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April Lynn Luehmann, Ph.D. Visiting Assistant Professor Indiana University Center for Research on Learning and Technology

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Presentation on theme: "April Lynn Luehmann, Ph.D. Visiting Assistant Professor Indiana University Center for Research on Learning and Technology"— Presentation transcript:

1 April Lynn Luehmann, Ph.D. Visiting Assistant Professor Indiana University Center for Research on Learning and Technology AERA Annual Meeting, New Orleans April 5, 2002 Factors Affecting Secondary Science Teachers’ Appraisal and Adoption of Technology-Rich Project-Based Learning Environments

2 A.L.Luehmann2 Statement of Problem  Information Age – new expectations for schools and therefore new implications for instructional-design  Calls are being made for student engagement in meaningful scientific inquiry  PBS, frequently with the aid of technology, is one response to these calls  University-based research and design efforts have resulted in the creation of numerous project-based curricula for teachers  However, there is very little diffusion of these projects into the K-12 schools

3 A.L.Luehmann3 Purpose The purpose of this study is to understand the factors that influence science teachers’ appraisal and adoption processes so that we can better design curricular innovations that support the decision- making process and, therefore, increase the likelihood of adoption.

4 A.L.Luehmann4 Background Overview  Technology-rich project-based learning environments  Innovation-decision process  Teachers as gatekeepers  Curricular decision-making

5 A.L.Luehmann5 Technology-Rich Project-Based Learning Environments  Shift in instructional design theory (Reigeluth, 1999)  Project-based science (Blumenfeld, et al., 1996; Krajcik, Blumenfeld, Marx, Bass & Fredricks, 1998; and others) Focus of science education Objectives Foundational components  Examples of technology-rich models Leveraging technology Examples: KGS, GLOBE, KIE WISE: Web-based Interactive Science Environment (Linn & His, 2000)

6 A.L.Luehmann6 WISE: Web-based Interactive Science Environment  Knowledge integration approach to inquiry (Linn & Slotta, 2000)  Supports in the learning environment Inquiry map Amanda Panda Online assessments Structured searches Concept Mapping

7 A.L.Luehmann7 Innovation Decision Process  Knowledge  Persuasion  Decision  Implementation  Use Rogers, 1995  Awareness  Curiosity  Visualization  Learning  Use Dormant, 1999

8 A.L.Luehmann8 Criteria Used to Critique  Doyle & Ponder, 1977 Instrumentality, Congruence & Cost  Randi & Corno (1997) Student characteristics, teachers’ beliefs & values, practical theories developed from practice, curricular content, and teachers’ knowledge of subject matter  Hawthorne (1992) Professional knowledge, knowledge of their clients, values & experiences, organizational factors  Becker (2000) Teacher efficacy, access to technology, class schedule, content requirements, pedagogical beliefs

9 A.L.Luehmann9 Methods: Participants  Convenience sample – email solicitation First 37 / 75 who responded were included Only secondary science teachers (n = 30) used in analysis  Desired participants Secondary teachers Teach a water quality unit Adequate access to technology  Participants (n = 30)  F = 17; M = 13  Masters degree = 28; Bachelors degree = 2  All from Indiana: inner city (n = 7), rural (n = 7), suburban (n = 16).  27 interviews occurred in the teacher’s local school

10 A.L.Luehmann10 Methods: WISE Curriculum  Water, Water Everywhere: Is this water safe? Customized by and for Indiana teachers (4 week process)  Marketed as such  Goal: Create what a subset of teachers value Characteristics: 2-week unit, 5 global activities each containing many student steps; free for any teacher, local relevance

11 A.L.Luehmann11 Methods  Procedure Face to Face Introduction via email General WISE information Water, Water Everywhere: Is this water safe? Three questions  Data Collection Teachers were asked to “think-aloud” (audio-taped recordings) Comments and questions, as well as observations about non-verbal behavior were recorded (field notes) RQ: What implicit factors influenced teachers’ decision-making processes as they appraise a technology rich curriculum and consider its potential adoption?

12 A.L.Luehmann12 Methods  Data Analysis Constant comparison method (Glaser & Strauss, 1967) to generate categories  Qualitative software, NVivo  Hermeneutic stages (examine data, read research, discussed findings, returned to examine data more closely) (Lincoln & Guba, 1986).  Examined categories to develop hypotheses Credibility & trustworthiness  Discussions with another researcher/coder  Member checks with six participants

13 A.L.Luehmann13 Results  Trust  Identity  Self-Efficacy  Process Goals  Situational Constraints  Contextual Idiosyncrasies

14 A.L.Luehmann14 Results  Trust Subcategories: competence credibility, safety credibility & role of others Discussion: As gatekeepers, teachers perceive their roles to be that of protectors – of their time, of their students’ experiences, of their professional identity. Highlights the fragile nature of this process.  Identity Subcategories: Expertise, Roles & Affiliations Discussion: Correlation is clear. Further investigation is necessary to determine if there is predictive power in teachers’ self-perceptions

15 A.L.Luehmann15 Results  Self-efficacy Subcategories: Technology, Content, Management, Pedagogy Discussion: Confirms previous studies that teacher self-efficacy is one of the primary indicators of willingness to change.  Process Goals Subcategories: proactive vs. reactive appraisal, the planning continuum, & recommended improvements Discussion: Teachers vary with respect to needs & desires. Increased reflection due to my presence – gave teachers the opportunity to function as reflective practitioners.

16 A.L.Luehmann16 Results  Situational Constraints Subheadings: access, student composition, & parent involvement Discussion: “The most obvious function of teacher planning in American schools is…” (Clark & Peterson, 1986) Impediments aren’t really.  Contextual idiosyncrasies Subheadings: influence of another, timing, technology Discussions: These oddities are the norm, not the exception. For teachers to adopt an innovative curricular option, they first must become aware - issues such as exposure, opportunity and support must be addressed.

17 A.L.Luehmann17 Conclusions Diversity is the norm More than teachers realize Appraisal process goals Role of trust Adoption of curriculum or tool?

18 A.L.Luehmann18 Limitations  Sample bias  Lack of implementation  The “cool” innovation  Science as the only discipline (Hargreaves, 1993)  My influence

19 A.L.Luehmann19 Implications  Marketing is key  Make it easy for teachers to sell  Scaffold teachers’ appraisal through awareness: exposure, opportunity & support  Design to support mutual adaptation  Listen to the subjective realities of individual teachers

20 A.L.Luehmann20  Next Steps Diffusion process: The rest of the story  Implementation  Sustainability How can reformers design for mutual adaptability?  Innovation results in a change of what for whom?  How do teachers differ with respect to their practices of customization? Understanding and supporting local innovation and dissemination  Create Structures (Conference of Innovation & bi-weekly meetings of secondary science teachers) to further investigate role of colleagues in challenging pedagogical beliefs and practices

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