Pre-service Primary Teachers' prior engagement with ICTS in their Secondary Science Studies

Colin Boylan, Penny Stephens

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paper

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Between 17% and 22% of each intake cohort of students reported that they had not used an ICT in their science studies. For those students who reported using an ICT in their science studies, the most frequent ICT used was the internet for researching topics for their science class (66% to 78%). This was followed by the use of word processing for report writing purposes 63% to 76%) and power point application for presentation of information made in class (37% to 57%). One unexpected finding was the very low proportion within each cohort who had used a data logger to capture and transform first hand data collected from practical investigations (2% to 34%). The need to develop focused training sessions for these primary students to enhance their facility and expertise with using ICTs as part of their on campus primary science education classes, as well as during their professional teaching experiences emerged as a priority issue. For primary teacher education students, it is the investigative nature of doing science that is central to developing their pedagogical knowledge of how scientists work and use ICTs as part working scientifically.In all areas of the curriculum in New South Wales schools, the inclusion of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) to support and enhance learning is mandated. The current research examined the reported level of usage and the variety of ICT applications used by first year primary teacher education students when they studied science in their senior high school years (Years 11 and 12). The research question was: To what degree have primary teacher education students used ICTs as part of their senior secondary science studies? In particular, this research focused on the degree to which these pre-service students engaged with both science studies in the senior years and the range of ICTs used as part of those science studies. Longitudinal data were collected for four sequential intake cohorts, 2006 to 2009 inclusively (n= 319). Data were generated through the administration of a questionnaire developed by the authors during the first semester of their studies at a rurally based university, Charles Sturt University located in Wagga Wagga New South Wales, Australia. Data analyses were conducted using SPSS Version 16.Major findings revealed that a) approximately 80% of students were females, a result similar to most NSW universities, and b) between 38% and 56% of each intake cohort had not studied a science subject in Years 11 and 12. For those students who had studied a science subject, Biology was the most frequently selected subject. Students were asked to report on what forms of ICTs they had used within their science subjects.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationINTED 2010
Subtitle of host publication4th Proceedings
Place of PublicationSpain
PublisherINTED2010 Proceedings CD
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9788461355389
Publication statusPublished - 2010
EventInternational Association of Technology, Education and Development (INTED) Conference - Hotel Melia Valencia Palace, Congress Center, Spain, Spain
Duration: 08 Mar 201010 Mar 2010


ConferenceInternational Association of Technology, Education and Development (INTED) Conference

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    Boylan, C., & Stephens, P. (2010). Pre-service Primary Teachers' prior engagement with ICTS in their Secondary Science Studies. In INTED 2010: 4th Proceedings (pp. 1972-1980). INTED2010 Proceedings CD.