Impact of networked schools on professional development activities as perceived by Texas educators of the Region 5 Education Service Center
Lucy Kay Nolte Abernathy, Texas A&M University, United States
Texas A&M University . Awarded
The purpose of the study was to examine the perceptions of the impact of networked schools on professional development activities as experienced by principals and teachers whose schools are located within the Region 5 Education Service Center (ESC).
The population for the study consisted of principals and teachers from the networked campuses who were the first in each district to be connected to the Internet through the Region 5 ESC. The data were obtained through a mailed questionnaire. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize the data from the questionnaire; one-way analyses of variance were used to test for mean differences between principal and teacher perceptions of the impact of networked schools on professional development activities.
The perceptions of principals and teachers were more positive than negative in general. Additionally, within the population surveyed, perceptions of principals and teachers were different at a statistically significant level (p < .05) on the 24-item scale, the Perceptions of Networked Schools (PONS). The Network Planning (NP) and Network Implementation (NI) scales also showed that the two groups studied were different at statistically significant levels (p < .05). Furthermore, within the principal and teacher groups surveyed, perceptions of principals and teachers were different at a statistically significant level (p < .05) on 13 of the 24 items in the survey.
With a profound difference in the perceptions of the principal and teacher groups with regard to the use of networks and related professional development activities, principal respondents appeared optimistic in their understanding of how effective the use of electronic networks and associated teacher professional learning were. Teacher respondents were more guarded in their view of the planning and implementation issues of networked schools. Teacher respondents did not believe that they were prepared or trained satisfactorily. Principal respondents reported excellent preparation and training.
Recommendations include broadening the scope of professional development activities beyond training to a more individualized approach. The literature supports professional development as an ongoing activity embedded in the professional day of each educator. In addition, the professional development strategies for technology integration should address pedagogy and student learning expectations as well as technical skills.
Abernathy, L.K.N. Impact of networked schools on professional development activities as perceived by Texas educators of the Region 5 Education Service Center. Ph.D. thesis, Texas A&M University.
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