Term of Award

Summer 2009

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Curriculum Studies (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Department

Department of Curriculum, Foundations, and Reading

Committee Chair

Dan Rea

Committee Member 1

Judith Repman

Committee Member 2

Camille Rogers

Committee Member 3

Cordelia Zinskie

Abstract

Author's abstract: Schools have spent much time and money providing teachers and students access to the Internet. As access has become commonplace in schools, teachers are increasingly encouraged to incorporate Internet resources in their classroom. Teachers' use of the Internet has increased in recent years; however, their use remains limited. This mixed methods study sought to understand why some teachers eagerly integrated the Internet in the classroom while others were hesitant to use the Internet with their students. More specifically, this mixed methods study explored how elementary teachers' perceptions of the extent of Internet usefulness/importance, enjoyment/liking, confidence, and anxiety may relate to their level of instructional Internet integration. Additionally, this study explored how these motivational perceptions and current integration practices differ between four subgroups of elementary school teachers (High Motivation/High Integration, High Motivation/Moderate Integration, Moderate Motivation/Moderate Integration, and Moderate Motivation/Low Integration). The study was conducted in a small, rural school system in southeast Georgia. The participants were 93 kindergarten through fifth grade teachers in the Rose School District. The researcher utilized an e-survey, Survey of Teachers' Integration and Motivation Instrument (STIMI), for the quantitative portion of this study. Twelve teachers were selected from the survey participants to participate in semi-structured interviews. The study found a significant relationship among elementary teachers' motivational perceptions and reported integration. Additionally, 49% of the teachers' reported integrating the Internet in the classroom at least 3 times per week. The tools teachers reported integrating the most were educational games and the least used tools were communication/collaboration tools. The findings from this study imply that motivational perceptions are important to teachers' instructional integration of the Internet in the classroom. Schools should develop training initiatives that address these motivational perceptions and provide teachers time to share motivating Internet activities and tools used in their classrooms. Additionally, training should involve hands-on activities to increase teachers' motivational perceptions. Teachers need to be given the opportunity to observe other teachers successfully integrating Internet resources with their students. Motivational perceptions should be addressed through training and support, if schools want to increase teachers' instructional integration of the Internet.

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