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The purpose of this PhD study is to explore how and why (under what circumstances) Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) are being used in secondary schools, through a comparative analysis between experience in England and Northern Cyprus. Furthermore, the study aims to explore any differences between the practitioners in their beliefs about pedagogy and their use of ICT and how these beliefs shape their approach in the classroom. The researcher also has the aim to raise awareness, particularly in Northern Cyprus, of the opportunities for ICT to be used to enhance learning and, through sharing practical experiences in each country, discover how these technologies can be applied effectively and integrated with subject teaching in the respective learning cultures.
In this paper, the researcher presents the preliminary study that was carried out with a number of schools in England and Northern Cyprus in order to identify the background or big pictures of each country in terms of available ICT tools that are being used by teachers in their teaching, trainings and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and support that they have received and their integration stage of ICT. A survey method was employed for this preliminary study. A sample of 117 teachers out of 198 was participated to this study. The researcher of this study developed a questionnaire. A descriptive analysis of data reveals that the two countries are very different in their use of ICT and training and support that they have received.
Information and communication Technologies (ICTs) are believed to be an important set of tools for improving teaching and learning in education and their integration in school teaching has been championed in developed countries for at least two decades (Haddad and D'raxler, 2002, UNESCO, 2003; Isman et al., 2007). After the announcement of the National Grid for Learning (NgFL) in 1997, there has been a sustained drive to equip all UK classrooms with a range of ICTs including access to high-speed internet connections in the belief that this would lead to benefits for learning. Many other countries have taken similar initiatives to provide ICT to schools as a means of improving the quality of education. The impact of these policies on learning remains hard to demonstrate for a number of reasons (Pilkington, 2008). In particular, barriers to effective use of instructional technologies are shifting from access to ICT to basic training. Once basic ICT training skills are obtained, it shifts to appropriate use of instructional technology in the classroom to help with subject teaching and enhance student learning (ibid). However, the use of computers and the Internet is still in its infancy in developing countries, if these are used at all, due to limited infrastructure and the attendant high costs of access.
In Northern Cyprus, similar efforts like the England government have been undertaken by government but the lack of financing and understanding of the benefits of ICT in education are preventing the integration of technology into all schools. Only a few research studies have been conducted to demonstrate that educational technology, as a tool, would improve the quality of education in Northern Cyprus; those specifically relate to areas such as science and maths (Isman et al., 2007). Northern Cyprus is a developing country where ICT is less frequently used in the secondary schools. Similar to other developing countries, Northern Cyprus is experiencing problems related to technology readiness and integration of technology. A question remains as to whether these problems can be seen simply as a development lag with all the same issues that developing countries have experienced or whether differences in specific local cultural contexts and technological advancement mean that a different set of problems and strategies for dealing with them are arising. To address this problem, the Cypriot government aims to extend the use of ICTs into schools to raise standards in teaching and thus provide students with high quality education.
In this paper, the researcher of this study presents the literature that has been reviewed for the purpose of this PhD study.
Statement of the Problem
The role of ICT widely considered as a core element in the education of students and countries all over the world have identified the significant role of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in improving education (Kozma & Anderson, 2002; Pelgrum, 2001; Hennessy, Ruthven, & Brindley, 2005; Goodison, 2003; Kangro & Kangro, 2004), and have invested heavily in increasing the number of computers in schools and in the networking of classrooms (Pelgrum, 2001). Furthermore, many researchers have predicted that the importance of educational technology in the classroom will continue to increase (Becker & Ravitz, 2001).
