Adoption Of Innovation And Studies Of Teachers Education Essay

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Introduction

This chapter reviews the related literature researches on adoption of innovation and studies of teachers' concerns to support the conceptual framework of this study. This chapter consists of five sections. (1) Change and implementation, (2) the theory of concern. (3) factors influencing ICT (integration) by teachers. (4) factors influencing teachers concern, and (5) conceptual framework of the study.

Change and implementation

The changes through the world including the educational reforms have increased because of the development of technology rapidly . The demand of labour market and societies for change and its implementation equalize with world changes.

One of the recent reform or the initiatives of change in the field of education have predominantly been done about improving educational practice by the employment of technological innovations. It is not only the computers to be used in teaching and learning but also including the Internet, blogs, digital cameras, other electronic and digital tools to enhance the instructional process.

Pierson (2001) argues that the educational reform efforts should not only focus on acquiring more machines for classrooms but also on developing teaching strategies that are complement technology use within the curriculum. The contrasts between traditional and innovative uses of technology serve to underscore the fact that teachers can use technology to support a variety of instructional models that differ in their goals and approaches for learning and teaching (Cognition and Technology Group at Vanderbilt, 1996). Collaboration among pupils using ICT clearly alters the nature of the classroom as relationships between pupils and teachers' change. However, the teacher will be more of a leading team player than a sole dispenser of knowledge, and this may conflict with their pedagogical beliefs.

To provide relevant and meaningful learning experiences for all students, teachers should possess and draw on a rich knowledge base of content, pedagogy and technology. Teachers need to identify needs, plan, implement, and assess classroom instruction through the collaborative use of technology and other resources. If technology is to be used as a tool to support the future success of our students, it seems only logic that technology should also be an important part of the instruction provided to teacher candidates (Strickland, 2005).

Scheffler and Logan (1999) conduct a study to identify technology related competencies that are important for teachers. The results of the study show that making technology as an integral part of curriculum and instruction is one of the greatest importance for teachers. This suggests that teachers are moving beyond administrative uses of technology to instructional uses that enhance teaching and student learning. In addition, teachers identify the most important competencies as the knowledge and skills to make technology as a seamless part of the curriculum. The teachers indicate that they had less needs to teach about technology and more needs to use technology as a teaching and learning tool that could be integrated into classroom instruction. This study shows an increasing need for teachers to obtain more skills and knowledge about the use of technology-enhanced instruction. Some researchers point out that the process of change itself is as a main barrier to technology implementation (Veen, 1995). Based on four case studies, Veen (1995) concludes that "educational change is a slow process and teachers need time to gain experience with computers" (p. 179).

The Concern-Based Adoption Model(CBAM)

The Concern-Based Adoption Model (CBAM) was developed by Hall, Wallace and Dossett in 1973 based on Fuller's theory of concern. Fuller (1969) hypothesizes that, during a change, teachers develop three stages of concerns as they progress in implementation. Teachers experience self-oriented concerns at the beginning of an innovation implementation; then, as they progress in implementation, they develop higher task concerns; and ultimately with enough experience, concerns shift to the highest levels of impact concerns.

CBAM views change as a process rather than an event and examines the various motivations, perceptions, attitudes, and feelings experienced by individuals in relation to change (Hall et al., 1973). It was observed that educational practitioners involved in adopting an innovation "appeared to express concerns similar to the ones Fuller had identified" (George, Hall & Stiegelbauer, 2006, p.4).

The CBAM consists of three main diagnostic dimensions: Stages of Concern (SoC), Levels of Use (LoU) and Innovation Configuration (IC). According to Hord et al. (1987), the Stages of Concern SoC is a major diagnostic tool that can identify the different kinds of teachers' concerns during a change process, and can enable change facilitators to decide what kinds of assistance should be provided. In this study, the focus is only on the Stages of Concern dimension. Stages of Concern consist of seven stages of concern that fall in the three categories of self, task and impact concerns. Self concerns include the first three stages: Awareness, Informational and Personal. Task concerns include one level of concern which is Management. Finally, Impact concerns include the last three stages of concern namely: Consequence, Collaboration and Refocusing. A summary and description of the seven Stages of Concerns about an Innovation are shown in Table 2.3.1.

. The Concerns-Based Adoption Model (CBAM) is often utilized to document the change process when new innovations are introduced. Therefore, many studies have used CBAM model as conceptual framework. Chamblee & Slough (2004) analyze research findings from the past ten years (from 2004) on the use of the Concerns-Based Adoption Model to measure technology implementation change. Ninety-seven papers were found that used CBAM as a conceptual framework to assess technology-based change. Analysis of the studies found that only one component of the model has typically been used to assess change, i.e., Stages of Concern Questionnaire.

