ambiguities in core objectives and relevant concepts were found. Additionally, a pervasive lack of understanding about the realities of daily education and teaching practices, including variances in worldviews and mindsets was found adding to the complexity of teachers’ everyday practice using digital technologies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Växjö: Linnaeus University Press, 2016. , 317 p.
Linnaeus University Dissertations, 264/2016
Keyword [en]
Cognitive Mapping, compulsory school education, digital technologies, focused ethnography, teachers, Soft Systems Methodology, Systems Thinking
National Category
Computer and Information Science
Research subject
Computer and Information Sciences Computer Science, Information Systems
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-57421ISBN: 978-91-88357-39-7 (print)OAI: diva2:1039657
Public defence
2016-11-03, Homeros, House F, Växjö, 13:15 (English)
Available from: 2016-10-25 Created: 2016-10-16 Last updated: 2017-02-17Bibliographically approved

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