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Exemplary social studies teachers' sse of technology in the classroom

University of Florida Institutional Repository

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EXEMPLARY SOCIAL STUDIES TEACHERS USE OF TECHNOLOGY IN THECLASSROOMByGEORGE B. LIPSCOMBA DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOLOF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENTOF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OFDOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHYUNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA2003

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Copyright 2003byGeorge B. Lipscomb

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This dissertation is dedicated to Laura, Burke, and Josh.

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ivACKNOWLEDGMENTSI would like to thank the members of my supervisory committee, Drs. Kara M.Dawson, Paul S. George, James L. McLeskey, Diane Y. Silva, and Elizabeth A. Yeagerfor their valuable advice and support with this dissertation. I would also like to especiallythank Dr. Yeager for her assistance, motivation, and encouragement in this process. Inaddition, Stephanie Van Hover and Frans Doppen, fellow social studies doctoral students,deserve a great deal of credit for providing much-needed guidance and motivation.At Furman University, I would like to thank Drs. Nelly Hecker, Scott Henderson,Denise Crockett and all of the other members of the Education Department who providedfeedback on this dissertation and supported me in this process. Special appreciation alsogoes to Dr. Paul Thomas, who graciously read and commented on drafts of each of thechapters and remarked that he actually enjoyed doing it.I am extremely grateful for my parents, Lloyd and Elizabeth Lipscomb, who havegiven so much of themselves to their sons and sacrificed so much for our benefit. I wouldespecially like to thank my mother for the countless hours she spent proofreading this textand providing valuable comments along the way.I am forever indebted to my wife, Laura, for supporting me along this arduous pathand never doubting that I could get all of this done. I am most thankful for havingweekends to write in Greenville and the time during the summer to put the finishingtouches on the dissertation. For my sons, Burke and Josh, I am sorry that I have been sobusy during the year, but this too shall pass!

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vAnd finally, I would like to thank the exemplary teachers in this studyMr.Clayton, Ms. Hart, and Mr. Robbinsfor graciously allowing me to enter the world oftheir classrooms. Through their unique abilities and talents, I have learned an enormousamount and hope that I can pass these pearls of wisdom along to the future teachers I amworking with in South Carolina. They taught me a great deal about teaching, abouttechnology, and most importantly, what it means to engage students in the social studies.They are to be commended for their efforts!

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viTABLE OF CONTENTSPage ACKNOWLEDGMENTS..............................................................................................ivLIST OF FIGURES........................................................................................................xiABSTRACT.................................................................................................................xiiCHAPTER1INTRODUCTION....................................................................................................1Statement of the Problem.........................................................................................1Purpose of the Study................................................................................................3Research Questions..................................................................................................6Primary Research Question...............................................................................6Guiding Research Questions (Subquestions)......................................................6Description of Chapters............................................................................................62REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE.................................................................8Research Questions Addressed in the Literature Review...........................................8Primary Research Question...............................................................................8Guiding Research Questions (Subquestions)......................................................8Exemplary Social Studies Teachers..........................................................................9Technology............................................................................................................13Teacher Beliefs......................................................................................................16Beliefs about Instruction..................................................................................17Beliefs about Technology................................................................................19Beliefs about Social Studies............................................................................23Teacher Learning...................................................................................................26Professional Development...............................................................................27Collegial Activities..........................................................................................30Individual Learning.........................................................................................32Facilitators and Barriers.........................................................................................35Facilitators......................................................................................................35Barriers...........................................................................................................38Key Research that Addresses Both Factors......................................................40

