A longitudinal investigation of change in teacher efficacy and perceptions of leadership following participation in a technology integration program
A longitudinal study was conducted to investigate the relationship between teachers?? perceptions of leadership capabilities and teachers?? efficacy beliefs in the context of their participation in a technology integration project. Participants included seventeen elementary school teachers and seven administrators in a school district located in the southwestern United States. Qualitative and quantitative methodologies were utilized over the course of the three and a half year project. Bandura??s (1997) social cognitive theory served as the framework for defining self-efficacy and explaining the potential influences of empowerment on teacher efficacy. Since the goal was to understand and describe the relationship between participation in the district project and the teachers?? efficacy beliefs, a qualitative research approach was chosen. Descriptive information related to teachers?? experiences and perceptions were gathered through observations of team meetings and interviews with teachers and administrators. All of the notes from the interviews and observations were transcribed using the constant comparative method of qualitative data analysis. Quantitative analyses were conducted to investigate the fluctuation of teacher efficacy over the course of the project. Teacher efficacy was measured at three points: prior to participation, at the end of the planning stage and after implementation of the technology in the classrooms. Qualitative results indicated that participation in the technology integration project did not have a positive effect on teachers?? perceptions of their leadership capabilities. Interview data included multiple reports of teachers?? negative feelings of empowerment and leadership opportunities. Four of the seven administrators supported the teachers?? position that leadership was not developed. Three of the administrators felt that leadership was developed but no support was provided for their assertion. Quantitative results found no statistical difference in general teaching efficacy. An increase in personal teaching efficacy was evident between the second and third administrations of the TES. The qualitative data provided an explanation for this increase. The qualitative data revealed that the addition of new technology tools allowed these teachers to develop new teaching methods. This in turn allowed the TIP teachers to reach more students which led to an increase in personal teacher efficacy.