Practicum as Nexus: Using student voice to improve digital pedagogy within ITE

Peter Robert Maslin, Nigel Smith


A digital dilemma has emerged in Initial Teacher Education (ITE) in which student teachers’ (STs) confidence and competence to use actively digital pedagogy has been undermined by a mismatch between digital expectations and the reality of programme experience. This mismatch has a potentially negative impact on a ST’s ability to develop confidence in using digital technology as a pedagogical tool. The image of the self-aware, proactive, and confident ‘digital native’ as graduate is fading. Instead, at least some graduates may be digitally underprepared or even unwilling to face what one graduate described as an “alien invasion of technology”. This ‘invasion’, which is considered too advanced to understand, seeks to take over educational pedagogy. It typically surpasses the digital ability of both associate teachers (ATs) and STs.

This article presents the perspectives of graduating ITE Primary and ECE students from two New Zealand based ITE providers, firstly, about their experiences within their programme of study and how this supported the development of confidence in using digital technology as pedagogy, and secondly, how ITE providers can intervene to prevent the development of the kind of digital mismatch which may undermine student teacher confidence and competence. As a result, two models that potentially can empower practicum experience as the nexus for developing a ST’s digital pedagogical confidence for professional application. The first model, ‘Practicum as nexus for digital intervention’, engages a whole course strategy for ITE to empowering practicum as the nexus for the development of digital pedagogical confidence. The second linked model provides an approach ITE could use to create space in coursework and practicum to safely develop digital pedagogical confidence. 


Digital confidence; pedagogy; initial teacher education; practicum; student teacher

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DOI: 10.15663/wje.v22i3.376


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© Wilf Malcolm Institute of Educational Research, Te Kura Toi Tangata Faculty of Education, 2015