A multilevel analysis of what matters in the training of pre-service teacher’s ICT competencies

Abstract

Few empirical studies investigate the impact of pre-service teachers’ background and ICT profile in combination with the support they receive from their teacher training institution on their ICT competencies. Moreover, research focusing on preparing future teachers for ICT integration is generally limited to the impact of one single strategy. Therefore, the aim of this study was to test a model to explain pre-service teachers’ perceived ICT competencies that integrates pre-service teachers’ background characteristics (age and gender), their ICT profile (e.g., attitudes towards ICT) and the multiple strategies pre-service teachers experience in their teacher training institution: 1) using teacher educators as role models, 2) reflecting on the role of technology in education, 3) learning how to use technology by design, 4) collaboration with peers, 5) scaffolding authentic technology experiences, and 6) continuous feedback. Based on a survey among 931 final-year pre-service teachers in Flanders (Belgium), the multilevel analyses indicated a positive association between the strategies and pre-service teachers’ ICT competencies. The more pre-service teachers perceive the occurrences of the strategies during their teacher education, the higher their perceived competence to use ICT for learning processes and to strengthen their instructional practice. Gender and age did not affect pre-service teachers’ ICT competence for educational practice. Furthermore, the results revealed a positive impact of pre-service teachers’ attitudes towards ICT (in education) and ease of use, on their ICT competence for educational practice. These results can provide guidance for the preparation of pre-service teachers for the 21st century learning environments with new technologies.

Keywords

Pre-service trainingICT competenciesICT profileSQD-ModelMultilevel analysis