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PHD - Doctor of Philosophy




The purpose of this case study is to determine how first year teachers describe their teacher preparation and use of technology to teach literacy. This is achieved by considering how teachers’ descriptions demonstrate self-efficacy, identify challenges and obstacles, and distinguish benefits of technology integration in literacy instruction. As the understanding of literacy broadens to include alternative forms of print and technology, school districts are investing significantly in technology and yet teachers are often not using technology in their practices. For these reasons it is necessary to examine first year teachers’ perceptions of their own prior training, their current technology use in the classroom, and their sense of self-efficacy in doing so. A qualitative, instrumental case study is used to explore the perceptions of seven first-year elementary school teachers from a single American school district. Data are collected in a three-step process beginning with participant interviews, followed by a technology asset matrix for participants to complete, and finally, a one-time focus group. Data are qualitatively analyzed using the constant comparative method. The study finds first year teachers feel unprepared by their teacher preparation programs to teach literacy using technology; first year teachers are using some technology in their literacy instruction but identify barriers keeping them from using technology as much as they would like; and first year teachers have high self-efficacy in technology integration to teach literacy with technology regardless of their prior training or sense of preparedness. These findings contribute to the growing body of similar research that confirms that teachers are hesitant to adopt technology into their instruction and current teacher education is inadequate in preparing teachers to do so.



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