Social inequalities and ICT in-service teachers training

Giavrimis, Panagiotis (2014). 'Social inequalities and ICT in-service teachers training' Paper presented at the annual conference of the HDCA, 2-5 September 2014, Athens, Greece.

Dynamic changes in the new socio-economic environment are based, more than ever, on technological innovation. Benefits from the use of ICT, acquisition and management of data information and new cognitive tools play an important role in changing realities. The struggle for economic development and power has given way to elbowing out knowledge and information. Nowadays, social inequalities appear as unequal acquisition of information and knowledge. Education as secondary social institution is crucial for implementing new forms of learning and constructing new social subject. Thus, the future school should develop social subjects with critical thinking, creativity and flexibility as well as with skills of accountability and cooperation and self-regulatory learning abilities; individuals, who could come to critical decisions under pressure, ambiguity and uncertainty.

The main focus of this study is to present teachers' views on training in ICT and its correlation with educational inequalities. This study is part of a research project on teachers' training needs, the integration of ICT in the educational system and its impact on teaching, learning and knowledge. The sample of this particular research consisted of 162 primary school teachers, who had participated in certain ICT in-service training programs (population 2,828 primary school teachers). They worked in schools that belonged to the Municipality of Thessaloniki in Northern Greece. Seventy (70) of them (43.2%) were male, while 92 (56.8%) were female.

The results of the research suggest that teachers stress the institution of ICT in-service training as a tool of dominant social groups to exert influence on education policy. Teachers also express that the European policy for teachers training is worth considering. They refer to the need for continuing education, but they are not certain for its role in removing educational inequality. The lack of government institutions to fulfill sufficient ICT training goals supports teachers' aforementioned views. Moreover, there is an indirect educational demand for a functional framework of ICT in-service teachers' training programs, which will take in account the new forms of learning and characteristics of new cognitive tools of the postmodern era. Finally, in teachers' opinion, ICT training funding should be increased as a qualitative improvement tool of in-service training.

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