Theoretical Framework: Perceptions of How ICT Impacts Teaching

Subject: Education
Pages: 12
Words: 3375
Reading time:
12 min
Study level: PhD


The theory framework is the relationship which exists between technology, pedagogy and social interactions. This relationship constitutes the generic model which tries to explain how this relationship occurs. It is through learning that one can recognise the importance of technology. The social setting of a human being directly relates to how much exposure one has to the technological advancement. Through learning, one is able to identify the traditional and constructivists learning approaches and this will enable him to understand why such changes occur.

Through constructivists, one is able to identify the cognitive and social constructivists which will in turn help in integrating the use of ICT in education. This is fostered through the interactive process of information sharing, negotiation and discussions.

Pedagogy approaches can be used in the integration of ICT through one’s knowledge based on his earlier experiences and new information acquired. Behavioural approaches as explained by psychologists Ivan, John, Edward and Skinner can be helpful for one to understand the relationship which exists between pedagogy, technology or social interaction.

Finally cognitive approaches of Jean, Lev and Dewey can help one to perceive the relationship between the theoretical framework of pedagogy, technology and social interactions.

Generic Model

This is a model which constitutes a benchmark with some built in elements, which can assist in its adaption to a particular national system. This model can be used to simulate the testing and viability of the overall education system of a given country. A cautious reconstruction and essential variation is needed if one needs to use it as a tool for designing a concrete educational policy, and even a thorough action plan for medium to long term educational development.

Generic model being a benchmark through which systems are based, it is therefore, important to analyse the entire constraints for this model and ensure that they are effectively and efficiently utilised. More emphasis should be put on setting up the model with both short term and long term objectives.

Pedagogy, social interaction and technology

This is a model which tries to clarify the interrelationship between the major components of pedagogy, technology and social interaction in learning and behaviours. This relationship is based on the generic model. Pedagogy entails the methodologies which a teacher uses while delivering instructions to the learners. These methodologies include all the approaches and techniques which the teacher deems necessary in giving instructions. Pedagogy helps in bringing out the differences which might occur in a learning system and other communities. This reflects primarily the educational function of the learning system (Chen, 20). In this regard, it is believed that some societies are put up without a proper foundation, on the basis of the learning processes in mind.

Pedagogy is a continuous process which cannot be programmed before a lesson. It is important that proper strategies be put in place to utilise the resources, and be cautiously adopted in order to guide students throughout the process of leaning. The learning environment should sustain and assure that the needs and learning targets of the students with diverse backgrounds are met. Pedagogy should engage the use of a variety of learning resources and activities which maintain the students’ learning and permit teachers to aid the learning process.

People interact with each other and thus, may turn to others for help when faced with problems (Peck, & Wilson 99). In many circumstances, students may turn to stand alone computers to help them find the required learning resources which are easily accessible. A student may choose to work on his own, but it would be of greater impact if the student was to work with others collaboratively as this would make the solving of problems much easier. This collaborative learning through the use of computer supported resources has positive effects on the performance of the student, in terms of solving problems (Uribe, Klein, & Sullivan, 67).

A safe and comfortable space should be provided to ensure that learners are able to share information willingly. This will in turn ensure that the learners are able to communicate with each other.

Areas which have embraced technology have created environments which are computer friendly. This has in turn made online learning resources available throughout, and ensured that such resources are accessed by learners more easily and conveniently (Salmon 64). The availability of resources has enhanced the learners’ knowledge as one is able to get all the information necessary in solving any problems which he encounters.

The human-computer interface design is of essence as it determines the use of technology based learning environment. This interface should provide the easiness of learning and use of the computer (Wang & Cheung, 17). Students using this design are comfortable with the ease of learning and tend to gain more experience with the ease of use of such interfaces. The interface should be attractive in order to encourage and engage learners.

