An Analysis of the Influence
of Technology Training on Teacher Stages of Concern Regarding
the Use of Instructional Technology in Schools
Holly B. Casey
University of Louisiana at Monroe
Expenditures for teacher technology training have been small
by comparison to those for hardware and software. The training
offered has been on the whole for basic hardware and software
use with little training offered on curriculum/technology integration.
(CEO Forum, 1999).
Rationale / Practical Application
Current research does not suggest the specific kinds and
amounts of training that most positively influence teachers'
concerns toward using technology. Teacher stages of concern were
examined with regard to the amount and types of technology training
teachers have received, technical sophistication, and demographics.
Attention was given to determine if correlations exist among
various demographic data and stages of concern reported. This
information helps provide a research base for developing successful
models for technology staff development.
- Concerns: Composite representation of feelings, preoccupation,
thought, and consideration given to a particular issue (Hall
& Hord, 1987).
- Stages of Concern: Sequential stages through which
one progresses when faced with change (Hall, 1978).
- Participants understood the survey.
- Participants responded honestly.
- The Stages of Concern Questionnaire (SoCQ) and the Professional
Development Survey (PDS) were appropriate instruments.
- Respondents were representative of technology-using teachers
in the United States.
- The examination of teachers' concerns was limited to concerns
toward instructional technology.
- This study was designed to discover relationships among variables,
not cause/effect relationships among variables.
- Respondents' answers were dependent upon their ability to
recall past technology training activities and use.
- Only P-12 teachers with Internet access were surveyed.
Literature Review Summary
Numerous researchers have used Fuller's (1969) explanation in
studies of teachers' attitudes toward the incorporation of technology
into teaching. That body of literature identified nine factors
relating to teachers' concerns: gender, age, locus of control,
grade, subject area, environment, teaching experience, knowledge
of computers, and prior experience with computers. Four additional
factors relating to teachers' acceptance of technology revealed
by the research included methodology, computer literacy, time,
and training (Atkins, 1997).
Although expenditures of millions of dollars have placed computers
and software in the hands of the P-12 teachers, there has been
considerably less attention paid to helping teachers make the
transition into a technology-rich learning environment (National
Center for Education Statistics, 1999). As a result, a significant
number of teachers either use technology inappropriately or not
This study used quantitative components with descriptive and
correlational research designs. Correlation was examined using
two dependent variables -- scores from the Stages of Concern
Questionnaire (Hall, George, & Rutherford, 1998) and the
Professional Development Survey (STaR Chart Self-Diagnostic Tool,
1997) -- with the independent variables -- age; grade level;
subject; experience; school description; access to technology;
and amount, type, method, site, and content of technology training
within the last year. The descriptive element (description of
scores on single variables) involved examination of the samples
of respondents on the SoCQ and PDS (mean, median; standard deviation
indicating the average score and variability of scores for the
samples; frequencies for categorical data).
This study used correlational statistics to discover and clarify
relationships among two or more variables and bivariate correlational
methods to describe the relationship between two variables. Multivariate
analysis of variance was employed to determine if there were
significant differences between sample means. One open-ended
question was analyzed using content analysis.
Teachers currently using technology in some form were surveyed.
The survey was posted on the World Wide Web by the researcher.
All transactions were electronic, using the Internet and email
to deliver the instrument and transmit responses to a server.
All responses were anonymous. Multiple submissions from a single
address were denied. The sample was purposively selected from
teachers who subscribe to four email lists. Others were invited
to participate through announcements of the survey through technology-related
Internet sites and online newsgroups. Six hundred fifty-nine
complete surveys were returned, including at least two respondents
from each state.
What are the relationships among specific teacher variables
and teachers' levels of concern as indicated by their score on
Cannonical correlation revealed strong correlation between
Management, Consequence, and Refocusing, and technology training
focused on curriculum integration.
No other aspect of technology training showed a relationship
to teacher concerns. This echoes the observation of the National
Center for Education Statistics (1999) that a significant number
of teachers either use instructional technology inappropriately
or not at all because little attention is paid to helping teachers
make the transition into applying technology.
