The role of teacher cognition in the integration of technology into English teaching : a case study

Baron, Elizabeth Mary (2011) The role of teacher cognition in the integration of technology into English teaching : a case study. Masters thesis, Rhodes University.




Technology, in one or more of its various forms, is now a part of everyday life for most South African citizens. Many schools are equipped with various forms of technology, at great cost to sponsors, schools, parents or the government. However, this technology is not always exploited and full use is not made of it. As access is not the issue, other factors needed to be considered: in this case, teachers’ beliefs, attitudes and knowledge. This thesis explores the cognitive factors which affect the acceptance and use of technology. Teacher cognition and the factors which influence teacher cognition were examined. Following Borg, teacher cognition is defined as “the unobservable cognitive dimension of teaching – what teachers know, believe and think” (Borg, 2003, p. 81). Teacher cognition determines whether or not a teacher will use technology, if the external barrier of access is removed. In order to study the various aspect of teacher cognition, a case study was performed, which studied 6 teachers at 4 schools. All the schools in this study had some level of access to technology. Following Borg, initial experiences with the educational system (i.e. the teacher’s experience as a learner), teacher training, the context the teacher worked in (as well as social factors and private use) and classroom experience were all examined in order to discover the factors which most affect technology acceptance in teaching. The findings show that having easy access to well-maintained and functioning technology cannot be underestimated. In the study, support from other teachers, particularly those in leadership roles, led to an increase in technology use. This support needed to be explicit; general support did not seem to be effective. These findings suggest that technology integration needs to happen at a ‘whole school’ level.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Psychology, English teachers, Schools, Technology, Cognitive factors, Cognition, Attitude, Leadership support
Subjects:B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1603 Secondary Education. High schools
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Education > Education
Supervisors:Murray, Sarah
ID Code:2916
Deposited By: Philip Clarke
Deposited On:31 May 2012 12:33
Last Modified:31 May 2012 12:33
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