In a study conducted by Christou et al. (2004), the (SoC) survey was administered to 655 teachers at more than 100 elementary schools in Cyprus during the implementation of a new mathematics curriculum. Teachers with various years of involvement with the curriculum as well as varying years of teaching experience were included. Stage 1 of the (SoC) was eliminated because all participants were aware of the curriculum changes. In opposition to Hall's theory, the teacher's concerns did not vary according to years of experience with the innovation nor through the implementation progression. Similarly, experience with a new teaching method alone was not enough to motivate teachers to progress developmentally (Cheung & Yip, 2004).

Al Shammari (2000) carries out a survey on 248 teachers in Kuwait using the stages of concern questionnaire and finds that teachers have four high concerns related to collaboration, personal, refocusing, and informational stages when the Information Technology curriculum was implemented. He also reports low concerns at the management and awareness stages. Female teachers had higher concerns about management; males had higher refocusing concern. Al Shammari suggests further research to continue validation of the SoCQ in Arabic cultures.

Table 2.3.1: Description of the Stages of Concerns about an innovation

Stages of Concern

Descriptions

Impact

Stage 6 Refocusing

The individual focuses on exploring ways to reap more universal benefits from the innovation, including the possibility of making major changes to it or replacing it with a more powerful alternative.

Stage 5 Collaboration

The individual focuses on coordinating and cooperating with others regarding use of the innovation.

Stage 4 Consequence

The individual focuses on the innovation's impact on students in his or her immediate sphere of influence. Considerations include the relevance of the innovation for students; evaluation of student outcomes, including performance and competencies; and the changes needed to improve student outcomes.

Task

Stage 3 Management

The individual focuses on the processes and tasks of using the innovation and the best use of information and resources. Issues related to efficiency, organizing, managing, and scheduling dominate.

Self

Stage 2 Personal

The individual is uncertain about the demands of the innovation, his or her adequacy to meet those demands, and/or his or her role with the innovation.

Stage 1 Informational

The individual indicates general awareness of the innovation and interest in learning more details about it. The individual does not seem to be worried about himself or herself in relation to the innovation

Stage 0 Awareness

The individual indicates little concern about or involvement with the innovation.

(George, Hall & Stiegelbauer, 2006,p.8)

On the other hand, in their study of 27 teachers and 6 administrators from three primary schools in Ankara, Askar & Usluel (2001) found 30% of the teachers showed no interest in using computers, 40% of the teachers had concerns between awareness and personal while 30% of the teachers had management concerns. However, concerns may change due to better awareness or familiarisation with the innovation at hand. Theodore et al (2003) find that significant changes in all seven dimensions of K-12 teachers' concerns are about technology integration after they participated in a graduate online course. Also, McKinnon and Nolan (1989) report that participant concerns shifted from personal to information concerns are in a computer hardware/software curriculum innovation.

Factors influencing ICT integration by teachers

In reviewing the literature regarding the factors that influence ICT integration by teachers in their teaching or in classroom show that many researches classify the factors to internal and external factors. Internal factors like teachers' attitudes, confidence, competence, concern, skills, knowledge of use, perceptions, anxiety and resistance. External factors like: lack of time, lack of maintenance, lack of training and other external factors. Some of these factors are being overcome due to rapid change throughout the years but some are still relevant.

Supporting and motivating factors for ICT integration, the reasons and conditions for successful integration appear to depend upon the teacher and school. However, the teacher plays a particularly important role in accomplishing and achieving the tasks and goals of ICT integration programmes.

According to Atkins and Vasu (2000) one of several important human factors which have a significant influence on one's computer adoption or implementation behaviour in the classroom is teachers' attitudes or concerns. Also, Mills (1999) states in his study about elementary school teachers' concerns of computer-delivered instruction and perceptions of an integrated learning system (ILS) support the point that teachers' concerns and perceptions of an (ILS) affect the way they implement (ILS). The teachers' attitude or concern about technology is a critical factor in terms of how rapidly and/or successfully one integrates technology into one's teaching. Therefore, for schools expecting to integrate computer technology into teaching, the teachers' concerns about technology integration must be considered. In addition, according to Norton and Sprague (1998), teachers' concerns about technology integration can even be changed in subtle ways by technology integration workshops, but not to the extent that they utilize in substantial changes in teaching practices.

Jones (2004) writes a report on the results of Becta's online survey of 170 educational practitioners regarding their perceived barriers to the use of ICT. The report outlines a number of barriers to the uptake of ICT that are grouped into teacher level barriers and school level barriers. The teacher level barriers are related to teachers' (1) personal deficiencies, such as lack of confidence, and lack of competence (due to lack of time for training, lack of pedagogical training, lack of skills training, and lack of ICT focus in initial teacher training); (2) resistance to change and negative attitudes; (3) anxiety; (4) inequalities, such as age and gender differences; and (5) lack of perceptions of benefits of ICT use. School level barriers were identified as: (1) lack of time scheduled by schools for teachers to use ICT, (2) lack of access to resources (due to lack of hardware, poor organisation of resources, poor quality of hardware, inappropriate hardware, lack of teachers' personal access to ICT resources); (3) technical problems (fear of things going wrong, lack of technical support); and (4) impact of public examinations. One of the problems with technology integration is the barriers teachers face. In their research, Jenson, Lewis and Smith (2002) summarize these barriers as limited equipment, inadequate skills, minimal support, time constraints, and the teachers' own lack of interest or knowledge about computers.

