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Teaching modes of teacher-educators teaching distance-learning in a teacher-training college in Israel: A case study

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posted on 2023-08-30, 13:31 authored by Smadar Bar-Tal
The introduction of technology and the widespread use of ICT in the wealthier nations have led teacher-educators to integrate technological applications in their teaching environment. The research investigated the new teaching modes created by teacher-educators in teacher-training colleges in Israel, due to their transition from traditional teaching to distance-teaching through the Internet. This was a qualitative research using case study within an interpretative paradigm that enabled the researcher to consider the viewpoints of the informants together with her own viewpoint. The research tools included: 14 open interviews, a non-participatory observation, documentation reading and the writing of a personal log. The rich variety of research tools enabled triangulation of data. The conceptual framework of the research was based on theories of teacher-training, distance-teaching, academic disciplines, and several teaching dimensions: organisation and representation of data, organisation and management of teaching and different types of interaction. The research findings indicated intrinsic and extrinsic motives for the teacher-educators transition to distance-teaching. The transition created a pedagogy characterised by four teaching modes that corresponded to different academic disciplines. Each discipline harnessed the technology for intensive use in one or more of the teaching dimensions. The Representation mode used by teacher-educators in the natural sciences and statistics used a large variety of data representations and Internet writing characterised by multiple links. The Interactive mode employed by teacher-educators in the field of literacy principally dealt with formative assessment of the students' writing and used virtual communication tools to tighten the teacher-learner inter-personal interaction. The Organisational mode used in education disciplines focused on organisation and management of teaching and learning through the use of computer applications. The Holistic mode employed by teacher-educators in the fields of education and literature, in substance constituted a combination of all the characteristics of the above-mentioned modes with an emphasis given to social presence of both learners and the teacher. Analysis of the teaching modes led to the creation of a typology of four modes positioned at different points along the following scales: organisation of teaching, flexible – fixed, types of interaction few – multiple; data representation, creative – conservative; computer literate – computer users. There was a clear contrast between teacher-educators teaching education disciplines as a continuation of traditional frontal teaching and those who had previously taught in workshops. At the crossroads of pedagogy with technology, the changes in location, time and lesson character have meant that the implementation of the teaching paradigm of Zeichner and the teaching orientations of Feiman-Nemser have taken on fresh dimensions. The new teaching modes necessitate appropriate training for all teacher-educators working in distance-teaching in accordance with their academic disciplines. The research findings contribute to the reduction of a gap in knowledge concerning the new teaching modes of teacher-educators teaching distance-learning in a teacher-training college in Israel.



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