Pedagogy, technology and social interaction are crucial components of enhanced technological learning environment. The integration of effective ICT is made possible through the use of technology. The availability of technology makes it possible for a sound design of social or pedagogy. It is, therefore, hard to implement social and pedagogy designs without support from technological resources. It is important to note that technological availability does not influence effective learning, but social and pedagogy designs have a greater impact on the effective learning process systems (Mandell, Sorge, & Russell, 78).

Behaviourist approach

This is approach puts into consideration the observable and measureable aspects of the behaviours of human beings. The theories of behavioural learning are primarily concerned with the stimulus-response associations made by trainees. The behaviour of an individual depends on the response one chooses over the available responses given by a certain stimuli. The pre-determined conditioning at the moment of action does affect the choices of response to the stimuli. Additionally, the psychological condition of an individual also has some effects on the response.

In behaviourists’ point of view, only behaviours that can be directly be observed are worthy of study. Behaviourist theory speculates that all manners are as a result of learnt habits during their attempts to explain how these habits are formed. The anomalism of an individual’s behaviour is not necessarily due to the state of the brain, but the way these behaviours are learnt.

Ivan Pavlov

This study is mainly concerned with the conditioned reflexes. Pavlov used animals to demonstrate unconditioned stimulus (US), conditioned stimulus (CS) and unconditioned response (UR). In his experiment, he was able to pair a neutral stimulus with excitatory one and was able to come up with a neutral stimulus which could eliminate the associated response that is the unlearnt reflexes.

Teachers should, therefore, be aware of necessary responses and stimuli which are responsible for the students to be able learn and elicit the responses which are associated with their original responses.

John Watson

Watson states that behaviourism is the scientific study of human behaviour. In simpler terms, it is what people do. He observed people’s behaviour, made predictions and then determined the casual relationship. This relationship is mainly the stimuli and the response. Conditioning is the process of learning through ones reaction to the environment. It is important, therefore, for one to be able to differentiate between the behaviours that have been preconditioned by the environment, and those which have been inherited from earlier generations.

It is consequently significant that educators are aware of this behaviour when dealing with his students. This will enable the teacher to help the students to understand their behaviours and the major causes of their behaviour; whether they are from their past or they are due to their reaction to their environment (Watson, 76).

Edward Thorndike

Thorndike constructed a” puzzle boxes” through which he studied the behaviour of animals. He observed that animals make some response and if rewarded, then the animal’s response is learnt. In the same scenario, the response will diminish or disappear all together if the response is not rewarded. This experiment is referred as the instrumental conditioning.

This study is important to teachers in that they are able to study the behaviour of their students. In understanding their students, teachers will be able to develop a learning mechanism which will ensure that the students to have a positive responses. For instance, a teacher may want to reward students on their performance, the student who gets the highest marks is rewarded and those who fail are also rewarded by disciplining them.

There are three classes of human intelligence associated with this study: standard, mechanism and social intelligence. Standard intelligence measured the conceptual behaviour of an individual, mechanism intelligence which is shows the ability of visualise relationships in objects and social intelligence which is concerned with how an individual relates with others. By understanding the three classes of intelligence, a teacher is able to direct his students the right way of learning and be able to possess this intelligence. This intelligence is necessary to the student as he is able to understand himself and the world around him (Karen, 46-53).

Finally, Thorndike come up with a theory referred as psychological connectionism. He stated that some neutral bonds can be formed through experience. This is bonds will be greatly be impacted by the response one forms given a certain stimuli. The most affected bonds are the neutral bonds or connections. He believed that more bonds will be formed by people of high intelligence than those with lower intelligence abilities.

Thorndike came up with generals dimensions of abstract intelligence: altitude, width, area and speed. The intelligence of students will be primarily be influenced by these dimensions and therefore, they are necessary in the learning process. The lower the attitude or the narrower the width of the information, the less intellect the student is (Morris, 51-69).