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viiSocial Studies and Technology...............................................................................41Research in Social Studies and Technology.....................................................42Teacher Education...........................................................................................44Studies of Practicing Social Studies Teachers..................................................45Areas of Promise.............................................................................................47Summary................................................................................................................483METHODS AND METHODOLOGY....................................................................50Qualitative Research..............................................................................................50Case Study.............................................................................................................52Investigator Bias....................................................................................................54Access....................................................................................................................56Participants............................................................................................................57Mr. Clayton.....................................................................................................58Ms. Hart..........................................................................................................59Mr. Robbins....................................................................................................61Settings..................................................................................................................62Granger...........................................................................................................62Chance............................................................................................................63Alexander........................................................................................................64Data Collection......................................................................................................65Documents......................................................................................................65Observations...................................................................................................66Interviews.......................................................................................................67Data Analysis.........................................................................................................68Metaphor................................................................................................................71Credibility..............................................................................................................72Limitations.............................................................................................................74Exemplary Teachers...............................................................................................75Typical Settings......................................................................................................76Summary................................................................................................................794THE MODEL CITIZEN.........................................................................................81Vignette One..........................................................................................................81Defining Technology..............................................................................................85Teacher Beliefs......................................................................................................87Beliefs about Instruction..................................................................................88Beliefs about Technology................................................................................89Beliefs about Social Studies............................................................................91Vignette Two.........................................................................................................92Using the Simulation..............................................................................................96Teacher Learning about Technology.......................................................................98Learning through Professional Development and Collegial Activities..............98Learning Individually....................................................................................102

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viiiFacilitators and Barriers to Using Technology......................................................103Facilitators....................................................................................................103Barriers.........................................................................................................104Model Citizen as Technology User.......................................................................1075THE CONNECTOR.............................................................................................111Vignette Three.....................................................................................................111Defining Technology............................................................................................116Teacher Beliefs....................................................................................................118Beliefs about Instruction................................................................................119Beliefs about Technology..............................................................................121Beliefs about Social Studies..........................................................................123Vignette Four.......................................................................................................125The Vietnam Activity...........................................................................................128Teacher Learning about Technology.....................................................................129Learning through Professional Development and Collegial Activities............129Learning Individually....................................................................................132Vignette Five........................................................................................................133Facilitators and Barriers to Using Technology......................................................134Facilitators....................................................................................................134Barriers.........................................................................................................136Connector as Technology User.............................................................................1386THE STORYTELLER.........................................................................................140Vignette Six.........................................................................................................140Defining Technology............................................................................................144Teacher Beliefs....................................................................................................145Beliefs about Instruction................................................................................146Beliefs about Technology..............................................................................149Beliefs about Social Studies..........................................................................152Vignette Seven.....................................................................................................154Teacher Learning about Technology.....................................................................157Learning through Professional Development and Collegial Activities............157Learning Individually....................................................................................160Facilitators and Barriers to Using Technology......................................................161Facilitators....................................................................................................161Barriers.........................................................................................................162Storyteller as Technology User.............................................................................1657CROSS-CASE ANALYSIS.................................................................................168How Do Exemplary Social Studies Teachers View Technology?..........................168What Do Exemplary Social Studies Teachers Believe about Instruction, about SocialStudies, and about Technology?.......................................................................170

