Change happens: Acceptance of "impermanence" and "flow" in teachers' professional reflections on technology and change

Year: 2004

Author: Johnson, Richard, Lynch, Julianne

Type of paper: Refereed paper

For several years the authors of this paper have monitored the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) in primary and secondary schools. In this paper they report on their work in progress, focusing particularly on data collected via teacher interviews in 2003. It is a 'good news' story that celebrates a shift in the way school teachers approach ICT, and that shows that teachers are a lot more comfortable with ICT than the authors have previously observed. The authors argue that a significant transition has occurred in the hardware, software and 'warmware', the people and how they can work with the hardware and software as part of their pedagogy. Existing research tends to construct change as something that has to be planned, prepared for and managed (eg. Fullan, 1997), and as something that teachers often resist (eg. Cuban, 1993; Grunberg & Summers, 1992; Hodas, 1998). This paper is distinctive in drawing on Eastern approaches to understanding change. Through an examination of the concepts of "impermanence" and "flow," and how they apply to ICT, schools and teachers' work, we seek to demystify change: Change happens, has happened and will continue to happen. We conclude that teachers' increased familiarity with, and increasingly relaxed approach to, ICT has led to a shift in their attentions, such that they are less concerned with obtaining and mastering particular software and hardware, and more concerned with pedagogy and student learning.