B F skinner

He came up with a behavioural analysis which accepts treatment of feelings, state of the mind and also introspection as in existence and scientifically treatable. This is completed by making out something which is non-durable and the use divide and conquers approach in getting more analysis (McLeod 3).

This approach is important to teachers as they are responsible to provide a learning friendly environment. Teachers should be able to identify a student’s state of mind or feelings. This is will enable the teacher to ensure that the students are paying full attention to him. A disturbed student cannot concentrate in class and ways should be in place in dealing with such scenarios (McLeod 31).

Constructivist learning approach

This approach belief that knowledge mainly gathered by learners themselves and not through what they are instructed by their teacher. The teacher only guides the learners in a way which will enable them acquire the necessary knowledge and this implies that the learners themselves must strive to ensure that they have gained such knowledge in the guidance of the teacher.

Cognitive and social constructivist

There are slight differences between cognitive and social constructivism (Liaw, 2004): cognitive constructivist deem that through experience and new knowledge learnt from instructors, learners are able to accumulate knowledge on an individual basis. Information is based on the accuracy of how learners internalise and reconstruct the reality of external environment. While social constructivists believe that the context of mutual socio-cultural construct results in one gaining the required knowledge and through negotiations, discussions and sharing of information that is an interactive process will enhance the learning process (Berk, 3).

Cognitive learning constructivists admit individual disparity and also believe that an individual can build different knowledge under similar conditions. Pedagogy design plays important roles of ensuring learners are fully satisfied in terms of their needs and intentions. This is achieved through use of different resources and activities. On top of that, as teachers are facilitators in constructivist learning environment, the pedagogical design must enable teachers to scaffold students during learning process (McLeod, 134).

Through collaborative learning, learners are able to learn from each other and this will result in the learners sharing knowledge which in turn will ensure meaningful knowledge is gained. A safe and comfortable space of online learning environment should be provided by social design to facilitate in exchange of information.

Certain online tools should be provided by the learning environment so as the learners can be able to collaborate and communicate with each other effectively and efficiently without much frustrations. Hence, for effective learning, theoretical support should be provided to social and pedagogy designs by the cognitive and social constructivist learning.

Jean Piaget

Jean developed a theory in the development of thinking which he referred as generic epistemology that is the study of the development of knowledge. In his theory, he came up with four findings: schemas which are the knowledge one gains with regard to objects in their environment. The second observation is assimilation; this is where one uses the knowledge he has in doing new tasks (Piaget, 13).

The third observation is accommodation. Here the learner will tend to use the knowledge he has on new objects but if such objects are a bit bigger than the ones he used to, then he will try to “squeeze and drool” in order for the object to be accommodated. Lastly is adaptation, where he observed that one it is more of a biological process. It links both the assimilation and accommodation. This linkage directs them to a balance between the structure of the mind and the environment. This is achieved at a state of equilibrium

Stages of cognitive development: sensor-motor where the infant separates self from objects, acts intentionally and achieves object permanence. Second stage is pre-occupational. This is where learners are able to classify objects by only one feature. Third stage is concrete operational where one thinks logically about events and objects, achieves conservation of numbers and classification of objects according to several features and finally the formal stage. At this stage, learners are able to think logically hence they get involved the problems they face on their daily lives (Piaget, 113).

Piaget’s main contribution to teaching and learning is mainly through discovery learning. This has necessitated teachers to encourage the following in their classrooms: to focus on the process of learning and not the end product of it, using collaborative and individual activities so that children can learn from each other, use of active methods that encourage rediscovering and reconstructing “truths” and evaluation of the child’s development level for easier setting of suitable tasks.

Lev Vygotsky

Socio-cultural theory which is concerned with how the way of living of the child is affects his thoughts and behaviours in his day-to-day development (Woolfolk, 199). This way of life changes with different cultures and therefore, the interaction of the learner with people in his environment and the necessary tools which is provided by his cultural background. This learning will help the learner to be equipped form a view of the world at large.