Within the [England] National Curriculum, students are now required to become familiar with a range of technological applications and developed the necessary skills in using these within their everyday learning environment. The UK Government has invested £5 billion in schools' ICT since 1997. As a result, the UK has the highest levels of embedded technology in classrooms in the European Union with one computer for every three pupils (inside government, internet, 2009). Furthermore, educational technologies have been in use in the UK for more than two decades. As a developed country, the British government has already extended its use of ICT over many years. Despite substantial investments in ICT, there is little data about how schools are using computers and other ICTs. Although technology is regarded as essential, a study funded by the U.S. federal government revealed that most collages do not know and have not bothered to find out how their technology resources are being used (Jacobson, 1996). As a result, administrators tend to make large investments of time and money in ICT without sufficient data regarding 'problems, solutions and achievements' associated with ICT interventions (Ehrmann, 1999, p. 2).
This problem of lack of information on ICT usage in education is not isolated in developed countries. It is more severe in least developing countries where most education data are unreliable. In these countries, data collected are generally centred on inputs such as teachers, students, classroom and expenditure (Puryear, 1995). Researchers tend to ignore substantive issues regarding ICT implementation and its effect on people and work process (Montealegre, 1999). This finding is supported by Buchmann and Hannum (2001) who noted that there is a lack of qualitative educational research in developing countries. Fuller (cited in Buchmann and Hannum, 2001) presented that while researchers in Europe have explored factors that affect learning such as the use of ICT, developing countries have not yet charted similar research avenues.
In view of the problems identified above, this research study will investigate the problem of lack of documentation regarding the extent of ICT usage in Turkish Cypriot secondary schools. While the government initiatives indicated national commitment to ICT in education, they do not know whether existing computers in schools are being used for educational computing and which pedagogical approaches are being employed when ICTs used by teachers. Hence, the extent to which Turkish Cypriot schools are using ICT is largely unknown. Without data of this kind, there is little basis for policy formulation in the education sector. As a result, ICT equipment tends to be purchased without proper terms of reference and is distributed indiscriminately.
DEFINITION OF ICT
Kumar (2008) defines Information and Communication Technology (ICT) as an umbrella term that applies to a range of digital communication devices and applications such as digital, television, radio, network hardware and software, videoconferencing, and distance learning. However, Lever-Duffy et al. (2005) claim that some 'educators may take a narrower view' and are likely to 'confine educational technology [ICT] primarily to computers, computer peripherals and related software used for teaching and learning' (pp. 4-5).
In this review, the term ICT is applied to any computer based technologies, whether networked or standalone, including both hardware and software, which can be used for teaching and learning purposes.
The term technology readiness describes the behaviour process behind the adoption of technological products and services (Parasuraman and Colby, 2001) and infrastructure. Technology readiness can be broken down into two: infrastructure readiness of schools and ICT readiness of teachers i.e. their acceptance of technology (Seng and Choo, 2008). However, in this preliminary study physical and technological infrastructure were examined.
Physical and Technological Infrastructure
Sufficient and adequate physical and technological infrastructure is a necessary condition for effective ICT integration (UNESCO, 2004). Several researchers such as Cheung (2001), Williams et al. (2000) and Pelgrum (2001) had identified that the problem of integrating ICT in education was the insufficient number of computers. According to Baskin and Williams (2006) physical infrastructure includes learning areas such as classroom, computer labs, ICT learning resources rooms and libraries. In brief, the space and furniture required for ICT-enriched school environment. Technological infrastructure includes computers, broadband [internet access] and other technological resources used in education (Baskin and Williams, 2006). Therefore, schools need to provide at least basic physical and technological infrastructure if they want to integrate ICTs effectively into their teaching process.
Teachers Acceptance of Technology
Just having physical and technological infrastructures are not enough. Teachers are likely to hold beliefs about teaching and learning with ICTs. Teachers' beliefs regarding the use of ICT might be a critical factor for the successful use of ICT in teaching and learning. Thus, teachers must first accept the use of technologies.
Venkatesh et al. (2003) formulated a technology acceptance model which is called 'unified theory of acceptance and use of technology (UTAUT)' by reviewing and consolidating the constructs of eight models (Diffusion of Innovations, Technology, Acceptance Model, Theory of Reasoned Action, Theory of Planned Behaviour, Combined TRA & TPB, Motivational Model, PC utilisation model and the Social Cognitive Theory) used by earlier research to explain technology usage behaviour. It aims to explain intensions to use a technology and the subsequent usage behaviour. The study theorised four constructs that are direct determinants of user acceptance and usage behaviour: performance expectancy, effort expectancy, social influence, and facilitating conditions.
