The Role of Professional Development

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05022012

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. The Role of Professional Development




Some studies have suggested that a lack of appropriate
professional development is one of the prominent
reasons that teachers do not integrate technology into
their curriculum (Bauer & Kenton, 2005; Stolle, 2008).
It seems logical to assume that professional development
aimed at helping teachers understand and integrate
ICTs into instruction is useful and necessary
given that the evolution of ICTs has been rapid.
Additionally, the necessary adaptations of instruction
are potentially substantial (Leu, 2006). There are data
supporting that view, although none specifically pertaining
to literacy teachers (e.g., Becker, 1999; Fatemi,
1999; Penuel, Boscardin, Masyn, & Crawford, 2007).
Yet there is no clear empirical evidence about what
approach to or what content provided through professional
development might effectively advance teachers’
integration of ICTs into curriculum and instruction.
Although the methodology of the present investigation
does not address those issues directly, it does provide
data concerning teachers’ views about professional
development and what role those views may play in a
model predicting levels of integration, which might
inform the direction and content of professional development
aimed at facilitating integration. For example,
if teachers’ definitions and perceptions of ICTs are
not conducive to integration (e.g., seeing it as separate
from the curriculum), then those views might be an
appropriate starting point for professional development.
If, on the other hand, that issue is moot, then
professional development might emphasize more practical
issues of implementation. Thus, understanding
literacy teachers’ perceptions about integrating ICTs
into instruction, and which perceptions and reported
uses are associated with higher levels of integration,
may inform professional development.

Professor


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