Relationships between teachers` pedagogical beliefs, subject cultures, and mediation practices of students' use of digital technology

Vol.9,No.1(2015)
Special issue: Mediation of Children´s ICT Usage

Abstract
Drawing on the data from 26 interviews with different subject teachers in two countries, Estonia and Latvia, this study aimed to reveal how pedagogical beliefs and subject cultures shape the ways primary and secondary school teachers mediate students` use of digital technology. Teachers are acknowledged to be important socializing agents, affecting young people`s experiences with digital technology, but it is still unclear how the mediation practices of teachers are related to such intrinsic factors as teachers` beliefs about the nature of learning, nature of technology, self-efficacy beliefs, and subject cultures. Our study indicates that teachers mainly act as guides or coaches to help students make sense of the various opportunities that digital technology provide. Teachers also use a variety of restrictions related to technology use according to their dominant pedagogical beliefs and subject domains. These two roles are not mutually exclusive, combining according to what teachers believe will best support learning. A small group of teachers in our sample also strive to broaden students` understanding and adopt new skills for using technology in innovative ways. Implications for teacher training and peer-to-peer learning are discussed based on our findings.

Keywords:
teachers as mediating agents; teachers` beliefs; subject cultures; digital technology; teachers` practices.
Author biographies

Agnese Karaseva

Author photo Agnese Karaseva is a PhD student at the University of Tartu and lecturer at Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences in Latvia. Her dissertation topic is on the digital literacy of secondary school teachers.

Andra Siibak

Andra SiibakAndra Siibak, PhD, is a Senior Research Fellow of Media Studies in the Institute of Social Sciences at the University of Tartu. Her present research interests deal with new media audiences, generations and intergenerational relations on social media, mediation of children's ICT use and privacy on social media. Her articles have appeared in Journal of Computer Mediated Communication, Cyberpsychology, Northern Lights, Journal of Nordic Digital Literacies, Young, etc.

Pille Pruulmann-Vengerfeldt

Author photo Pille Pruulmann-Vengerfeldt is a professor in media studies at the University of Tartu, Institute of Social Studies and a part-time researcher at Estonian National Museum. Her interests are related to the internet and social media privacy, internet user typologies, user-friendly online spaces. She is part of the management team for the ERCREA European Media and communication training programme and chair of the Audience and Reception Studies Section of ECREA. Her publications include articles in First Monday, Journal of Baltic Studies, Journal of Computer Mediated Computation and several chapters in edited volumes.
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