In this study, it is important to understand teachers' beliefs because teachers' set of beliefs is likely to determine whether teachers accept innovative changes in education such as use of ICT in the classroom. For that reason, teachers' acceptance of ICT use will be examined to determine two different countries teachers' beliefs about the use of ICT in the classroom. These factors formed the basis for questionnaire design (i.e. their age, years of experience and use of computers) and will also be taken into consideration while interviewing teachers on technology use in order to find out secondary school teachers' beliefs regarding the use of ICT.
Definition of Integration
Technology integration has not been easy to define and there are varieties of definitions of technology integration in use. A broad definition of technology integration is presented by the George Lucas Educational Foundation (2008). According to this foundation, technology integration is 'the use of technology resources - computers, digital cameras, CD-ROMs, software applications, the Internet, etc. - in daily classroom practices, and in the management of a school' (p.1). They state that technology integration is achieved when the technology is regularly used and transparent and when technology is readily accessible. The technology tools support the curricular goals and help the teachers and students effectively reach their goals.
Roblyer (2006) concludes that technology integration is a process that starts with determining the educational needs and problems within a learning environment and continues as the teacher identifies which technological tools and which methods for implementing them are appropriate for a given classroom situation. Furthermore, Okojie et al. (2006) define technology integration as a process of 'using existing tools, equipment and materials, including the use of electronic media, for the purpose of enhancing learning' (p.67). According to them, it involves managing and coordinating available recourses to facilitate learning and also involves the selection of appropriate technology based on student learning needs and the teachers' ability to adapt such technology to fit specific learning activities (ibid).
As it can be understood from these different definitions of technology integration, technology integration is a developmental process. For this study, technology integration is considered as a developmental process for the teachers, joining curriculum content together with appropriate technology devices. For that reason, teachers need to receive training and support to incorporate technologies confidently into the curriculum. A large body of literature supports the idea that technology training is the major factor that could help teachers develop positive attitudes toward technology and integrating technology into curriculum (Yildirim and Kiraz, 1999; Yildirim, 2000; Squire et al., 2004; Armstrong et al., 2005). For instance, Yildrim (2000), in a study of 114 pre-service and in-service teachers, have found that the teachers' attitude towards computers have greatly improved after a computer literacy course.
Professional Development for integration
Integrating Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) into the curriculum is becoming an inseparable part of defining a good teacher (Kumar, 2008). As indicated above in the impact section, the researchers, whose studies show there is an evidence-base for learning enhancement through the use of ICT, note that what students learn relates to how a technology is used in the classroom by teachers. In other words, the researchers mentioned that teachers need training to the use and integrate ICT into their lessons. Thus, being prepared to adopt/integrate and use technology in the classroom and knowing how that technology can support student learning must become integral skills in every teachers' repertoire (ibid). Eby (1997) warns that 'technology could not support learning without teachers who know how to use it and integrate it into subject-specific area' (p.92). These skills can be learnt by taking professional development training and there is agreement that the meaningful use of computers [technology] in schools hinges on the professional development of teachers (Glenman and Melmed, 2000).
According to Guskey (2000), professional development refers to 'process and activities designed to enhance the professional knowledge, skills and attitudes of educators so that they might, in turn, improve the learning of students'. Fullan (1991) expand the definition to include 'the sum of formal and informal learning experiences throughout one's career from pre-service teacher education to retirement' (p.326).
Grant (1996) suggests a definition of professional development as considering the meaning of professional development in the digital age that includes the use of technology. Professional development goes beyond the term 'training' with its implication of learning skills and according to him it encompasses a definition that includes formal and informal means of helping teachers, not only to learn new skills such as basic computer skills, but also to develop new insights into pedagogy and their own practice, and explore new or advanced understanding of content and resources. Professional development includes support for teachers to put the technology in practice and understand the use of technology to support inquiry-based learning.
