“The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled” : teachers’ perceptions of bridging schools and working life with ICT
1University of Oulu, Faculty of Education, Department of Educational Sciences and Teacher Education, Educational Sciences
|Online Access:||PDF Full Text (PDF, 2.8 MB)|
|Persistent link:|| http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:oulu-201506041784
|Publish Date:|| 2015-06-08
|Thesis type:||Master's thesis
Globalization, digitalization and ubiquitous technology have changed the way people work, play, live and learn. The vast changes in society and working life make meeting the needs of the 21st century challenging for education systems. Despite information technology is providing various sources to receive information about working life, insecurity is increasing among youngsters in the moment when they should decide about their future professions. The aim of this research was to investigate the teachers’ own perceptions and main challenges related to this matter, and the goal was to find out if ICT can bring schools and working life closer to one another. This was a mixed-method research using grounded theory as a research approach, and the quantitative and qualitative data was collected by online survey. The theoretical framework combined the concepts of educational usage of ICT and digital media. Also the altering needs of working life and the 21st century skills built an essential part of the theoretical frame, as well as teachers’ and learners’ views about the needs of working life. The informants of this research were high school and upper secondary school teachers, student counselors and principals working in the Oulu area. They were chosen by using simple random sampling, and in total 31 informants participated in this research. Based on the findings, teachers agree schools’ cooperation with working life is important, but the shortages of educators and learners ICT skills, also the lack of information about the existing digital tools, are often preventing the educational usage of ICT in bridging schools with working life. In the findings teachers also address the ways they would most like to receive ICT training and information about school and working life cooperation. The limitations of this research lie in the fact that it was limited to 31 participants. However, as the data was collected with an online survey containing multiple quantitative and qualitative questions with open-ended answers, the responses gave diverse insights and provided local perspective about current issues relating to the topic of this research. The conclusions of this research highlight that even though ICT is just one tool in education and learning processes, ubiquitous technology is everywhere and it should not be neglected neither in teaching nor learning. The majority of teachers feel positively about using ICT in education, but they wish to train those skills, and to learn more about the existing digital tools for school and working life cooperation. Conclusions suggest that the goal of teaching and learning should enhance skills such as collaboration, communication, creativity and critical thinking to meet the needs of the 21st century and working life, and to build individuals’ career paths. Future research is recommended to focus on investigating the existing procedures in ICT skills for mapping out the current gaps in education. Another suggested topic for further research is to investigate the importance of individuals’ passion for learning, and how the current education system could enhance it.
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