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A case study of the change process of integrating technology into an elementary science methods course from 1997 to 2003

by Hsu, Pi-Sui.

Abstract (Summary)
The purpose of this qualitative case study was to provide a detailed description of the change process of technology integration into a science methods course, SCIED 458, as well as to interpret and analyze essential issues involved in the change process and examine how these factors influenced the change process. This study undertook qualitative research that employed case study research design. In-depth interviewing and review of the documents were two major data collection methods in this study. Participants included the three key faculty members in the science education program, a former graduate student who participated in writing the Link-to-Learn grant proposal, a former graduate student who taught SCIED 458, and two current graduate students who were teaching SCIED 458. A number of data analysis strategies were used in this study; these strategies included (1) coding for different periods of time and project categories and roles of people, (2) identifying themes, trends and coding for patterns, (3) reducing the data for analysis of trends and synthesizing and summarizing the data, and (4) integrating the data into one analytical framework. The findings indicated that this change process had evolved through the stages of adoption and diffusion, implementation, and institutionalization and a number of strategies facilitated the changes in individual stages, including the formation of a leadership team in the early stages, gradual adoption of technology tools, use of powerful pedagogy and methodology, the formation of a research community, and separation of technology training and subject teaching. The findings also indicated the essential factors and systems that interacted with each other and sustained the change process; these included a transformational shared leadership team, the formation of a learning and research community, reduced resistance of the elementary prospective teachers to technology, availability of university resources, involvement of the local school districts, support of the state department of education, recognition of the professional organizations, creation of partnerships with software companies, and technology advancements in society. A framework for integrating technology was presented to assist school reformers and instructional designers in initiating, implementing, and sustaining the changes due to technology integration in a systemic manner. iv
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School:Pennsylvania State University

School Location:USA - Pennsylvania

Source Type:Master's Thesis

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