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ixBeliefs about Instruction................................................................................171Differences.............................................................................................171Similarities.............................................................................................174Beliefs about Technology..............................................................................177Differences.............................................................................................178Similarities.............................................................................................181Beliefs about Social Studies..........................................................................184Differences.............................................................................................184Similarities.............................................................................................189How Do Exemplary Social Studies Teachers Learn to Integrate Technology into theirInstruction?......................................................................................................192Learning through Professional Development and Collegial Activities............192Learning Individually....................................................................................197What Factors Facilitate or Restrict Exemplary Social Studies Teachers Use ofTechnology?....................................................................................................199Facilitators....................................................................................................199Barriers.........................................................................................................201In What Compelling Ways Are Exemplary Social Studies Teachers UsingTechnology?....................................................................................................205What Is It about the Social Studies that Calls for a Unique Approach to IntegratingTechnology into the Discipline?.......................................................................2088CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS................................................215Summary..............................................................................................................215What Do Exemplary Social Studies Teachers Believe about Instruction, aboutSocial Studies, and about Technology?......................................................215How Do Exemplary Social Studies Teachers Learn to Integrate Technology intotheir Instruction?........................................................................................217What Factors Facilitate or Restrict Exemplary Social Studies Teachers Use ofTechnology?..............................................................................................219In What Compelling Ways Are Exemplary Social Studies Teachers UsingTechnology?..............................................................................................220What Is It about the Social Studies that Calls for a Unique Approach toIntegrating Technology into the Discipline?...............................................221Implications and Recommendations for Practice..................................................221Broaden the Definition of What Is Considered to Be Technology..................222Avoid the Bells and Whistles.........................................................................223Redesign Professional Development..............................................................224Provide Adequate Support for Teachers.........................................................225Rethink the Distribution of Equipment..........................................................226Implications and Recommendations for Research.................................................227Examine More Typical Situations..................................................................228Investigate the Role of Independent Learning with Technology.....................228Continue to Emphasize Wise Practice............................................................229Study the Impact on Student Learning...........................................................230Conclusion...........................................................................................................230

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xAPPENDIXA INFORMED CONSENT FORM..........................................................................232BIMPORTANT DATES FOR DISSERTATION....................................................235CPATHWISE INSTRUCTION PLAN....................................................................237DSAMPLE NARRATIVE FROM FIELD NOTES.................................................239EINTERVIEW QUESTIONS.................................................................................242FINTERVIEW QUESTIONSOBSERVATIONS................................................244GSAMPLE JOURNAL ENTRY (AUDIT TRAIL).................................................245LIST OF REFERENCES............................................................................................247BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.......................................................................................257

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xiLIST OF FIGURESFigure page 4-1 Mr. Claytons second-period classroom.................. ................................. ................82 4-2 Mr. Claytons class in Grangers computer lab................................ ........ ................94 5-1 Ms. Harts third-block classroom................................................. ........... ..............112 5-2 Ms. Harts class in Chances eighth-grade computer lab........................ ................126 6-1 Mr. Robbins fourth-block classroom................................................. ...................164 7-1 Beliefs about instruction.............................................................................. ..........172 7-2 Beliefs about technology..................................................... ..................................178 7-3 Beliefs about social studies................................................... ................................185 7-4 Teacher learning................................................................................. ...................193 7-5 Facilitators and barriers........................................................................ .................202 7-6 Compelling ways to use technology........................................... ...........................206 7-7 Uniqueness (tied to metaphors).............................................................. ...............209

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xiiAbstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate Schoolof the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of theRequirements for the Degree of Doctor of PhilosophyEXEMPLARY SOCIAL STUDIES TEACHERS USE OF TECHNOLOGY IN THECLASSROOMByGeorge B. LipscombAugust 2003Chair: Elizabeth A. YeagerMajor Department: School of Teaching and LearningThis study investigated three exemplary social studies teachers and their use oftechnology in the classroom. Literature on teacher beliefs, teacher learning, facilitatorsand barriers to technology use, and social studies and technology helped to frame thestudy and clarify research questions. A case study methodology was used to gain insightinto these teachers classrooms and describe the process in which they integratedtechnology into their instruction. Extensive classroom observations, interviews, andteacher materials provided the data to complete this investigation.This study suggests that it is instructive to focus on social studies teachers incommon classroom situations where they have had to manage with limited technologicalresources. Two middle schools and one K-12 school in Florida served as the typicalsettings in this study and provided each exemplary teacher with a unique set of

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xiiicircumstances in which to use technology. Despite numerous barriers, these teachersengaged their students in a number of compelling activities using technology.Findings from this study suggest that social studies teachers use a broad definitionof technology, not limiting their applications to computers, but expanding the definitionto include low-tech devices such as the VCR, CD player, and slide projector. They alsoshow that educators should not be distracted by the image that technological applicationscan present; but they should use technology that will truly enhance their teaching. Inaddition, schools and school districts should rethink the professional developmentavailable for social studies teachers and make more effort to match this training toinstructional needs. Finally, schools need to evaluate the necessity of the computer laband consider placing more computers in individual classrooms.Suggestions for further study include a continued examination of typical classroomsettings, further investigation into the role of independent learning, additional explorationof the practices of exemplary teachers, and a renewed focus on the overall role thattechnology is having to improve teaching and learning in the social studies classroom.

