Where to After the Cluster: Using Lead Teachers to Sustain ICT PD after the Cluster Funding Finishes
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Citation:Okey, D. (2006). Where to After the Cluster: Using Lead Teachers to Sustain ICT PD after the Cluster Funding Finishes. Unpublished thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the degree of Master of Education, Unitec Institute of Technology, New Zealand.
Permanent link to Research Bank record:http://hdl.handle.net/10652/1312
About half of all New Zealand primary and secondary schools have been involved in an Information Communication Technology (ICT) professional development clusters since 1999. These clusters have supported schools to integrate ICT in to the schools curriculum using a wide variety of different models of professional development. Each cluster lasts for three years and then the funding ceases. This research was based in a school that had finished a cluster in 2004 using one model of professional development, the use of lead teachers to deliver the professional development. The school, a metropolitan mid-decile secondary school, invested extra professional development into a group of teachers who were leading users and who had volunteered to take responsibility for a curriculum area in the school. The research focused on how the lead teacher model offered a sustainable model of professional development once the Ministry of Education funding had stopped. This research was a participant case study of the lead teacher’s model of professional development and employed both quantitative and qualitative research methods. Initially the school’s teachers were surveyed for their computer literacy and the school’s use of its computer suites was tracked. For the qualitative data the Deputy Principal responsible for professional development was interviewed along with the lead teachers. The lead teacher’s meetings were observed as was a range of staff development carried out by the lead teachers. Firstly this research discovered that most teachers were competent users of ICT for their personal and professional uses but only about half were confident about using ICTs with their students or how to integrate ICT into their curriculum area. This was especially pronounced in the senior school where almost no uses of ICTs were found, apart from a small number of specialist subject uses. It is therefore important that the ICT professional development focuses on the use of ICT for teaching and learning and lead teachers are an appropriate delivery vehicle for the professional development required. The second part of this research looked at the sustainability of the lead teacher model for the delivery of ICT professional development. The research found a number of criteria for the lead teacher model to be sustainable. The lead teacher group needed a clear identity in the school with a visible leader, to be integrated into the ordinary administration and have a clear purpose. Finally the group needs to be regularly reviewed for all of the above. It is important that more research is carried out into the sustainability of other models of professional development used in the clusters.