John and Sutherland (2004), on the other hand, state that new and innovative forms of professional development to date have been based on the idea of 're-tooling', that is training is structured to 'augment the existing curriculum by providing specific training to groups of teachers in the mechanics of the technology'(p.105).
Unfortunately, organisations that provide ICT training for teachers in Northern Cyprus do not conduct an evaluation of prior knowledge to inform training and training normally focuses on the technical use of ICT rather than how to integrate it into their daily practice (Adelman et al., 2002). In terms of England, Ofsted (2002b) maintains, 'where training [in England] has failed to meet the needs of teachers, the use of ICT is usually underdeveloped' (p.8). Therefore, it can be said that Northern Cyprus is in stage of readiness while England is in integration stage.
ICT has been introduced into schools during the last decade, particularly in developed countries like the UK. In addition to the necessary infrastructure, hardware and software, the teacher's experience in using ICT are prerequisites to the effective use of these ICTs in the teaching and learning process (Balanskat, 2006).
Most of the studies show that teachers' enthusiasm for using ICT to support learning is increased by their own use of ICT. The study of ITU (2004), which was held in Norway between 1999-2003, reveals that the teachers who participated in the project had more positive attitudes towards technology use. In the UK, the British Educational and Communication Technology Agency (Becta) evaluated the first year of initiative of the Laptops for Teachers (LfT) initiative which was launched by the Department for Education and Skills in 2002 and which aimed to increase teachers' access to computers. The study found those teachers' positive attitudes and confidence increased by using their own laptop computers (Becta, 2003). It means providing different types of enough ICTs to teachers increase their confidence level.
The teachers who took part in the IWBs project (Higgins et al. 2005), were persuaded that using technology in lessons improved teaching and learning. However, Higgins et al. (ibid) argue that for the use of IWBs to be justified 'it must be used in ways which promote more effective learning above and beyond that which is possible when teaching with other kinds of projection technology or with ordinary whiteboards' (p.8).
Using technology also increased efficiency in planning and preparation of teachers' work due to a more collaborative strategy between teachers (Blanskat et al., 2006). There were different opinions on efficiency savings brought about by using ICT amongst teachers in this project. Teachers believed that there is not enough time and technologies to integrate ICT into teaching. Conversely, some studies like ICT Test Bed project show that teachers can save time, if they use ICT in the medium and long term through reuse and collaborative sharing and adaptation of resources (Smokeh et al., 2006). This makes obvious that there is a need to show teachers how they can use ICT to save their time by providing them continual professional development (CPD).
Although the e-learning in Nordic study's results suggest that teachers are very positive about technology in general and they believe using ICT does not waste their time once they get over a certain level, most of teachers in the study not reporting a positive impact of ICT on workload and they find that their teaching time is wasted as a result of trying to use ICT in school (Balanskat, 2006). However, ITU (2004) states that technology provides differentiated learning which means students can work more independently. Thus, teachers have more time to prepare lessons to meet the needs of individual students (ibid).
Higgins et. al. (2002) state that ICT provides a means of cooperation between teachers if they share curriculum plans with their colleagues thus saving their individual preparation time. The same result is reported by Harrison et al. (2002) and Comber et al. (2002): the use of ICT makes lesson plan preparation more effective and efficient in saving time. Therefore, it can be said that teachers have the opportunity to share good practice.
Most of the studies on the impact of ICT on teaching state that there is no infrastructure problem particularly in developed countries but more training is needed to support innovative pedagogy whereas there is still infrastructure problem in some developing countries (Smokeh et al., 2006). In other words, studies state that there is not a problem with ICT in terms of putting it in place but there is a lack of support in terms of facilitating conditions and particularly training in ICT in developed countries whereas there is a problem with ICT in terms of infrastructure and also having inadequate support and training in ICT in developing countries. However, schools vary in the amount of resources they have to provide ICTs. Schools in richer and more urban areas tend to benefit from faster broadband speeds and those in more affluent areas will tend to have more modern computers than more rural and poor areas (International Telecommunication Union, 2003, Underwood et al., 2005).