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1CHAPTER 1INTRODUCTIONStatement of the ProblemThe question of how, and how much, to integrate technology into the social studiesclassroom is one of persistent debate among social studies educators. Martorella (1997)viewed the use of technology in the social studies as a sleeping giant that had thepotential to revolutionize the discipline. However, he also argued that while other subjectareas have embraced technology, the social studies have been slow to respond toinnovations, often remaining on the sidelines surrounded by radical transformation. Hespecifically recommended that the social studies research community engage in moreresearch, reflection, and developmental efforts (p. 512) if meaningful change was totake place in the field.Since Martorellas assertions, research in the area of social studies and technologyhas grown. Many studies have focused on preservice teachers and how they are usingtechnology in their teacher education programs (Keiper, Harwood, & Larson, 2000;Mason & Berson, 2000; Willis, 1997). These studies highlight a wide range of issuessuch as digital resources, computer-mediated discussion, and Internet use. Despitedifferences in focus, these studies feature a common theme: that technology does have animportant role to play in social studies classrooms.At the same time that research on preservice teachers technology use hasincreased, additional emphasis has been placed on social studies teacher educatorsintegration of technology into their methods classrooms. A number of leaders in the

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2social studies (Mason et al., 2000) issued Guidelines for Using Technology to PrepareSocial Studies Teachers to provide direction for methods teachers attempting to modelbest practices in their technology use. Mason and colleagues presented five principlesthat should guide technology infusion into teacher education programs: Extend learning beyond what could be done without technology. Introduce technology in context.! Include opportunities for students to study relationships among science, technology, and society.! Foster the development of the skills, knowledge, and participation needed by citizens in a democratic society.! Contribute to the research and evaluation of social studies and technology. They concluded that following these five principles is the minimal platform for the useof technology in the social studies (p. 114), but that it is ultimately up to the individualinstructor to make substantial reforms in social studies classrooms.Molebash (2002) put these guidelines into practice in his investigation of anelementary social studies methods instructor. In particular, he sought to determine howthis professors constructivist beliefs influenced how she integrated technology into hermethods course. But rather than viewing these five principles as rigid steps that socialstudies educators must follow, Molebash viewed their implementation as a first stepthat should grow and evolve over time (p. 451) as more social studies teachers begin tofollow them in their classrooms.While research into preservice teachers and social studies educators has increased,studies of practicing teachers use of technology has been limited. Most of the recentresearch has used surveys and questionnaires to gain insight into technology in the socialstudies classroom. Most of the data indicate that social studies teachers are often the

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3slowest in their schools to adapt to new technologies. Becker, Ravitz, and Wong (1999)found, that despite numerous claims that technology can be a powerful tool in theclassroom, social studies teachers appeared to adhere to traditional teaching practices andto resist technology.While the survey data are informative, more qualitative studies are needed to painta clearer picture of social studies teachers technology integration. Milson (2002) andothers investigated social studies classrooms in which new technologies are explored, butthe focus in most of these studies has been on the students, not on the teachers. Given therole that Thornton (1991) and others have ascribed to social studies instructors ascurricular-instructional gatekeepers, the classroom teacher has a tremendous influenceon what is covered in class, particularly with technology use. Surveys and questionnairesare useful for providing snapshots of technology use, but qualitative data can be evenmore instructive for anyone interested in social studies education. Understanding themany instructional factors involved in deciding whether or not to use technology is adifficult endeavor at best, but this understanding is essential if social studies research is tomake the strides that Martorella advocated in 1997.Purpose of the StudyIn an era when public school teachers are pulled in many directions by standardizedtests, parent demands, curricular concerns, student discipline, and numerous othercompeting interests, finding ways to bring technology into the classroom is challenging.While some teachers have the latest computer equipment, most American classroomshave had to survive with outdated machines and software. Researchers have tended tofocus on the more progressive classrooms and technology-savvy teachers; but seeing how

