A case study exploring Bangladeshi teacher educators' perspectives of information and communication technology (ICT) in education.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Education
This study explores teacher educators’ perceptions of information and communication technology (ICT) within teacher education programs in Bangladesh. The study is set within the context of a nationwide focus on ICT shaped by the Bangladesh Government’s National Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Policy – 2009. The intention of this policy is to increase the use and understanding of ICT by introducing specific courses in primary, secondary and tertiary education, technical and vocational education, and teacher education programs. Aligned with this overarching ICT policy, the National Education Policy, 2010, places special emphasis on the integration of ICT in education by recommending that ICT is taught as a separate learning area, and that it is used as a tool across all curriculum areas. Consequently the National Education Policy recommends that all teachers receive training to make the best use of ICT for educational purposes. Given the critical role of teachers in implementing these policies, this study explores teacher educators’ perceptions of ICT within the teacher education programs in Bangladesh. Ten educators from four different teachers’ training colleges (TTC) were interviewed to explore their experiences and understandings of ICT. This study found that the teacher educators believe ICT is more than a simple teaching-learning tool because it has potential for constructing knowledge and enhancing the quality of education. They also recognized that ICT provides relative advantages over traditional teaching tools, and that it facilitates professional learning via access to current knowledge from national and international sources. However, the educators also understood that the mere provision of computers or ICT in institutions does not ensure quality education. Teachers need to develop technological knowledge about how ICTs work; an understanding of pedagogical strategies that utilize ICT; and the capability to design learning experiences that appropriately integrate technology in relation to learning content. In addition, teacher educators should also be prepared with both pedagogical and andragogical knowledge of teaching about and with ICT. The teacher education programs should integrate ICT in cross-curricular activities so that the trainee teachers can experience how to use ICT in different subject areas. Therefore, ICT courses in the B.Ed. curriculum in Bangladesh should be enriched not only with computer operational skills but also with features of social communication, knowledge construction and dissemination. It is also understood that the successful integration of ICT in Bangladeshi education requires a supportive professional culture and appropriate support from different educational administrative layers including the government sector.