Over the last twenty years, in the UK, the government has encouraged schools to embrace ICT as a fundamental part of the structure of the curriculum. Alongside other nations, there have been substantial central government initiatives to put computers into schools (Watson, 2001). From Computer Assisted Learning (CAL) of the early 1980s, to open learning through the use of telecommunications and the Web of the early 2000s, the rhetoric is the same (ibid). ICT is equated with the modern world, economic success and the future; so schools must embrace the technology.
These new technologies, and the way they are used, will have a profound impact on every one of us. It will lead to real progress in helping learners throughout their lives and hence help with the vital task of keeping Britain competitive in the 21st Century.
(Michael Heseltine, UK Deputy Prime Minister, 1995 cited in Watson, 2001)
Technology has revolutionised the way we work and is now set to transform education. Children cannot be effective in tomorrow's world if they are trained in yesterday's skills. Nor should teachers be denied tools that other professionals are trained to take for granted. Standards, literacy, numeracy, subject knowledge-all will be enhanced by the Grid and the support it will give our programme for schools improvement.
(Tony Blair, UK Prime Minister, launching the National Grid for Learning, 1997)
Indeed in the UK, the 'raising of standards' of teaching and learning has become intertwined with the use of ICT.
The use of digital technology for improving the delivery of education has enormous potential to raise standards and increase employability. (David Blunkett, UK Minister for Education and Employment.
It was expected that all British teachers would be offered training in the use of ICT by 2002, 'the UK Government has committed to spending £230 million to drive training initiative forward' (DfEE, 2000, p.18). Through the initiatives, it is envisaged that many teachers could be encouraged to explore the possibilities of ICT, and increase their confidence in the use of computers. It is possible that entirely new working practices will evolve, where teachers work in a more collaborative manner, both with colleagues and with children (DfEE, 2000).
Unfortunately, not all countries are currently able to benefit from the developments and advances that technology can offer. Significant barriers have been identified that limit the ability of some countries to take advantage of technological developments such as limitations in ICT infrastructure facilities, problem with power supply and telephone lines, unaffordable higher bandwidths for internet connectivity, high cost of developing infrastructure, learner support system and teaching resources are some key constrains faced by a developing country. As a developing country, Northern Cyprus is one of them. Even when the physical facilities are made available, there may still be various problems faced by both students and teachers in relation to their basic computer literacy and a resistance towards using new technology and changing the pedagogical approach.
In Northern Cyprus, most of the public institutions still use traditional method of instruction in which teacher delivers lectures and students listen passively and teachers are reluctant to use ICT in their teaching (Isman et al., 2007). The reasons for the overall lack of integration of technology into Turkish Cypriot schools are a complex mixture of the level of access to ICT, teacher motivation and the relationship between the available technologies and pedagogy. Turkish Cypriot Government provided ICT resources such as computers, overhead projector, printer and CDs to schools but there is not enough traning about how these technologies can be used in teaching. Trainings in Northern Cyprus is on more technical sikills than educational use. Many Turkish Cypriot teachers use ICT to support traditional learning menthods, for example, information retrieval in which students are 'passive consumers and receivers' of knowledge instead of 'active producers' of new knowledge.
The main research question for the main study is:
'How and why are technologies being used in the classroom by teachers to enhance secondary
school students' learning in England and Northern Cyprus?'
What technologies are being used by secondary school teachers?
What are the teacher's pedagogical beliefs?
What pedagogical practices are adopted in the school and how is ICT used in them?
Why are these technologies being used (integrated)?
What are the perceived barriers to and enablers for technology use and what reasons do teachers give for these perceptions?
