Teacher Change: A preliminary exploration of teachers' risk-taking in the context of ICT integration

Year: 2007

Author: Howard, Sarah

Type of paper: Refereed paper

This research is a preliminary exploration of teachers' risk-taking habits in educational change, within the context of learning to integrate Information and Communication Technology (ICT) into Australian and United States curriculum. The research defines "risk" as the potential for undesired results, specifically when individuals and groups engage in change. In educational change, such as using a new software package, teachers may be required to modify teaching practices. Some teachers may have concerns related to student learning, perceiving lower student achievement as a risk; others may have used the software in the past with positive results, therefore not perceiving a risk. The research theorizes differences in individual and school culture beliefs and values influence teachers' risk perception. This paper presents an initial application of Cultural Theory, classifying teachers' individual risk perceptions, in relation to school culture and ICT integration. Data is gathered through questionnaires and two case studies. Results will help clarify the how teachers perceive risk-taking and technology, helping schools to understand teachers' needs and barriers within ICT-related change.