The progressive digitalization of society presents schools with the challenge of conveying
digital skills to children and young people to a greater extent than before. Prospective as well as active
teachers play a key role, as they must have both pedagogical media competencies and digital literacy
skills to systematically utilize the teaching and learning potential of digital media. Although there is
a lack of empirical studies on teacher candidates` digital literacy, these candidates are often assumed
to have deficient and lower digital skills than students in other subject areas due to negative selection.
We examined this question by analyzing data from the German National Education al Panel Study
(NEPS) provided by N = 1518 first-year students and N = 1766 advanced students in the sixth semester.
The results showed that first-year teacher candidates as well as teacher candidates in the sixth
semester had lower digital literacy skills than students in other subject areas. The differences correspond
to small effect sizes (0.32 ≤ d ≤ 0.47). Closer inspection of the teacher candidates by study
majors revealed that students without mathematics or any field of science as subjects had particularly
low digital literacy skills, indicating a negative self-selection of this group. The results also show that
a substantial number of first-year teacher candidates (25 %) as well as teacher candidates in the sixth
semester (53 %) did not meet the minimum level of proficiency in digital skills as defined by an expert
panel. Finally, we discuss possible implications for teacher training.
Translated title of the contributionDissemination of media literacy at school in a digital world: Are teacher candidates digitally competent?
Original languageGerman
JournalPsychologie in Erziehung und Unterricht
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 08.05.2020
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