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The report is part of an OECD comparative study, ICT in Initial Teacher Training, which aims to develop insights into how courses of initial teacher training prepare student teachers to use ICT effectively in their teaching.
Three English initial teacher training providers agreed to participate in the research. Visits to undertake the research took place in May and June 2009. In the case of institutions A and B, the main work involved in the study took place within the course of three days of visiting the institutions involved, in order to conduct interviews with teacher trainers, school mentors, course directors and personnel responsible for ICT issues. In the case of interviews with student teachers, these were a combination of individual, group and in some cases, telephone interviews. In the case of institution C, the research involved a visit to the person responsible for ICT issues, and telephone interviews with mentors, student teachers, and the course director for the programme. In addition to the interviews with course directors and tutors with specific responsibility for delivering and developing ICT practice in the partnership, interviews were conducted with twenty one teacher trainers, thirty one school based mentors and thirty two student teachers. In addition to the data obtained from interviews, 91 mentors, 19 teacher educators, 107 students and 5 course directors or directors of ICT completed the online questionnaires which complement the case study component of this study.
In addition to these three case studies, reference is also made to a major evaluation study in the area of ICT in initial teacher training1 (ITT) commissioned by the Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA). This evaluation focused on assessing the impact of a five year programme which provided funding for ITT providers to explore ways of improving the preparation of student teachers to use new technology in their subject teaching. The programme was intended to promote experimentation and to help create a culture of innovation and change which the TDA felt was central to developing activity and quality in initial teacher training. The funding rounds were competitive, dependent on the submission of detailed project bids from providers.
The final report on the TDA programme (Hadfield et al., 2009) is informed by case studies of six ITT providers undertaken in January 2009 and a detailed analysis of a survey of 95 respondents from ITT providers undertaken in November and December 2008. Although the methodology involved in the study did not precisely match that of the OECD survey, there is a significant overlap in terms of the research questions which the study addresses. In terms of timing, the study was also very recent and presents an up to date picture of developments in England in the use of ICT in initial teacher training, and the report gives some consideration to the question of how best to evaluate research in this area. Consideration of the six case studies reported by the project also makes it possible to provide a slightly broader and more representative picture of recent developments in the field of ICT in initial teacher training in England.