Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
School of Education
Dr Jeremy Pagram
Associate Professor Paul Newhouse
Expertise in technology-supported teaching needs to be understood from multi-dimensional perspectives and influences, if raising teacher quality is a desired goal of education services. This study aimed to uncover the interactive influences of teachers' pedagogical practices, learning experiences and personal characteristics and how their decisions impacted upon their growth in expert technology-supported teaching. A mixed methods approach incorporated case study techniques, use of quantitative and qualitative data and was informed by grounded theory. Five female primary teachers participated in this research which was conducted during one year over two data collection stages in a technology-supportive independent Australian girls' school.
Variations of expertise were most evident in teachers' pedagogical practices, attributable to their technological, pedagogical and content knowledge and beliefs about student learning. These were apparent in the design, delivery and management of student learning activities, with and without digital resources and tools. Common to all was the strength of performance self-efficacy beliefs, desire for excellence and the motivational challenges afforded by technologies to practices and approaches to learning.
Particular experiences and influences on learning were perceived by teachers as significant in their journeys of growth, namely 1) accessing the knowledge and modelling strategies of a dedicated curriculum resource teacher, 2) engaging in collaborative activities and feeling part of a team, 3) observing colleagues at work, and 4) being committed to staying abreast of new ideas by spending time alone to play and learn in the non-threatening environment of technology. A distinctive feature of their professional agency was illustrated by pro-active attitudes to change and taking ownership for decisions. These deliberate choices made to advance professional growth over time were epitomised by changes in professional roles, changes within school systems and changes to practices, incorporating risk-taking actions.
Expert practices with technology need to be sustained through perseverance and dedication to learning and practice. When the extent of a teacher's expertise is distinguished by referring to descriptors along continuum pathways, this is an encouragement to all teachers to pursue excellence in technology-supported teaching practices.
Kershaw, L. H. (2016). Journeys towards expertise in technology-supported teaching. Retrieved from http://ro.ecu.edu.au/theses/1776