Date of Award

5-2002

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Education

Major Professor

Dr. Edward L. Counts, Jr.

Committee Members

Dr. Mary Jane Connelly, Dr. Ronald E. Taylor, Dr. Norma T. Mertz

Abstract

The purpose of this study was, first, to determine the effect of a constructivist intervention supported by technology on pre-service teachers’ confidence in their own ability to plan and create six constructivist learning activities supported by technology and, second, to understand their perceptions of the experience.

Participants were 23 pre-service teachers accepted into the College of Education’s Masters program at the University of Tennessee Knoxville and enrolled in an introduction to instructional computing course during the summer of 2001.

A survey was used to assess pre-intervention confidence levels and experience with six constructivist learning activities supported by technology. Students were then situated in a class that employed constructivist methodology supported by technology to facilitate their own exploration of constructivist pedagogy supported by technology. Once students completed the class, they were asked to re-take the portion of the survey that focused on their confidence to plan and create constructivist learning activities supported by technology. A paired samples t-tested was used to compared pre-intervention confidence levels with post-intervention confidence levels. The results revealed a significant difference, p < .001, in each of the six areas.

Journals, focus groups, and interviews were used to gain insight into the participants’ perceptions of the experience and suggested a reflective process. Participants engaged in thinking about, comparing, and adapting their constructs of teaching, learning, and the use of technology. They were self-motivated to analyze how their constructs of teaching and learning might work in future classes, the processes they used while situated in a constructivist learning environment, the instructor’s role in their learning, their collaborative/collegial relationships with peers, how specific materials supported learning, and their technology skills.

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