How do secondary school teachers believe ICT impacts on their teaching and their students' learning?
Are there any differences between Cypriot teachers and British teachers in terms of the six preceding questions?
What can Cypriot teachers learn from the experience of teachers in England and vice versa?
However, with this preliminary research purposes, the following questions have been formulated.
The questions for this preliminary study are as follows:
What technologies are being used by secondary school teachers?
Where do teachers generally use ICT resources for their teaching?
How many minutes do teachers use computers/ICTs in their teaching activities in each week?
What types of CPD training have teachers had?
What type of ICT related support do teachers have in their school?
What is the stage that best describes teachers' level in terms of ICT adoption/integration?
Population and Sample
The population of the study consists of England and Northern Cyprus secondary school teachers. The sample of this study was drawn from two English and two Turkish Cypriot secondary schools. The questionnaires were distributed to 4 secondary schools teacher in England and Northern Cyprus. The sample of the study consist of 93 English and 105 Turkish, 198 in total, secondary (year 7-8-9) schools teachers working with state schools. The number of questionnaires returned was 117.
A survey based approach has been adopted for this preliminary study to examine establish the nature of the IT resources available to teachers, its location/accessibility, and state of repair, as well as the availability of technical support, the teachers' use of ICT and the training of staff in the school.
This PhD study is actually based on an interpretive approach as it aims to build consensus by using the 'Delphi Technique' at the end of the research. The research is a mainly a qualitative but also included the use of a questionnaire with quantitative responses. The results of the questionnaire demonstrated the background (big picture) within each of the schools in the two countries, and the selection for the interviews of teachers who had the confidence and belief that they should integrate ICT more in their subject teaching, as well as some teachers who were less confident.
The first step of data analysis is data coding. The data was coded into a format with numerical codes using the Microsoft Excel® program.
As advised by Mertens (1998), a fresh copy of the questionnaire was made and the responses were coded on that copy. Also, as suggested by Robson (2002), the following numerals were used to represent the options for closed items; for instance, '1' and '2' were used to represent male and female. The researcher was not get any responses for the open-ended items, so she was not analyse open-ended items.
Further, descriptive statistics were used to show demographic data of the participants and also to evaluate:
What types of ICTs were there?
Were there enough computers in their schools?
How many minutes or hours per week did they use ICTs?
What types of ICT-related training and support did they have in their schools?
How did the selected teachers evaluate their stage of adoption/integration of ICT level into their teaching practice?
numbers and percentages are used to show the results.
The results of the questionnaire were also used to select participants for the interviews. 3 teachers from each selected schools whose competence (self-rated) level was high, medium and low and who indicated in the questionnaire that they would be happy to participate in the interview process were selected to participate.
Findings reveal that the two countries are very different in available ICT tools to them, their use of ICTs, training and support that they have received and their stage of ICT adoption/integration.
This study found that considerable variation in the availability of ICT tools in England whereas there is not considerable variation in the availability tools in Northern Cyprus. However, there are basic ICT tools available to Turkish Cypriot teachers to use in their teaching such as computers, internet, electronic whiteboard (not interactive whiteboard) and Microsoft office programs. Table 1.1 shows marked differences between the availability of ICT tools in each countries school.
Table 1.1 Distribution of ICT tools in schools
Selected Cypriot Turkish secondary schools
Microsoft office programs
Video and sound editing software
Subject specific software
Teachers with these tools in each country are able to modify their teaching methods, giving them opportunities to present their lessons more effectively. Even there are not many ICT tools available to teachers in Northern Cyprus; teachers can still use available ICT tools to present their lesson more effectively.