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4teachers in common settings use technology may prove to be even more informative,especially for teachers entering the profession.The present study suggests that it is instructive to focus on teachers who have hadto cope with the kinds of struggles that many teachers face, and who have had to managewith limited technological resources. It also suggests that a focus on excellent teaching isappropriate. Berliner (1986) argued that while no teacher is perfect, all educators canbenefit from exemplary performances from which we can learn (p. 6). Even the besteducators can continue to learn and improve their instruction, and a study of theseteachers and their classrooms may prove beneficial in many respects.In their investigation of subject-matter knowledge among history teachers,Wineburg and Wilson (1991) pointed out that their study was just a beginning inunderstanding what is known about expert teachers content knowledge. Even thoughmany of the teachers they interviewed had an expert knowledge of history, a numberwere not able to translate this content knowledge into meaningful learning for theirstudents. By painting rich, realistic portraits of two exemplary American history teachers,Wineburg and Wilson were able to make a significant case for the importance ofhistorical content and effective teaching.The present study follows along the same lines as Wineburg and Wilson, in that itoffers a starting place for studying the impact of technology in the social studiesclassroom. It paints a picture of what wise teachers do to make the social studies moremeaningful for their students by exploring the beliefs, concerns, and opinions ofexemplary teachers as they attempt to use technology. The most effective method forinvestigating these issues is through a qualitative approach to research.

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5Marshall and Rossman (1999) cite three traditional explanations regarding thepurposes of a qualitative research study. Despite wide differences in approach andmethodology, most qualitative studies contain a combination of exploratory, descriptive,and explanatory aims. This investigation incorporates elements of each of these aims toilluminate the primary research question: How do exemplary social studies teachers usetechnology in the classroom?The present studys primary objective was to investigate three exemplary socialstudies teachers use of technology in their classrooms. To better understand theirclassroom practices, I examined these teachers beliefs about instruction, social studies,and technology in general. I also explored the ways that these teachers learned tointegrate technology through individual efforts, work with colleagues, and formal staffdevelopment. The context in which these teachers operated was also significant, and Ilooked at both the facilitators and barriers facing these teachers as they attempted tointegrate technology into their classes. Finally, I considered the influence that thediscipline of social studies had on these teachers technology decisions and exploredsome of the effective ways that they used technology in their instruction.A second purpose of this inquiry was to construct a narrative for the technologyintegration of each of these exemplary social studies teachers, situated within theparticular settings in which they taught. These settings were chosen not because theywere ideal for technology integration, but because they were typical in terms of accessand technical support. Through the vignettes in Chapters 4, 5, and 6, I attempted todocument specific lessons that demonstrated each teachers use of technology and toprovide a detailed description of these classrooms.

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6A final purpose of this case study was to analyze patterns related to these teachersuse of technology and attempt to make sense of them. Multiple sources of data were usedto create distinct categories of inquiry, which followed closely with the major conceptsexplored in the study. Once these categories were determined, patterns emerged from thedata that helped to emphasize the characteristics the participants had in common and toclarify the distinctive aspects of technology use that these teachers chose to employ. Thefinal, and most difficult, phase of any qualitative study is interpreting the patterns, oncethey have emerged. Finding meaning from the observations, interviews, and other data isessential to the study.Research QuestionsPrimary Research QuestionHow do exemplary social studies teachers use technology in the classroom?Guiding Research Questions (Subquestions) What do exemplary social studies teachers believe about instruction, about social studies, and about technology?! How do exemplary social studies teachers learn to integrate technology into their instruction?! What factors facilitate or restrict exemplary social studies teachers use of technology?! What is it about the social studies that calls for a unique approach to integrating technology into the discipline?! In what compelling ways are exemplary social studies teachers using technology? Description of ChaptersThe remainder of the dissertation is organized as follows: Chapter 2 provides aconceptual framework for the study by developing a working definition of technologyand examining the research on exemplary social studies teachers. This chapter also

