Factors that influence the efficacy of professional development in digital technologies for New Zealand primary school teachers
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Citation:Westcott, T. (2019). Factors that influence the efficacy of professional development in digital technologies for New Zealand primary school teachers. (Unpublished document submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Applied Practice). Unitec Institute of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10652/4774
Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/4774
RESEARCH QUESTIONS: 1. What are the recommended factors for the design and implementation of effective PD as identified by the literature? 2. What are teachers’ perceptions of the key factors of the design and implementation process for effective PD in Digital Technologies for a New Zealand primary school? 3. What are teachers’ perceptions of the transferability and relevance of the findings for the recommended factors for effective PD? ABSTRACT: “With digital technologies now accepted as an integral part of our society, our workplaces and our homes, the challenge has been to ensure they also become an integral part of our education system” (Education in New Zealand, 2017). Recently, the Ministry of Education revised the New Zealand Curriculum and emphasised the need for teachers of years 0-10 to integrate the Digital Technologies Curriculum in all schools. In order to do this, teachers require effective professional development (PD). This study uses a practitioner-researcher approach to investigate teachers’ experiences and perceptions of the factors of the design and implementation of Digital Technologies PD that increase its efficacy. Further to this, the literature is explored and used to identify factors that impact its effectiveness. The study also examined teachers’ perceptions of the transferability and relevance of the findings to other educational contexts. Teachers took part in seven compulsory Digital Technologies PD workshops and up to five optional workshops over two school terms. Through questionnaires and individual semi-structured interviews, 11 participants shared their perceptions and experiences of the PD, identifying the factors that influenced its effectiveness. The findings of the study indicated that factors of collaboration, discussion, and ongoing time and support should be included in PD. The content and activities of the PD need to be hands-on, practical and meet the needs and contexts of the teachers in the programme. Further to this, the facilitators of PD programmes require strong communication skills, approachability, and passion. Strong relationships between the facilitator and teachers need to be made and maintained. In addition, the facilitator must be responsive and flexible to the needs of the teachers in the PD.