Teachers were asked to indicate their beliefs about if there are enough computers/ICT tools to use in their schools. On the one hand, the more than half of English teachers (52%) were believed that there are enough computers/ICT tools in their schools while 38 percent of teachers were believed that there are not enough computers/ICT tools in their schools. Only 10 percent of teachers not sure if there is computers/ICT tools in their schools as this can be taken they do not use ICT tools very often. On the other hand, the most Turkish Cypriot teachers (83.80%) were believed that there are not enough computers/ICT tools in their schools while 16.20 percent of teachers were not sure. Interestingly, not even one teacher was believed about there are enough ICT tools in their schools.
These mean that selected secondary schools in England have enough computers/ICT tools available in their schools while selected secondary schools in Northern Cyprus have not enough computers/ICT tools available in their schools. The bar charts, which is provided below in figure 1.1, gives clear idea about the differences between the two different countries teachers' response.
Figure 1.1 teachers beliefs about if there are enough computers in their schools (Values shown as %)
Teachers were also asked to indicate how many minutes they use ICT tools in their teaching activities in each week. Their responses were scored as follows: 0 minutes per week, less than 15 minutes per week, 15-45 minutes per week, 46-90 minutes per week and more than 90 minutes per week.
Just under half of the teachers in England schools use ICT tools more than 90 minutes per week around 42% while there is not any teacher who does not use ICT tools in their teaching. However, around 68 percent of teachers, which means most of teachers in Turkish Cypriot selected schools, do not use ICT tools in their teaching while only 5.8 percent of teachers, who are the ICT teachers, use ICT tools more than 90 minutes per week.
In the selected England schools, 26 percent of teachers use ICT tools 15 to 45 minutes per week and 22 percent of them use ICT tools 46 to 90 minutes per week while in the selected North Cyprus schools 11.6 percent of teachers use ICT tools 15 to 45 minutes per week and 4.3 percent of them use ICT tools 46 to 90 minutes per week. Around the same percent of teachers (10%) use ICT tools less than15 minutes per week in both countries.
These results show that most English teachers in the selected secondary schools use ICT tools in their teaching whereas most Turkish Cypriot teachers in the selected secondary schools do not use ICT tools in their teaching. Therefore, this could be considered as Turkish Cypriot teachers do not use ICT tools more often in their teaching as they do not have enough available ICT tools and lack of trainings and supports from their schools. For clarity, Figure 1.2 shows the two countries teachers' responses separately through bar charts.
Figure 1.2 how many minutes teachers use ICT tools in their teaching activities (Values shown as %)
Teachers were also asked to declare have they ever received any ICT training. In selected England secondary schools, the most teachers around 74 percent responded that they have received ICT training and these trainings were provided by their schools as 46 percent of them responded that their schools provides them Continual Professional Development (CPD). Only 8 percent of them responded that they did not receive any ICT training at all. However, interestingly, the most teachers (61.98%) in the selected Northern Cyprus secondary schools responded that they have not received any ICT training at all and around 38.02 percent of teachers responded that they have received ICT training but it was not provided by their school. They mentioned that they have received ICT training when they were in their undergraduate program and nearly all of these teachers are ICT subject teachers. None of participated teachers in this study chose 'my school provides us with Continual Professional Development (CPD) training'. This means Turkish Cypriot schools do not provide ICT training to their teachers as this could be depending on lack of finance problems and/or lack of understanding of effectiveness of ICT on teaching and learning.
This result shows that selected schools in England provide CPD to their teachers whereas this does not provide to Northern Cyprus teachers by their schools. The figure 1.3 illustrates teachers' responses to that question
Figure 1.3 Have you ever received any ICT training? (Values shown as %)
Furthermore, there is an ICT non-teaching personnel in selected England secondary schools and teachers have support from professional ICT staff as well as they have support from their ICT skilled teaching personnel in the schools. However, there is not any ICT non-teaching personnel in Northern Cyprus selected secondary schools and even they do not get enough support from ICT skilled teaching personnel in their school as they indicated in their questionnaires.
