Using Action Research to Develop Preservice Teachers’ Confidence, Knowledge and Beliefs about Technology
Involving future teachers in action research projects along with professors and/or teachers may provide opportunities for future teachers to develop content pedagogical knowledge, examine beliefs about teaching, and gain confidence. In this study, we focus on changes in the beliefs, knowledge, and confidence of 10 preservice teachers engaged in action research with a biology professor, a teacher educator, and a high school biology teacher to evaluate a National Science Foundation-sponsored project over a two-year period. The purpose of the NSF project is to enhance case-based learning in high school and university biology courses worldwide through the use of molecular biology computer simulations and Internet conferencing. Our results showed that engaging preservice teachers in action research studying the effect of case-based multimedia learning promoted reflection on beliefs about interacting with and monitoring students in computer lab situations, as well as dispositions of teachers. In addition, preservice teachers reported gaining confidence and developing more complex technological pedagogical content knowledge.