When we review the studies conducted in the Arab world it reveals the same barriers to ICT use in these countries. A Qatari study conducts on the benefits and barriers by implementing computer use in Qatari elementary schools by Al-Ammari ( 2004) finds that the most frequently mentioned external barriers are lack of time, length of the curriculum, too many students and few computers in labs, few computer periods, students' lack of computer skills, and lack of technical support and assistance. Internal barriers included teachers' lack of computer experience and knowledge, lack of understanding of computer importance, fear of losing control over students in labs, fear of equipment failure, feeling uncomfortable using computers, and fear of damaging computers. Al-Khateeb ( 2007) study about barriers to ICT use in Jordanian schools found that all 170 teachers encountered many barriers to their attempt to use ICT in their teaching. However, the most frequently mentioned barriers were hardware related, such as lack of maintenance, lack of data projectors, and lack of ICT resources.

The Saudi Arabian educational scene has been the focus of similar studies investigating factors that hinder teachers' ICT use. Al-Showaye (2002) studies the use of computer-based information technology and the Internet in Saudi intermediate and secondary schools. He uses both questionnaire and interview to collect data. A total of 16 factors were identified, the most important ones being lack of time and technical support, inadequate computer facilities, large class sizes and not enough computers, outdated computer facilities, and lack of training. The study findings point out that there are three major influences on teachers' uptake of ICT: school management, parents and students. Barriers associated with school management include: head teacher not persuaded that students need to learn to use ICT and their continuous interference in teachers' teaching methods, 46 particularly their use of computer technology, and educational supervisor instructions requiring teachers to do administrative tasks unrelated to their teaching thereby burdening them with tasks unrelated to their main role as teachers.

Al-Ghamdi ( 2001) studies on the reality of ICT in secondary education mainly focused on materialistic barriers which include: few and outdated computers and resources, lack of local networks, crowded classes, lack of maintenance, and unsuitable computer laboratories allocated in small rooms with poor lighting and ventilation. Non-material barriers include: few training courses on recent developments in ICT, teaching many classes, lack of time, scheduling problems, and teachers' weakness in mastering pedagogical teaching methods. Even though Al-Saif (2006) conducts in his study about computer use in secondary schools which undertaken in girls' schools, hindrances to ICT use are found to be similar. However, Al-Saif adds these barriers: lack of teacher training on producing programs, the state of unconcern towards ICT use, high cost of maintenance, lack of Arabic educational software, and fear of damaging computers.

Being aware of the hindrances, barriers, and obstacles that the teachers face when using ICT is very important, since the implementation of ICT in schools may not be achieved without overcoming the barriers that emerge as a result of the implementation process.

Factors influencing teachers' concern

Among the factors that influence teachers' concern are demographic characteristics like age and gender as well as, technology training, teachers' teaching area and teaching experience. Cheung, Hattie, and Ng (2001) point out that significant interaction between teaching experience with target-oriented curriculum TOC and the stages of concern: Non-users had more intense concerns at Stage 0 (Awareness), whereas experienced TOC teachers expressed more intense concerns at the impact stages. Egbert et al (2002) mention that teachers who use technology in their teaching are those more likely to have more teaching experience.

Despite increases in resources and training opportunities, according to Rowand (2000) several factors still affect teachers' use of computers and the Internet in classrooms. The first factor is years of teaching experience. Newer teachers are more likely to utilize computers or the Internet to facilitate various teaching activities than those with 20 or more years of teaching experience. The second factor is poverty level of teachers in a wealthy schools district are more likely to utilize computers or the Internet in teaching than those in a poor schools district.

Moreover, Lam (2000) finds that forcing teachers to implement technology in instruction may cause avoidance and resistance. He also finds that the lack of perceived legitimacy of computer as a useful educational tool has influence on teacher adoption of the technology.

Because of limited scope of this study that will investigate Saudi secondary school teachers' concern about the integration of computer technology in teaching and learning and the differences between teachers in terms of two influencing factors: (1) teaching experience, (2) teaching area.

Conceptual framework

This study aims to investigate Saudi secondary school teachers' concern about the integration of computer technology in teaching and learning. Therefore, the conceptual framework bases on the CBAM model. It also, looks for the differences between teachers' stages of concern in terms of teaching experience and teaching area as shown in figure 2.6.1.

Figure2.6.1 conceptual framework of the study

CBAM

Concern Based Adoption Model

Saudi secondary school teachers'

stages of concern about the integration

of computer technology

in teaching and learning

Teaching area

Teaching experience

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