Implementation of computing in schools by primary principals: A longitudinal perspective

Year: 2000


Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Computers are now accepted as part of teaching, learning and administration in primary schools. With the introduction of Computer Education policies in the early 1980s, principals of NSW primary schools faced complex decisions about implementing a new technology. Persistent challenges include purchase of appropriate hardware and software, their own training needs and those of their staff, location of resources, student and staff access, and ways of integrating computers into the daily life of their schools.

To ascertain how primary principals have met the challenges of computer use, three sets of data will be examined. Data from interviews, surveys and participant diaries from an intensive year-long study conducted in the mid 1980s of six urban primary schools considered dlighthouse schools' in implementation of computers in the Hunter Region of NSW; data collected through periodic, semi-focussed interviews with school principals and other leaders over the following 15 years; and data from a current project to establish baseline information on principals' use of, and concerns about computers, will be explored.

Findings will highlight the key role of the principal in the implementation of computing in primary schools, the significance of their change facilitation style, the nature of their interventions and the appropriateness of implementation strategies.