Date of Award

2-7-2007

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Middle-Secondary Education and Instructional Technology

First Advisor

Laurie B. Dias, Ph.D. - Chair

Abstract

Teachers’ beliefs have been identified as a barrier to classroom technology integration. School leadership support that reduces or removes integration barriers can assist teachers in the move from traditional teaching beliefs and practices towards successful classroom technology integration. This mixed methods study investigated beliefs of school leaders and teacher participants concerning support factors that affect technology integration from a mid-sized suburban public school system in the southeastern United States. The quantitative phase of this study included 556 school leaders and teachers. The quantitative survey Beliefs about Teaching with Technology (BATT) measured the school leaders and teachers’ beliefs concerning support factors that affect technology integration. A MANOVA was used to identify significant differences between the two groups and to select the extreme cases for the second phase of the study. An extreme case was defined as one in which the school leaders and teachers had a statistically different view of the beliefs about teaching with technology. Significance was found at the p = .001 level in all categories of beliefs investigated. This qualitative phase of the study included participants from three extreme case schools. Interviews with key informants further explored the differences in beliefs between three leaders and nine teachers and identified differing perspectives between their beliefs about factors that support technology integration in their schools. These interviews also provided descriptions of behaviors related to individuals’ beliefs about these factors. The constant comparative model was used for interview analysis. If classroom technology integration is to be successful, leaders and teachers in a school should possess similar beliefs about the availability and nature of the school-based support, resources, professional development, vision, and incentives necessary to encourage change within a school environment. This study identified the existence of differences in such beliefs between these two groups in one school system, a necessary step before conducting further research on the impact these differences in beliefs could have on individuals’ behaviors related to the successful integration of technology into classroom instruction.

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