Social Studies Education

Educational Technology as a Tool For Multicultural Democratic Education: The Case of One US History Teacher in an Underresourced High School

by Anand R. Marri
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This case study analyzes the pedagogy of one US history teacher as he prepared students for active and effective citizenship through multicultural democratic education in an underresourced alternative public high school. In particular, the paper examines his practice and focuses on his incorporation of educational technology (the Internet, multimedia technology, and word-processing applications) to achieve his pedagogical goals while teaching in a school with significant technology resource constraints. This study found that through the use of technology his practice stressed critical thinking, critical and multiple perspectives, and data manipulation skills that enable his students to work with information both in and out of school. This paper also encourages educators to proceed with caution in incorporating educational technology to promote multicultural democratic education given the continued existence of the “digital divide” and underresourced schools.


Double Infusion: Toward a Process of Articulation Between Critical Multicultural Education and Technology Education in a Teacher Preparation Program

by James McShay
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This paper describes the goals of critical multicultural education in the USA and identifies current challenges working to impede its infusion within technology teacher education programs. It offers both technology and multicultural teacher educators a model for infusion of both critical multicultural perspectives and technology into their respective curricula. This model is illustrated with an example that integrated video and Web technologies into a multicultural education course for preservice teachers. This paper calls for faculty members within technology education and critical multicultural education to engage actively in helping prepare students to become culturally responsive and technologically proficient teachers by modeling good practice in critical multicultural education and technology education.

Networked eLearning and Collaborative Knowledge Building: Design and Facilitation

by Elsebeth Korsgaard Sorensen
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This paper addresses the core goals for educators to stimulate participation across diversity (including life trajectories and culture) and motivate learners to engage in negotiation of meaning and knowledge building dialogue in the processes of networked learning. The paper reports on a Danish masters online course on networked learning for educators that attempted to realize these goals. The participating teacher learned important methods, including moderation, through experience, guided by a teacher educator whose instructional design was based on communities of practice for participants with different backgrounds, cultures, age, and prerequisites in a shared learning endeavor on the Web. The experience supports a twofold foundation for instructional design: the learning theoretical concept of Etienne Wenger (1998) and an orientation toward participant cultures in terms of experiences and competencies, in order to facilitate collaborative knowledge building online.

Current Practice

Intercultural Technology Education for Preservice Teachers in Namibia and New Jersey

by Hilary Wilder & Todd Malone
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This case study of current practice describes a virtual cross-cultural collaboration in the development of an undergraduate teacher preparation course in educational technology. In an effort to increase the cross-cultural and technological awareness necessary for 21st-century teachers, the authors collaborated on the design and development of an online course that was delivered to preservice teachers in the US and Namibia. All course content was designed as reusable learning objects, with material and assignments being vetted by authors in both Namibia and the US to minimize cultural bias and to ensure relevance and appropriateness for students in both countries. This paper describes design and ethical issues and related decisions during the course development and the first semester of delivery online. During fall 2004 students from William Paterson University in New Jersey and four colleges of education in Windhoek, Rundu, Ongwediva, and Caprivi in Namibia took the course together.

Personal Perspectives: Using Multimedia to Express Cultural Identity

by David Carroll & Joanne Carney
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The Personal Perspectives multimedia project described in this article engages teacher candidates in examining and representing their cultural identity by means of Apple’s iMovie software. This digital storytelling project was developed by the authors, who are instructors in elementary education and instructional technology at a state university whose college of education strongly emphasizes intercultural education. The paper begins with a project overview, then explains how the project is scaffolded in each course—providing downloadable pdf files of task sheets and student work. A discussion follows of the benefits and challenges of a cross-course multimedia project of this type, citing feedback received from students.

Seminal Articles

Technology and the Deep Play of Intercultural Teacher Education: A Reflection on Two Seminal Writings of Clifford Geertz

by Kara Dawson & Richard E. Ferdig
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The selection of a seminal piece on intercultural issues in technology and teacher education was challenging. Researchers interested in the field come from numerous fields of study, including education, anthropology, sociology, psychology, economics, business, international relations, and communication. The two essays by Cliffort Gertz (1973a, b) discussed in this paper come from the anthropological field to challenge readers with important questions about what it really means to appreciate and model intercultural education. Gertz’s essays established the terms deep play and webs of significance. Two illustrations are provided of how technology can be used in teacher education to address these issues: Reading Classroom Explorer, which is a tool that can be used to promote intercultural appreciation of pedagogical and student diversity; and K-12/university professional development communities. The paper ends with a discussion about culture, teacher education, and educational technology that recognizes the challenges of multiple cultures and the role of thick description to get at such cultures. When this mature intercultural view of educational technology is realized, it is easier to see that the concept of a digital divide is often oversimplified and should be related to processes of adoption and diffusion of innovations (Rogers, 1995) through multiple cultures and intercultures.