AbstractsEducation Research & Administration


One of the biggest changes in educational systems around the world has been integration of information and telecommunication technology (ICT). However, many countries report the disparity between the policies and strategies introduced and the absence of actual implementation of this innovation into teaching practice. The analysis of relevant research literature, national and international reports shows that Croatia is no exception. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to shed light on issues around ICT integration into initial teacher education (ITE) programs in two regions in Croatia. The two faculties of teacher education in Rijeka and Osijek have been chosen because programs for equipping the future teachers of classroom education with the knowledge and skills to integrate ICT in their practice have been introduced there. The study takes a comparative perspective on factors influencing the application of ICT among three groups of teachers: university teachers, mentor teachers and student teachers included in these two ITE programs. The methods that were used in this qualitative study to gather data from 17 participants were semi-structured interviews and observations. Analyzed data was then discussed inside the framework based on the theories of educational change and the concepts around integration of ICT. The study found that despite similar external obstacles such as lack of resources and poor management there are significant differences in the level of ICT integration in the two ITE programs at the Faculties of Teacher Education in Rijeka and Osijek. These differences stem mainly from the internal factors that in the ITE program in Rijeka present barriers because students and teachers still try to innovate on an individual level. On the other hand, the same groups of stakeholders in the ITE program in Osijek joined their personal efforts and applied their knowledge to build professional learning communities that brought the integration of ICT from the initialization to the actual implementation phase.