Teachers' and administrators' comceptions of school policy and its impact on technology implementation
Simmons, John Richard
MetadataShow full item record
The goal of this study was to identify factors of policy that facilitate or hinder teachers’ implementation of technology in their classrooms. This study employed a qualitative research design, focusing on middle school mathematics teachers, their principal, and the district curriculum coordinator. A qualitative research design was used in the study because it allowed for in-depth understanding of teachers’ and administrators’ conceptions of school policy in middle school mathematics, particularly with regard to policy effect on technology implementation. Data were collected about teachers’ and administrators’ conceptions of school district policies concerning the implementation and use of computing technology for teaching and learning mathematics. Within the district, teachers from Grade 6 were chosen for interviews. I also interviewed the district curriculum coordinator and school principal. A grounded theory approach and constant comparative analysis were applied to the data. The results of this study indicated the participants’ conceptions and understanding of computers’ educational roles evolved from simple tools for productivity and motivation to diverse and advanced roles for learning concepts and developing thinking skills. They also developed critical concepts related to teaching with technology, including teachers’ roles, pedagogy and students’ characteristics. The results of this study also indicate that the participants’ conceptions of technologies’ educational roles, which are supported by district policy, were as: (a) simple tools for productivity and motivation (b) a medium through which concepts are learned and thinking skills are developed and (c) tools to help develop critical concepts related to teaching with technology, including teachers’ roles, pedagogy, and students’ characteristics. This study suggests more effort should be put into effective use and integration of technology into the mathematics classroom. As advances in computing technology occur, the implementation of this technology should be studied in efforts to achieve continuous improvements in technology implementation policy and in mathematics education.