Teacher Attitudes and Perceptions About Curriculum Innovation in Learning and Technology Term Paper

  • Length: 76 pages
  • Subject: Teaching
  • Type: Term Paper
  • Paper: #4872492

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Self-Efficacy: A Definition

Social Cognitive Theory

Triangulation Data analysis

Teacher Self-Efficacy

Problems for the researcher

Data Analysis and Related Literature review.

Baseline Group

Gender Deviation

Age Deviation

Comparison of data with other literature in the field.

Everyday Integration

Efficacy, Self-esteem, Confidence and Experience

Barriers to use

Integration paradigm.

Co-oping and Project design.

Organizational Climate

Teacher Integration Education.

Meta-evaluation of data and related literature.

Data Analysis and Comparison

Recommendation for Further Research

Data Review Report

Teacher efficacy in the classroom is facilitated by a number of different factors for different professions. However, in the case of the teaching classroom, and adapting to new technology, Bandura's belief that the environment and the person's attitude toward / interactions with the environment are reciprocally affective.

Bandura (1993) identified 4 specific ways that self-efficacy is formed:

Through cognitive experiences

Through motivational experiences

Their affective interactions with environment

Through selectional experiences and choices.

Cognitive Experiences

Bandura believed that the effects of self-efficacy beliefs on cognitive processes take many directed by individually selected, and personal goal setting is influenced by self-appraisal of capabilities. The stronger the teacher perceives their self-efficacy, the higher the goals and challenges people will set for themselves and the firmer is their commitment will be to them (A. Bandura, 1991). Most courses of action are shaped in thought through in this way.

People's beliefs in their abilities influence the types of scenarios they construct and rehearse. Those who have a high sense of efficacy visualize success scenarios that provide positive guides and supports for performance. Those who doubt their efficacy visualize failure scenarios and will often dwell on the many things that can go wrong. Or the person with the low self-efficacy will deliberately not plan the needed steps to complete a goal successfully. The ensuing failure thereby reinforces their personal belief.

It is difficult to achieve and accomplish goals while fighting self-doubt. Initially, people relied heavily on their past performance in judging in order to evaluate their personal efficacy and set their aspirations. But as they began to form a personal history of success and failure concerning their abilities through further experience, their performance attainments were powered more and more strongly and by their individual beliefs which have evolved from their history in their personal efficacy. (Bandura 1993) Because of the repetitive nature of the teaching profession, teachers can pursue there craft for years without encountering significant outside influences which challenge their goals setting practices. While settling into a 'rut' is not a conscious choice, in any profession, especially one which facilitated similar activities year after year, the likely hood that teachers will settle into a comfortable pattern is high. In regards to introducing technology into the classroom, technology itself introduces a completely new paradigm.

Technology is rapidly changing in the marketplace. The computers that are installed in a school today will likely be outdated within 2-3 years. Application and software also is changing at a rapid pace. So the teacher, in order to integrate technology in the classroom in a manner that is reflective of the marketplace must be adaptive to the changing technology at all times. Choosing a cognitive perspective that limits the interaction of technology with the students, or treats the technology as an 'add on' to the main subjects matter will likely put the teacher behind the learning curve regarding the technology's use.

In the same way, the school district that invests in technology must also invest in an ongoing meta-evaluation of the technology which it employs. Technical support staff, and ongoing support for the teaching staff are vital onramps into the information superhighway. Without the adaptive aids to assist teachers in integrating technology into the classroom, the investment will likely be underutilized, and the teaching staff frustrated by their lack of ability to fully integrates the technological aids.

Motivational Influences

Bandura identifies that most human motivation is cognitively, and specifically generated. People motivate themselves and guide their actions by the exercise of planning and forethought. They form beliefs about what they can do based on their goals, and their past history. They anticipate likely outcomes of future actions and they set goals for themselves and plan courses of action in order to realize those events and future goals which they value.. "Forethought is translated into incentives and appropriate action through self-regulatory mechanisms." (Bandura, 1993)

Bandura distinguished three different forms of cognitive motivators around which different theories have been built. These include:

Casual attributions and the attribution theory.

Outcome expectancies and the expectancy - value theory.

Cognized goals and the goal theory.

Teacher self-efficacy beliefs operate in each of these various forms of cognitive motivation. People who regard themselves as highly efficacious ascribe their failures to insufficient effort. Those who regard themselves as inefficacious, who do not have the confidence in their own efforts attribute their failures to low ability (Alden, 1986; Collins, 1982; McAuley, Duncan, & McElroy, 1989; Silver, Mitchell, & Gist, 1989).

This cycle is evident in the surveys taken of the teaching staff, as will be detailed further on in the study. Those who had a high confidence in their personal technological abilities have a high degree of efficacy regarding using technology in the classroom. The reciprocal statement was also true. However, in the case of using technology on the classroom, the teacher's perception of the schools support structure for technology was also a highly determinant influence on their effectiveness and efficacy with technology in the class room. Having the presence of technology, and technological devices in the classroom was not sufficient for the teacher to be able to function well, and integrate the technology into their activities. The teachers also needed the support of the school and administration to solve problems, and proactively manage the equipment in order for it to be valuable assed to the classroom. These details will also be born out in the data below.

Affective Process

People's beliefs in their capabilities affect how much stress and depression they experience in threatening or difficult situations, as well as their level of motivation" (A. Bandura, in press). This is the emotional mediator of their self-efficacy. Perceived efficacy to exercise control over stressors plays a central role in the presence of anxiety, and the presence of anxiety regarding any specific activity plays a significant role in determining whether or not the person will undertake a specific actions. People who believe they have control over environmental threats don't conjure up disturbing thought patterns. But those who believe they may not be able to manage threats experience high levels of anxiety arousal. "They dwell on their coping deficiencies. They view many aspects of their environment as fraught with danger. They magnify the severity of possible threats and worry about things that rarely happen. Stress is affected not only by perceived coping efficacy but by perceived efficacy to control disturbing thoughts." (Bandura 1993)

Applying this process to the teacher's role with technology in the classroom, teachers must be equipped and enabled to rise to a level of mastery of their technological tools in order to gain a positive efficacy. The teacher who encounters technology which they cannot master, or cannot adapt to the classroom is likely to develop anxiety arousal at best, or depression at worse over the prospect of using the technology in every day work. Another way to evaluate the possible response of the teacher in the classroom is the "fight or flight' response. While the teacher cannot fight against the technology, nor run away from his or her classroom, the teacher can choose to ignore the offending devices. The significance of this process in the classroom is seen in the date below.

Schools which do not have a support system for the teachers to assist them in integrating their technology into the classroom are responding in a modified flight or fight response by limiting their involvement with the technology. Therefore the schools which do not specifically set out to create a positive and supportive technology organizational environment are experiencing less inclusion of technology by the teachers into their everyday activity.

Selection Process

According to Bandura, (1993) people are partly the product of their environment, just as the environment is a product of the people who interact with, and create it. Therefore, beliefs of personal efficacy can shape the course lives take by influencing choice of activities and influencing the nature of the environment we live in. As mentioned above, people avoid activities they believe exceed their coping capabilities, but they are willing to undertake challenging activities and select situations which they believe they are capable of handling. By the choices the teachers make, they cultivate different abilities, interests, and social networks that ultimately determine their directional courses and their environment. Therefore any factor that influences choice behavior can profoundly affect the direction of person's development.

As applied to our setting of technology in the classroom, the choices teachers make to include technology in the classroom is a choice which affects both their efficacy toward teaching with technology, their abilities to continue to do…

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