Promoting the effective use of computers to support the learning and teaching of literacy and numeracy in primary education with attention to pedagogy, teacher reflection and development
This thesis searches for an effective pedagogy with the use of computers or other types of information and communications technology (ICT) from the perspectives of pupil learning and reflective teaching. It begins with a review of factors that make learning and teaching with ICT effective on the ground of contemporary theories and models of learning and teaching. A model of effective curricular learning and teaching with the use of computers or ICT is proposed. It is used as the framework of investigation throughout the thesis. The investigation of learning looks at the interaction between computer-specific characteristics and other learning-related characteristics of primary pupils. It also investigates the in-school and out-of-school usage of ICT, subject differences, grouping and gender differences. The investigation of teaching and/or instruction looks at the combination of factors that affect each type of learning outcomes. With consideration into the causal relationships, the results are linked together to form as a path model. The measurement of effectiveness includes learning progress (i.e. educational value-added) and learning attainment of primary pupils, their developed abilities, and their attitude towards learning and towards themselves and school learning. The results show that the model helps to illuminate the inter-relationships between different components of learning and teaching. In particular, the interrelationships between teacher characteristics, teacher's practical knowledge, reflection and instructional practice concerning the extent of computer use. It is recommended as a framework for other investigations into effective use of ICT or the development of pedagogy with the use of ICT. Furthermore, a framework of promoting the use of ICT to support subject-based learning and teaching is proposed. It is examined in four classroom-based research and development projects. The findings show that it is applicable to different subject curriculum, to a spectrum of school-based learning contexts and to different features provided by computers.