Throughout the first decade of the 21st century, K-12 classroom teachers have found themselves at the confluence of two often-competing forces within education: the high stakes accountability pressures generated by the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001, and the increasingly urgent mandates to adequately prepare students for the 21st century work world with its emphasis on technology, collaboration, and innovation. For many classroom teachers, particularly those in Title I schools with English Language Learners, the tension between these two forces can be significant.
Building upon the current body of research on teachers' sense of identity, agency, and efficacy and the role of collaboration on teacher leadership, this action research study describes how a group of teachers in a central California school district employed collaborative leadership to advocate for improved equity and access to technological resources, specifically for their English Language Learner students. Surveys, interviews and project artifacts were analyzed to identify how participating teachers defined the role of technology in their own pedagogical practice, how they negotiated barriers they faced with technology integration, and how their collaboration affected their sense of agency, their school sites, and the district in which they worked and whose policies they sought to influence.
Three key findings emerged from the data analysis, which both corroborated and extended previous research findings. First, transformative technology integration requires a pedagogical leap from a teacher-centric to a learner-centric classroom model. Second, in order to make this shift, teachers need collaborative professional development that itself harnesses technology to empower teacher learning. Third, despite the enhanced sense of efficacy and agency which teachers gain through collaborative leadership, for systemic reform to succeed, teachers require the support of a national vision that is aligned between espoused educational goals and equitable access to technological resources for ALL students and their teachers. These findings have implications for how teacher leaders can best help bridge the technology divides they and their students face in the public school classroom.
Further research investigating the optimal conditions under which teacher collaboration facilitates the nexus between teachers' pedagogy and equitable technology use are needed to advance this important line of inquiry.
Keywords: collaborative leadership, access, equity, technology literacy, English Language Learners, NCLB, teacher identity, social justice, action research
|School:||University of California, Santa Cruz|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-A 71/09, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational sociology, English as a Second Language, Educational leadership, Secondary education, Educational technology|
|Keywords:||Action research, Collaborative leadership, English language learners, Equity and access, Social justice, Teacher identity, Technological literacy|
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