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7contains a literature review of the studys major constructs: teacher beliefs, teacherlearning, facilitators to and barriers of technology use, and social studies and technology.Chapter 3 details the methodology of the study and briefly describes the participants andsettings. Chapters 4, 5, and 6 present narratives of each of the participants use oftechnology and explore the issues accompanying these practices. Chapter 7 looks at theseexemplary teachers together and presents a cross-case analysis of their technologyintegration. Chapter 8 features conclusions and recommendations emerging from thestudy.

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8CHAPTER 2REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATUREThe review of the literature addresses four major areas of research related to the useof technology by exemplary social studies teachers: teacher beliefs, teacher learning,facilitators of and barriers to technology use, and the integration of technology into thesocial studies classroom. While there is considerable overlap in these areas, particularlybetween teacher beliefs and teacher learning, each is addressed separately to focus thestudy and extract some of the differences that appear in the literature. Each literaturecategory corresponds to one of the guiding research questions, with the exception that thefinal two questions are addressed together in the section on social studies and technology.Before these areas of research are addressed, however, two concepts at the heart of thestudy need additional explanation: exemplary social studies teachers and technology.Research Questions Addressed in the Literature ReviewPrimary Research QuestionHow do exemplary social studies teachers use technology in the classroom?(Exemplary social studies teachers, technology)Guiding Research Questions (Subquestions)! What do exemplary social studies teachers believe about instruction, about social studies, and about technology? (Teacher beliefs)! How do exemplary social studies teachers learn to integrate technology into their instruction? (Teacher learning)! What factors facilitate or restrict exemplary social studies teachers use of technology? (Facilitators and barriers)

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9! In what compelling ways are exemplary social studies teachers using technology? What is it about the social studies that calls for a unique approach to integratingtechnology into the discipline? (Social Studies and technology)Exemplary Social Studies TeachersWith the passage of the No Child Left Behind Act in 2002, the debate about whatconstitutes a highly qualified teacher has emerged as a critical issue in publiceducation. While supporters of this act (Mathews, 2003; Paige, 2002) argue that contentknowledge is all that is necessary to become an effective teacher, detractors (Bracey,2003; Darling-Hammond, 2003) contend that being able to teach this content is what ismost important. This debate is especially pointed in the social studies field, whereteaching strategies can range from traditional lecture to inquiry-based problem solving.Given the wide range of instructional approaches in the social studies, differingconceptions of how to characterize exemplary teaching have emerged in the literature.Stanley (1991) focused on three conceptions of teacher competence that haveemerged in the social studies literature: teacher effectiveness, teacher knowledge, andcritical thinking and critical pedagogy. In the teacher effectiveness model, also known asthe process-product model, teaching can be viewed as a process in which a number ofbehaviors can be observed and quantitatively measured. Adherents of this approach(Good & Brophy, 1994; Porter & Brophy, 1988) argued that, based on years of classroomobservations, a strong enough research base existed to describe many characteristics of anexpert teacher. A number of researchers have criticized this approach, finding it toonarrowly focused and limited to only a few areas of social studies instruction. Amongthese critics, Armento (1986) found that the teacher effectiveness model was flawedbecause it did not account for more complex instructional issues. Furthermore, she notedthat teacher education programs showed few changes as a result of this line of research.

