Author Identifier

Julie Boston

Date of Award


Document Type



Edith Cowan University

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Education

First Supervisor

Geoffrey L. Lummis

Second Supervisor

Mark Hackling


Despite decades of research surrounding Information Communication Technology (ICT) use in schools, the pedagogical reasoning required to provide meaningful ICT enabled learning opportunities is rarely analysed in the literature. The purpose of this research was therefore to investigate teachers’ pedagogically reasoned practice. This study involved three exemplary Australian secondary science teachers, renowned for their expertise in utilising ICT working in classrooms where students had school issued one-to-one computers and reliable network access. The research utilised qualitative methods, including semistructured interviews, video-based observational data, and an array of lesson artefacts. The study followed a naturalistic multiple-case study design to explore the pedagogical reasoning and actions of these science teachers.

The study identified different forms of pedagogical reasoning and action for a digitally connected world. Many aspects of this iterative model bear close resemblance to Shulman’s (1987) original conception of pedagogical reasoning and action. In each case, sophisticated reasoned decision-making drawing upon a range of teacher knowledge bases, most notably technological pedagogical content knowledge took place. The pedagogical reasoning and action model presented demonstrates a backward mapping approach where the use of ICT was directed at supporting the development of scientific content and educational outcomes of the mandated science curriculum. The research also found that these teachers held social constructivist beliefs for the use of ICT and intentionally designed ICT enabled opportunities from a learning affordance perspective. The research also demonstrated a reflexive relationship between the teacher’s beliefs and their pedagogical practices. Teacher activity involved significant preparatory work in the selection and curation of motivating, authoritative and multimodal Internet accessible ICT resources and tools aligned to the mandated science curriculum. In each case, the teachers had purposefully created a customised classroom online presence or website, offering students a flexible learning environment, an uncommon practice at the time of the study.

The teachers designed ICT enabled learning opportunities following a guided inquiry model, frequently involving collaborative problem-based strategies. In each case, the students were the dominant users of ICT in the classroom using ICT for discovering knowledge, constructing knowledge and for sharing knowledge. The teachers’ role was predominantly one of orchestration of the learning environment, scaffolding and questioning students as they engaged with guided inquiry-based learning tasks.

Ultimately the research revealed the critical role of the teacher in mediating the affordances of ICT for meaningful learning. Overall the findings offer useful insights into how exemplary science teachers’ reason and act about the use of ICT in a digitally connected classroom. An important implication for the development of initial science teacher education programs arose from the study, notably that preservice teachers require ongoing and authentic course opportunities to support the development of the technology, pedagogy, and content knowledge relevant for a digitally connected classroom.