Business education teachers preparedness to integrate technology into the curriculum
Brazeal, Bryant Stacey
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As the global society has become more technologically advanced, the need to integrate technology into the curriculum by secondary school teachers has become increasingly more important. Business education teachers, with a unique curriculum focus on technology, and the preparation of secondary school students for the workplace, have an opportunity to become leaders and champions of technology integration. However, to become successful technology integrationist business education teachers must be afforded with opportunities to develop technology integration skills in both the preservice teacher preparation and professional development training programs. Understanding how business education teachers perceive technology-related preservice teacher preparation and professional development training is a key component of their decision to integrate technology into the curriculum. Accordingly, the purpose of this study was to describe high school business education teachers’ perceptions about their preparedness to integrate technology into the curriculum. Qualitative research methods were used to obtain data from ten high school business education teachers in a Southeastern US metropolitan area. Data analysis was performed using the constant comparative method. Data were analyzed, sorted and coded into categories and themes pertaining to the research questions for this study. Three themes emerged for the first research question, which addressed business education teachers’ perceptions of five specific categories of technologies as instructional tools. The themes were: (a) real-life experiences, (b) relevancy of learned technology, and (c) assumed proficiency. For the second research question, addressing business education teachers’ perception of their technology-related preservice teacher preparation and professional development, two themes emerged from the data analysis. The themes were: (a) pedagogical foundations and (b) continuing education. It was concluded that business education teachers’ perceived their technology-related preservice teacher preparation and professional development training as having not prepared them to integrate technology into the curriculum. However, as Hughes (2004) reported, to become technology integrationists, business education teachers must possess the ability to understand, consider, and choose to use technologies only when that technology uniquely enhances the curriculum, instruction, and students’ learning.