Cultural tools vary from one community to the other. Basically, the commonly identified tools are: imitative learning. This is a scenario where the learner tries to do exactly as the person he is imitating. The other tool is instructed learning. Here the learner memorises what he was instructed to do and finally is the collaborative learning. This is where the learner learns through his association with his peers. Through such association, one is able to understand each other and on top of that he can be able to learn some specific skill which is necessary in his development (Tomassell, et al. 93).

In this theory, learners are advised to associate with knowledgeable members of the society as this will help him gain more experience. Here cognitive and social environment plays a major role in the development of the learner’s knowledge. This way of thinking and behaving will lead to on going change in a child’s behaviour and thought which varies with different cultures.

John Dewey

Dewey advocates for democracy in education, interactions of thinking and its relationship to learning and the philosophy of experience and its relation to education (Dewey (a) 14; Dewey (b) 28). In his progressive education theory, Dewey suggests that students should be engaged in real-life tasks and challenges. This is important aspect a teacher should put in mind when dealing with learners. Learners tend to understand a situation when he gets involved or is faced with one.

Teachers should try as much as possible to expose learners to real life situations or give real life examples in his/her teachings. This will enable learners to be able to understand the problem more easily than being given examples out of real life experiences. The education system should be designed in a way where real life scenarios are thought to learners.

Learners not being robots, they need to be actively involved with problems which they face in their real life situations and advised to get involved in providing solutions (Dewey (c) 50).

Relationship of constructivists learning to the Generic Model

Constructive learning is closely related to generic model in that it tries to explain the relationships which exist in learning based on an individual social interaction and the level of technology through which an individual is exposed to (Beniafield 72).

Relation of Generic Model to 21st century learning skills (life-long learning and connectedness)

The design of a web-based learning environment

This is where an instructor chooses the learning activity based on the negotiations with the trainee teachers. In this case, each group is at liberty to choose topics which they want to study. After choosing the topics, the teacher has the accountability to provide the students with the necessary resources on the chosen topic. The number of reading materials to be provided should be in a range of two and five. These reading materials should be shared by all the members of the group and learners are encouraged to share the knowledge they acquire with other group members (Murphy, 11).

The social design should provide a learning environment which enables the learners to interact freely with their group members, other members of the class and the teacher. The design provided a space through which learners can interact and share problems, discuss and work on the given topics. The learning environment supported asynchronous online discussions where anyone would post a question and answer forum and this necessitated online discussions (Dewey 21).

Facilitation of online discussions

There should be an online discussions forum. This forum is important in promoting the student’s significant thinking, acquiring more knowledge, and in improving the relationships among students. This forum should be effective and efficient. This is made possible with online tutors and moderators having appropriate skills which will enable the trainees to have confidence in them. The role of the tutors is to help group members achieve their learning objectives like understanding critical concepts.

Socially, this online forum should provide an interactive friendly environment where all the parties feel safe, free and comfortable with other parties. For effective and efficient interaction, there should be technical hitches as this will frustrate the participant and if the problems persist, more and more participants will tend to shy away from these online forums. Finally, the managerial agenda is to ensure that the online discussions can go on smoothly. The technical role is to help group members to be able to participate without technical difficulties (Boeree, 34).


From the above discussions, one is able to identify the relationship which occurs between the pedagogy, social interactions and technology. Many psychologists have tried to explain this relationship from different perspectives and it is therefore important that one is not inclined to only one theory in explaining this relationship. It is hard for one to understand this relationship from only one perspective, hence should be able to combine the theories explained above.

The theories in themselves do not explain the learning process but through the combinations of more than one theory, can help one to formulate a better hypothesis on how the relationship of pedagogy, technology and social interactions do relate.

In a learning system, instructors are advised to fully understand their learners. This is important for the teachers to be able to continually monitor the progress of the learners and if one student stagnates, corrective measures are taken to help the student to keep in pace with others (Atherton, 11).


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