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Teacher Adoption of Technology: A Perceptual Control Theory Perspective
Article

, Michigan State University, United States ; , University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, United States

Journal of Technology and Teacher Education Volume 9, Number 1, ISSN 1059-7069 Publisher: Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education, Waynesville, NC USA

Abstract

There is an ironic and costly contradiction in the attempt to integrate technology into education. While evidence of the educational benefits of technology abounds and investment in hardware and software has dramatically increased, rela-tively few teachers use technology regularly in their teaching and the impact of computers on existing curricula is still very limited. What lies behind this contradiction? Why don't teachers make wider use of instructional technologies? In this article we introduce a novel model of goal-oriented behavior, Perceptual Control Theory (PCT), as a framework for understanding teacher adoption of technology. Unlike other approaches that examine this issue by studying the ex-ternal environment, this new framework attempts to under-stand teacher adoption of technology from the inside. It con-siders teachers' use of technology by examining the goals of teachers and how the use of technology might help or hinder their goals. While it is too early to provide systematic find-ings to show the usefulness of this application of PCT, we have used it here to interpret and synthesize the findings of a number of studies on teachers and technology. We also make suggestions derived from this model for the infusion of tech-nology into schools. To summarize the major themes, in order to understand why and why not teachers use technology, we must look at teach-ers as goal-oriented, purposeful organisms. PCT provides a comprehensive model for understanding technology infu-sion. From a PCT perspective three conditions are necessary for teachers to use technology: 1. The teacher must believe that technology can more effec-tively meet a higher-level goal than what has been used. 2. The teacher must believe that using technology will not cause disturbances to other higher-level goals that the he or she thinks are more important than the one being maintained. 3. The teacher must believe that he or she has or will have sufficient ability and resources to use technology.

Citation

Zhao, Y. & Cziko, G.A. (2001). Teacher Adoption of Technology: A Perceptual Control Theory Perspective. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 9(1), 5-30. Norfolk, VA: Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education. Retrieved March 22, 2019 from .

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