NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED554176
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 213
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3031-7103-1
Utilizing Technology as Leverage for Instructional Improvement in the Classroom
Kellen, Debra Anne
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Michigan
Fueled by the proliferation of new technologies, teachers are being asked to rethink their own practice and deliver instruction designed to help students succeed in the 21st century. The aim is to extend students' intellectual capacity through the use of contemporary tools and to create powerful learning situations which can extend their experiences and foster the acquisition of higher-order thinking skills. However, most teachers are unfamiliar with such instructional practices. This study investigates the ways and extent to which one district's professional development initiative was able to build Grade 7 English and Social Studies teachers' technological and pedagogical capacities for enacting such an instructional program. It adds to the literature by examining these efforts within a context which is academically successful and resource-rich. Further, it highlights the professional capacities necessary for mandated practical improvement, the ways teachers cope with practical dilemmas and the ways in which principals can reinforce instructional aims and support teacher change. The data consisted of participant observation of 9 full-day training sessions, semi-structured interviews with 15 teachers, 3 facilitators and 8 administrators, two teacher surveys and an examination of on-line lesson plans and student work. Findings indicated the training was well executed. It presented research and provided multiple opportunities for practice, lesson sharing, coaching and reflection. However, the training period was too short for the district's instructional goals to be integrated into classroom practice. Despite extensive teacher buy-in, the analysis of lesson plans and student work showed that classroom change was superficial and primarily limited to increases in student choice and collaboration. English teachers struggled with the lack of aligned curricular materials and Social Studies teachers limited their efforts to Capstone projects. Despite being digital natives, students required substantial support. Lastly, without administrator training, principal support for teacher change depended upon the individuals' attitudes, understandings and abilities. This study corroborates past findings that classroom practice is resistant to change. While exceptional funding allowed for purchasing technology, on-going training, and coaching support, most teachers utilized technology as an add-on and did not integrate significantly alter their instructional methods. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Grade 7; Junior High Schools; Middle Schools; Elementary Education; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A