Primary educators and digital competences in the 21st century.
Needed competences of primary educators to effectively apply blended learning in their daily practice.

  • Nathan Eikelenboom

Student thesis: Master's Thesis

Abstract

Digital competences are ubiquitous in today's society. The need for educators with the right competences to educate their pupils is high. The use of ICT in the daily practices of teachers has increased and is still increasing. Different existing frameworks describe the competences that teachers need without focussing on one level of education. As educational needs differ between different levels of education, focussing on one level of education might elicit or emphasise different competences. This research focused on the competences that primary school teachers need in order to effectively practice blended learning. Three research questions were formulated: Which competences do primary school teachers need to effectively practice blended learning? How do these competences relate to the competences that are described in the DigCompEdu framework? What is the impact of experience, gender and function on the importance of the ideas that teachers have on the topic of digital competences?
The method of Group Concept Mapping (GCM) was used to gather the different ideas on blended learning of teachers and management in primary education. Respondents created a list of statements through a brainstorm. After sorting and rating six themes emerged. These themes were used to form six clusters. . The six clusters are : ‘Learning process of students’; ‘Didactic and pedagogical skills’; ‘Professional attitude’; ‘Lifelong and collaborative learning’; ’Knowledge of ICT, learning goals and curriculum’; and ICT Skills
Results show that ICT skills are important but are considered less important then other competences like didactic and pedagogical skills or having insight in the learning process of students. Significant differences were found for function. Except for didactic and pedagogical skills management rated the clusters significantly lower on importance than the teachers did. No significant results were found for experience and gender..
It was concluded that the professional attitude, didactic and pedagogical competences of teachers are prerequisite for developing the digital competences that are needed to practice blended learning. Comparison with the DigCompEdu framework showed that most competences that came out of the brainstorm session could be related to ‘Professional Engagement’ and ‘Teaching and Learning’ .

Date of Award2 Jun 2022
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorSlavi Stoyanov (Supervisor)

Keywords

  • Primary education
  • Blended learning
  • Digital competences
  • Group concept mapping
  • DigCompEdu

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