Postprint of: Chalmers, C, Chandra, V, Hudson, S & Hudson, P 2012, 'Preservice teachers teaching technology with robotics', paper presented to Australian Teacher Education Association (ATEA) 2012 Conference, Adelaide (Glenelg), SA, 1-4 July.
This study investigates the value of a robotics-based school engagement experience for preservice teachers enrolled in a fourth year technology education curriculum unit and analyses their perceived abilities and confidence to design and implement engaging technology activities following this experience. Technology is a key learning area in Australian schools but research shows that most teachers find this subject challenging to teach. This could be attributed to teachers’ attitudes and their lack of knowledge, hence investigating preservice teachers’ involvement with technology may provide further insights. In this study, 30 preservice teachers used robotics to implement technology activities with 22 primary school students from a school in a low socio-economic area. Surveys were administered to ascertain the preservice teachers' perceptions of their school engagement experiences. The data gathered from the participants showed that they had gained confidence and knowledge from the experience and felt the engagement activity would assist them to develop and implement technology activities in their future classrooms.