How teachers conceive their role when working with Generation Z pupils in a technological learning environment
AffiliationUniversity of Derby
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AbstractTeachers have to cope with two main changes. Firstly, they have experienced global technological change and the introduction of new technologies into the education system. Secondly, they have to cope with a new generation of pupils (Generation Z). This thesis argues that these changes necessitate a change in the role of the teacher. This research examines how teachers react to these changes. The main research question is “How do teachers conceive their role when they teach Generation Z pupils in a technological learning environment?”. The research focuses on a case study of a school on the northern periphery of the State of Israel. The research focused on the teachers of the “computer notebook” classes. The school supplies every pupil and every teacher a standard personal laptop while the teachers have been integrating the technology and applications into their lessons for the last twenty years. The data was collected by means of questionnaires (20); personal interviews (24); observations (8); and an analysis of relevant documents. The research compares the category of the “traditional teacher” with that of the “technological teacher”. It finds that (a) teachers view the the two roles of traditional and technological teacher as distinct; (b) they recognise a wide variety of technological changes that influence the education system; and (c) they believe that the present pupil generation (Generation Z) requires a new approach to study in contrast with previous generations of pupils. The research shows that in response to the changes described above, the teachers have changed their perspective through the use of the new technologies and define their role in three dimensions (pedagogical, interpersonal, and technological) and indicate that there are 11 skills and abilities required for the technological teacher. However, the research also found that despite the extensive experience of the teachers in using the new technologies, there is no confidence in realising the full potential inherent in these tools. In particular, the opportunity for cooperative learning which is offered by online technologies is not always exploited efficiently. Moreover, the research found that the challenges and barriers in the application of the new pedagogy in the technological learning environment. The contribution of this research is both theoretical and practical. The theoretical contribution of the research is in the characterisation of the pedagogical, interpersonal and technological dimensions that constitute the role of the “technological teacher”. The practical contribution of the research is detailed in the series of recommendations made in relation to the development of schools and the training and continuing professional development of teachers.
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