What are the relationships among teacher demographic variables
and teachers' levels of concern as indicated by their score on
Canonical correlation indicated a correlation between subject
taught and length of technology use with the Management, Consequence,
and Collaboration Stages of Concern subscores.The longer teachers
work with technology, the more comfortable they appear to be
with technology and, therefore, are more likely to use it effectively.
This finding reinforces those of Atkins (1997) and others.
Results showed that the subject taught has a strong relationship
to teachers' concerns. This reinforces the work of others (Becker,
1994; Fary, 1988; Mitchell & Peters, 1988) and warrants further
analysis. Determination of characteristics of teachers in particular
subject areas who view technology more positively could provide
information that might be applied to improve technology training
Is there a correlation among stages of concern derived from
the SoCQ and the total score on the Professional Development
Data were analyzed using multiple regression. Results indicated
that the Collaboration and Informational stages were most potently
predicted by the PDS score. Findings indicated that the more
technology expertise teachers have, the higher their levels of
concern; teachers with the least technology expertise were at
the lowest levels of concern. This provides evidence of
the positive value of providing time for technology training
if technology is to add substantial value to classrooms.
Is there a difference between teacher scores on the SoCQ
based on the level of professional development as indicated by
the score on the Professional Development Survey?
Data were analyzed using one-way multivariate analysis of
variance with staff development (i.e., High, Medium, Low
on PDS) serving as independent variable and scores from the SoCQ
serving as dependent variables.
The significant multivariate test indicated that specific
univariate interpretation was appropriate. Univariate findings
indicated that PDS scores significantly impact the Awareness,
Consequence, Collaboration, and Refocusing scores on the SoCQ.
Teachers receiving more technology training were most accepting
What specific aspects of technology training do teachers
suggest have the greatest positive impact on their teaching?
Comments grouped into reports of (a) increased student interest;
(b) lack of time, training opportunities, technical support,
and equipment; (c) personal and professional empowerment, and
(d) roles as technology leaders and peer trainers.
Research should determine if technology knowledge and experience
levels of school administrators correlate with their concerns
regarding the implementation of technology in their schools.
A similar study could be conducted with a smaller sample using
observation of teachers along with the survey to determine if
results confirm teachers' self-reported data.
Results indicate training in technology integration is the most
crucial factor when developing technology-related staff development
models. The more training and experience teachers have integrating
technology into the curriculum, the sooner they accept and optimally
This study provides one indication that educators have been
putting the "cart before the horse" -- that without
some framework in which to place technology skills often taught
in isolation, much time and effort is wasted in terms of impacting
teacher acceptance and effective use of technology.
Atkins, N. E. (1997). Using teacher stages of concern and
an assessment of middle school teachers' use of technology in
the classroom: A model for technology staff development.
Unpublished doctoral dissertation, North Carolina State University,
Becker, J.J. (1994). How exemplary computer-using teachers
differ from other teachers: Implications for realizing the potential
of computers in schools. Journal of Research on Computing
in Education, 26. 291-321.
CEO Forum (1999). Retrieved March 1, 2000 from the World Wide
Fary, B. A. (1988). Teacher attitudes toward and concerns
about microcomputers in education. Unpublished doctoral dissertation,
University of Wisconsin, Madison.
Fuller, F.F. (1969). Concerns of teachers: A developmental
conceptualization. American Educational Research Journal,
Hall, G.E. (1978). The study of teachers' concerns and
consequent implications for staff development. Austin: Research
and Development Center for Teacher Education, The University
Hall, G., & Hord, S. (1987). Change in schools: Facilitating
the process. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.
Hall, G., George, A., & Rutherford, W. (1998). Measuring
stages of concern about the innovation: A manual for use of the
SoC Questionnaire. Austin, TX: Southwest Educational Development
Mitchell, D., & Peters, M. (1988). A stronger profession
through appropriate teacher incentives, Educational Leadership,
National Center for Education Statistics (1999). Toward
better teaching: Professional development in 1993-94. United
States Department of Education, Office of Educational Research
STaR Chart Self-Diagnostic Tool (1997). Retrieved March 1,
2000 from the World Wide Web: http//www.coeforum.org