Innovation – Experimentation – Collaboration

In our teacher training department, we noticed that our students are fearful to teach with the use of ICT and flexible or non-classic learning environments. When microteaching to their peers or when on internship, teachers in training always seem to fall back on the textbooks and a fixed pattern. We noticed some barriers in the mindset of our students regarding the adaptivity of classrooms and the integration of ICT in a classroom. Even in the schools where our students do their internship, the mindset to explore these areas of didactics often falls short.

Our literature survey was aimed at indexing what barriers often appeared and if there were other barriers we had to overcome. Barriers we came across were plenty: financial difficulties (lack of funds to adapt classrooms or the acquire ICT-tools), a lack of knowledge on the subject often combined with the fear to adapt ‘new’ tools, it could be the mindset of a teacher of a school and so on.

Our research intends to fill the gap between existing technological applications and education practice and thus create room for the work field and the students to explore and experiment. We intend to address two problems we are confronted with and which are also described in literature: the often-high financial threshold and the mindset of (starting) teachers and students in teacher training. We’ll look at these barriers on school level (what can schools do or engage in) and on level of the teacher (how can he or she respond to the learning space and/or the technology). What we intend to avoid in this research is to erect a high-tech future classroom which would discourage schools and teachers because this would require a financial investment they can’t make.