The impact of the New Opportunities Fund (NOF) ICT in Subject Teaching training programme
The following thesis examines the impact of the New Opportunities Fund (NOF) ICT in Subject Teaching training, and specifically whether the programme adequately facilitated the development of teachers' knowledge, understanding and pedagogic skill in the use of ICT. Teachers within 17 Primary schools participated within this study over the period 2002 to 2003, and their perceptions of / attitudes towards ICT, response to the NOF training, ICT use within the classroom and perception of barriers to such use were reported within questionnaires, during interview and within ICT diaries. These self-reports form the basis for the findings detailed within this thesis and offer new insights into the ways in which teachers interface with ICT. Analysis of these self-reports suggests that many teachers continue to hold a negative view of ICT and that whilst the training did result in an overall improvement in teachers' ICT confidence, it did not leave all teachers feeling confident to make use of ICT in the classroom. Combined with some teachers' apparent dissatisfaction with the NOF training, this finding suggests that the programme was not able to fully meet the needs and/or expectations of all participating teachers. Consequently, despite pressure from Government many teachers continue to make infrequent use of ICT in the classroom, and where such ICT use is made this is often restricted to familiar ICT applications (word processing and the Internet) and to particular subject contexts, this resulting in a narrow ICT experience for pupils. It would seem therefore that whilst a lack of ICT skills and poor resourcing may no longer represent the barriers they once were, teachers continue to face major obstacles to their ICT use, which they must be helped to overcome, if they are to successfully implement ICT in the classroom and truly transform teaching and learning.