Why won't they listen: Negotiating the technological and social context for science teaching
Liuzzo, Anna M.
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The purpose of this study was to gather information to identify the obstacles and the impact an implementation of technology had in a middle school science classroom. This study explored a teaching environment where the teacher planned on using a variety of technology tools including laptops, probeware, hardware and software to promote scientific study. This study took place in two phases consisting of three consecutive years. In phase one the teacher reported great success. In phase two a shift in the school implementation created a significant impact on the learning taking place. This study identified the obstacles faced by a teacher providing an environment that combined her pedagogy with technology implementation. This teacher’s pedagogy included research-based practices such a authentic problem-based learning, scientific inquiry, conceptual understanding of problem solving, connections to real-life situations and the use of metacognition in her practice. This study looked to determined if this implementation had an effect on student engagement and achievement; how the nature of technical and professional development impacted the implementation; and the barriers that were faced in creating a student-centered, technology rich approach to science. This qualitative study was conducted meeting the criteria of a case study of one teacher. The participant teacher’s accounts of events through interviews were the primary source of data. In addition, multiple sources of information were also gathered. These included the teacher’s reflective journal, student interviews, student focus groups, student artifacts, classroom observations, field notes, e-mail correspondences and students’ test scores. This study proposes to contribute to the growing research evidence of implementation in the classroom and to identify specific obstacles that hinder success. The current state of education is calling for reform.