Teachers were also asked to determine the types of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) training that they have had. In selected England schools, 88% percent of teachers responded that they have had 'in-house training' which means training held in the school and delivered by school staff using school equipment and around 36 percent of them responded that they have had 'external training' which means teachers travelled to a training venue outside their school and training was delivered by another service provider using their equipment. Around 26 percent of teachers responded that they have 'custom training' which means an outside expert consultant came to the school to deliver training for school staff using school equipment. There are also teachers who received two or three different training as well.
In the selected Northern Cyprus schools, only 25 teachers out of 71 responded to this question. Interestingly, 3 teachers (4%) responded that they have had 'in-house training' which means training held in the school and delivered by school staff using school equipment, 16 teachers (23%) responded that they have had 'custom training' which means an outside expert consultant came to the school to deliver training for school staff using school equipment, and 6 teachers (8%) responded that they have had 'external training: I travelled to a training venue outside my school and training was delivered by another service provider using their equipment. However, none of teachers tick the 'my school provides us with Continuing Professional Development (CPD) training' in the previous question which was given above. Also, teachers were mentioned in their questionnaire that they were received this trainings while they were in undergraduate program. Therefore, it means that as a researcher I considered that this question was misunderstood by teachers as I asked about the professional development that they received while they are teaching in the school.
This result shows that almost all teachers were received one of training among three categories in selected England secondary schools whereas teachers in selected Northern Cyprus secondary schools did not received any professional development training from their schools. The figure 1.4 shows this difference.
Figure 1.4 Continuing Professional Development (Values shown as %)
Teachers were finally were asked to indicate their stage of ICT adoption/integration stage level in each countries. The most teachers (42%) see themselves in stage 5 in the selected England secondary schools while the most teachers (32.39%) see themselves in stage 4 in the selected Northern Cyprus secondary school. 2 percent of English teachers and 13 percent of Turkish Cypriot teachers in the selected schools responded that they are in stage 1. Interestingly, some teachers around 24 percent of teachers in England and around 10 percent of teachers in Northern Cyprus see themselves in stage 6. For the clarity the following figure 1.4 demonstrates the teachers' responses through the bar chart for each country. Before presenting figure 1.5, the meanings of stages were given. They as follows:
Awareness = I am aware that technology exists but have not used it for teaching. I am not confident about using computers in the classroom
Learning the process_= I have basic computing skills but have difficulty or lack confidence in using technology for teaching
Understanding and application of the process = I am beginning to understand the process of using technology for teaching and can think of specific tasks in which it might be useful.
Familiarity and confidence= I am gaining a sense of confidence in using computers for teaching and am starting to feel comfortable in using the computer in lessons for specific tasks.
Adaptation to other contexts= I think about the computer as a tool to help me in teaching when planning lessons and have used a range of applications as instructional aids.
Creative application to new contexts= I can apply what I know about technology in the classroom. Therefore, I am able to use it as an instructional tool and integrate it quite confidently into the curriculum including adapting examples to meet the needs of new learning situations.
Figure 1.5 Evaluation of ICT adoption/integration in teaching (Values shown as %)
The main focus of this preliminary study was to identify the background or 'big picture' of selected England and Northern Cyprus secondary schools in terms of available ICT tools that are being used by teachers in their teaching, trainings and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and support that they have received and their integration stage of ICT. This study reveals that the two countries are very different in available ICT tools to them, their use of ICTs, trainings, CPDs and support that they have received and their stage of ICT adoption/integration.
As a result of this preliminary study, it is found that Turkish Cypriot teachers who work for selected secondary state schools do not have enough ICT tools, trainings and supports from their schools while there are different types of ICT resources available to British teachers who work for selected secondary state schools and they normally receive support and trainings from their school. This preliminary study provided differences between two countries secondary schools which will help the researcher to use them in the actual study while comparing the two countries situation. Furthermore, according to this preliminary study the chosen schools from two countries justified and the teachers were chosen for the interview process. The actual study will be focused on the pedagogical aspects of teachers' use of ICT in their teaching. At the end of this PhD study, the best practice of ICT use in teaching will be provided.