Predicting ICT integration into classroom teaching in Chinese primary schools: exploring the complex interplay of teacher-related variables


Guoyuan Sang, Department of Educational Studies, University of Ghent, Dunantlaan 2, 9000, Ghent, Belgium. Email:


Available research has explored a wide variety of factors influencing information and communication technologies (ICT) adoption and integration in classroom teaching; however, existing research seldom centre on the combined impact of these variables. In addition, the little research available is set up in the Chinese context. The latter is important given that the different cultural context in which the interplay between teacher beliefs and educational practices has only been documented quiet little. The present study centres on the complex interplay of a number of internal teacher variables to explain ICT classroom integration. These variables comprise ‘teachers’ constructivist teaching beliefs’, ‘teacher attitudes towards computers in education’, ‘teachers’ computer motivation’, ‘teacher perception of ICT-related policy’. A survey was set up, involving 820 Chinese primary school teachers. Path modeling was used to explore the direct and indirect effects of the teacher-related variables on their level of ICT classroom integration. Firstly, two distinctive types of ICT use can be distinguished in the Chinese context: (a) teacher supportive use of ICT that refers to the use of ICT for e.g. student administration, preparing worksheets, developing evaluation activities; and (b) classroom use of ICT to support and enhance the actual teaching and learning process. The results show that classroom use of ICT directly depends on teachers' computer motivation and the supportive use of ICT. Teachers' constructivist beliefs, their attitudes towards computers in education and perceptions about the ICT-related school policy influence ICT integration in an indirect way. The results demonstrate how the complex interplay between teacher-related variables and ICT integration in the classroom is partly in line with findings in non-Asian contexts. A number of differences can be explained by the particular Chinese context. In particular an indirect relationship was found between teachers' constructivist beliefs and their level of ICT integration.