An explanatory framework for understanding teachers resistance to adopting educational technology

Griffiths, David ORCID: 0000-0002-6863-2456 and Goddard, Timothy ORCID: 0000-0002-4617-6234 (2015) An explanatory framework for understanding teachers resistance to adopting educational technology. Kybernetes Special Issue : Living in Cybernetics: Papers from the 50th Anniversary Conference of the American Society for Cybernetics, 44 (8/9). pp. 1240-1250. ISSN 0368-492X

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The purpose of this paper is to propose a way of understanding the resistance shown by teachers to the adoption of some educational technologies. The Wookie Widget Server is taken as a case study. This has been a long term development project at The Institute for Educational Cybernetics, located at the University of Bolton, and has been used with teachers in a number of implementations. The efforts to enhance teachers’ adoption of the system are outlined, and an explanatory framework is proposed called 'MegaTech and MiniTech' which clarifies the reasons for teachers' resistance to adoption. The explanatory framework combines theoretical approaches from Harré's Positioning Theory, Heidegger's concept of 'to hand', and Popper's utopian and piecemeal social engineering. Application of this framework indicates that in deploying the Wookie Widget Server with teachers the researchers were adopting a position of power in relation to teachers. The nature of this power is explored by building on Bateson's writings. The explanatory framework and analysis of power provide a tool for analysis of the adoption of educational technologies. Increasingly ambitious claims are being made for educational technology. This paper recognises the potentially oppressive nature of these technologies, and provides a starting point for a coherent analysis, which enables this danger to be avoided. The combination of theories which makes up the proposed explanatory framework is new, as is the application to educational technology of Bateson's writing on power.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Bateson, Education, Heidegger, Adoption of technology, Popper, Positioning theory
Divisions: University of Bolton Research Centres > Institute for Educational Cybernetics
Depositing User: Tracey Gill
Date Deposited: 28 Feb 2018 11:22
Last Modified: 06 Mar 2018 14:13
Identification Number: 10.1108/K-11-2014-0274

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