Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Faculty of Science
Given the prevalence of computers in education today, it is critical to understand teachers’ perspectives regarding computer integration in their classrooms. Research identifying stages of implementation, and literature identifying barriers and supports, fall short of explaining what variables impact an educator’s ultimate decision to integrate technology in their instruction. The current research surveyed a heterogeneous sample of 185 elementary and 204 secondary teachers in order to provide a comprehensive summary of teacher characteristics and variables that discriminate teachers who integrate technology from those who do not. Discriminant Function Analysis (DFA) identified the following variables as making unique contributions to discriminating high and low integrators: positive experiences with computers; teacher’s comfort with computers; specific beliefs about computer technology as an instructional tool; training; challenge; support; and, teaching efficacy.
Qualitative analysis of open-ended survey questions and univariate analysis of differences between “nominated experts” and randomly selected teachers, triangulated the findings to build a model of successful integration that includes integration of content, pedagogical and technological knowledge; personal characteristics of teachers (learning style and willingness to accept challenge); and, support (both technical and human resources). Identification of discriminating individual characteristics has implications for professional development and policies regarding support and integration.
Mueller, Julie, "Computer Integration in Elementary and Secondary Schools: Variables Influencing Educators" (2009). Theses and Dissertations (Comprehensive). 1068.