Cultivating pre-service teacher's knowledge of fostering futures thinking among history students through use of emerging technologies
MetadataShow full item record
Several preservice teachers of history at different training institutions in Uganda graduate with limited teacher knowledge to foster a futures thinking among students. This problem arises partly because the teacher knowledge, which history teacher-trainees obtain from different learning units at their training institutions are not only disjointed, but also biased at the teaching of the past and present, with little or no focus on the teaching about the future. This study sought to explore the potential of utilizing Emerging Technologies (ETs) to enhance preservice teachers’ acquisition of teacher knowledge for fostering futures thinking among students. Although ETs are increasingly being integrated in history teacher-training programs at teacher-training institutions in Uganda and beyond, not much is known about effective use ETs to cultivate history preservice teachers’ knowledge of fostering futures thinking among students. The need to address this gap is crucial. Otherwise, several history teacher-trainees could continue to graduate from their training institutions with disjointed and biased teacher knowledge for teaching about the past or the present, thereby ignoring the teaching about the future. When this challenge continues, the aim of teaching history to students in secondary schools in Uganda shall continue being undermined and unmet. This interventional study was done in form of a semester-long blended (face-to-face and online) learning intervention conducted in one History Education Unit at a public University in Uganda. The intervention engaged 50 history preservice teachers and one teacher-educator/lecturer in a number of Design Based Research activities. In light of the purpose and principles of DBR, the following questions were raised: a) What views do history preservice teachers have about the affordances of Emerging Technologies in general and Online Discussion Forums (ODFs) in mediating their acquisition of Technological Pedagogical and Content Knowledge (TPACK) to foster futures thinking among students? b) To what extent are history preservice teachers knowledgeable in utilizing ETs to acquire knowledge of fostering futures thinking among students? c) What pedagogical strategies can teacher-educators use to better cultivate history preservice teachers’ knowledge of using ETs and contemporary futures methods to foster futures thinking among students? In order to obtain answers to these questions, Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) and self-administered questionnaires were used. The quantitative data collected in this study was presented in a tabular form in Ms. Excel and analyzed using Descriptive Statistics. On the other hand, qualitative data was analyzed using Theory-Driven Thematic Analysis (TDTA). The trainees suggested that ODF have a range of affordances including; media, spatial, temporal, navigation affordances, emphasis, synthesis, access-control, technical, usability, and aesthetics affordances of ODF and that effective utilization of these affordances has a lot of potential to cultivate their Technological Pedagogical and Content (TPACK) for fostering futures thinking among students. Results indicated that use of emerging technologies in general and Online Discussion Forums (ODF) in particular afforded the trainees to significantly improve their Content Knowledge (CK), Pedagogical Knowledge (PK), Technological Knowledge (TK), Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK), Technological Pedagogical Knowledge (TPK), Technological Content Knowledge (TCK) and Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) of fostering futures thinking among students by 30.1%. Basing on a Synthesis of Qualitative Evidence (SQE) in literature, educators’ and trainees’ views, this study has suggested the following six (6) key strategies for cultivating history preservice teachers’ knowledge of using ETs to acquire teacher knowledge for fostering a futures thinking among students: Using teacher educators as role models, Learning technology by design, Scaffolding authentic technology experiences, Technology planning and leadership, Co-operation within and between institutions, and teacher educators undertaking Continuous Professional Development (CPD) in ETs and futures pedagogies.