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10A second area of teacher competence that Stanley (1991) examined is knowledge ofsubject matter. Largely because of the influence of Lee Shulman and associates atStanford University, a great deal of attention has been paid to what good teachers knowabout their subject. Noting a lack of content testing for teachers, Shulman (1986)proposed a new type of knowledgepedagogical content knowledgethat wouldcombine pure content expertise with instructional competence in the classroom.According to Shulman, pedagogical content knowledge "goes beyond knowledge ofsubject matter per se to the dimension of subject matter knowledge for teaching (p. 9).While knowledge of ones subject is important for Shulman, what is more important ishow this understanding is transferred to students. In general, studies concerningpedagogical content knowledge have found that more experienced teachers are able totransmit subject matter knowledge in a way that makes it more accessible to theirstudents. In assessing the overall impact of this line of research, Shulman and Quinlan(1996) held that excellent teachers transform their own content knowledge intopedagogical representations that connect the prior knowledge and dispositions of thelearner (p. 409). While there is some dispute as to how this process takes place, themajor thrust of this line of research is that experienced teachers develop more complexmethods of reconstructing content knowledge as they gain experience.A significant element of Shulmans research applied directly to studying the subjectmatter knowledge of social studies teachers. Gudmundsdottir and Shulman (1987) firstapplied this concept in a comparison of an experienced and a novice social studiesteacher. They concluded that while both teachers had strong content backgrounds, theexperienced teachers ability to grasp the larger picture (p. 69) enabled him to relate it

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11to his students more clearly than the novice. After extensive interviews with elevenexperienced history teachers, Wineburg and Wilson (1991) settled on twoteachersElizabeth Jensen and John Priceto show their beliefs about how contentknowledge impacts instruction. They called Jensen the "invisible" teacher who actedmore as a choreographer shaping the movements of her students as they conducted adebate on the Revolutionary War. John Price was more of an actor and performer andwas able to capture his classes' attention primarily through his actions. Despitedifferences in teaching styles and approaches, the authors argued that both of theseteachers were able to express their subject matter knowledge in a way that wasunderstandable to a wide range of students.Stanleys (1991) final area of teacher competence focused on critical thinking andcritical pedagogy. In the critical thinking domain, Stanley stressed Newmanns (1990)work concerning characteristics of teachers who used higher-order questioning in theirsocial studies instruction. In this longitudinal study, Newmann selected five high schoolswith diverse populations in which social studies departments emphasized higher-orderthinking and engaged in problem-solving activities. By observing a wide range of socialstudies lessons, Newmann developed seventeen dimensions of thoughtfulness and soughtto determine how well teachers addressed each of these criteria. Other major goals ofNewmanns work were to identify characteristics of higher-order thinking for socialstudies teachers and to determine if students in classes with teachers who emphasizedcritical thinking showed more thoughtfulness. Newmanns findings were inconclusive onthis matter.

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12Stanley (1991) addressed critical pedagogy as a final feature of teachercompetence, choosing to focus on teachers who challenge the status quo and encouragetheir students to take action on injustices in the world. Research in this area has focusedon a wide range of issues ranging from confrontation of racism and sexism in individualclassrooms to questioning the dominant views portrayed in most social studies textbooks.Stanley argued that the competent teacher would stress active student participation (p.257) over most of the traditional methods used in the social studies classroom.In assessing these areas of teacher competence, Stanley argued that each of theseareas provided an important component for understanding what makes an effective socialstudies teacher. He stated that it was up to the individual teacher to decide how much ofeach of these areas to bring into his or her instruction. He concluded his article with thefollowing assessment:Consequently, teacher competence for the social studies is not merely a matter ofeclecticism. Instead, practical judgment must be used to determine the ends ofsocial studies as a field of study and then to select the best means to achieve theseends in particular classroom situations. (p. 259)Since Stanleys review, the debate over what characteristics make an effective socialstudies teacher has continued. In her review of the research on history teaching, Wilson(2001) highlighted the rift between the work of Brophy, VanSledright and others with theteacher effectiveness model and the work of Shulman focusing on teacher knowledge andbeliefs. She argued that both camps of explanation (p. 537) clearly explained how theteachers in their studies taught, but that they did pay not enough attention to the factorsthat made the teachers effective in the first place. Too often, she contended, researchersin this area have become so engrossed in the lives of the teachers they are studying thatthey lose sight of the original question of effectiveness. Because of this lack of focus,

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13Wilson recommended that future research connect exemplary teaching more directly tostudent learning. While many studies describe what students know or do not know abouthistory, the link to the role of the teacher in the learning progress remains unexplored.Wilson concluded that this proposal would require a new way of thinking about subjectmatter knowledge and a new approach to studying classroom life; but that in order toremove this black hole in our research landscape (p. 540), a renewed approach tostudying exemplary history teaching was necessary.TechnologyThe term technology comes from the Greek word techne meaning an art, craft, orskill. This definition often runs against the conventional thinking about technology ineducation that emphasizes the machines and hardware rather than the knowledge that canbe gained from their use. The Association for Educational Communications andTechnology (1996) emphasized the procedure involved in using educational technologyand defined it as a complex, integrated process involving people, procedures, ideas, anddevices for analyzing problems, and devising, implementing, evaluating, and managingsolutions to these problems, in situations in which learning is purposive and controlled(p. 4). But the process involved in using technology is usually ignored in educationalcircles; and schools boast about numbers of computer labs and wired classrooms ratherthan focusing on the learning that students have gained through these technologies.Over the history of American public education, technology has experienced adramatic changefrom the abacus and the chalkboard, as major innovations of the1800s; to radio and television in the 1900s. During this same time period, the overheadprojector, record player, tape recorder, videocassette recorder, and compact disc playerentered many classrooms across the country. As each of these innovations was

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14introduced, teachers were told that these new technologies would radically impact howthey would lead instruction; but for the most part, these changes brought only minimalalteration to the classroom (Cuban, 1986; Kerr, 1996). What remained constantthroughout this transformation, however, was the emphasis on the machinery introducedto schools and not on the learning that followed.Today, most of the reports and studies that focus on technology in education referdirectly to computers. The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), oneof the largest organizations devoted to promoting technology in the classroom, haspublished technology standards for teachers, students, and teacher educators. In theNational Educational Technology Standards (NETS) for Students (1998), ISTE definedtechnology-based instruction as instructional applications that involve some aspect ofcomputers or related technology (p. 372). Accordingly, many of the guidelines for usingtechnology in the classroom involve computer skills such as operating a computer,searching the Internet, creating databases, or producing PowerPoint presentations.In their book Technology and Teacher Education, Mehlinger and Powers (2002)explored various conceptions of what technology is. One common view is that it is theapplication of science to industry (p. 10), but for these authors, this definition providedlittle connection to education. They also dismissed the definition of technology as aprocess, because, again, very few educators choose to see technology apart from themachinery involved in it. They saw technology as relatively new electronic media, suchas computers and video and the associated hardware, networks, and software that enablethem to function (p. 10). Their conception of technology, while including video, focusedprimarily on computers and the major impact they were already having on schools. But

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15while some educational technology focuses on computer tools that improve efficiency forteachers (e.g. electronic grade books, attendance reports), Mehlinger and Powers wereconcerned primarily with how teachers in the classroom have used computers and howthey can be used in the future.A broader definition of technology was provided by the Office of TechnologyAssessment (OTA) in their 1995 report, Teachers and Technology: Making theConnection. In establishing a standard for educational technology, they used thefollowing statement to qualify their assertions:Although many people view educational technology as synonymous withcomputers, for the purposes of this report, the Office of Technology Assessmentadopts a broader definition of educational technology that includes computers,VCRs, televisions, telephones, video and still cameras, audio devices, calculatorsand other hand-held devices, microcomputer-based lab equipment (such as sensorprobes and measurement devices), videodiscs, CD-Rom, satellites, multimedia, andtelecommunications networks. (p. 50)While definitions provided by most technology proponents such as ISTE (1998) andMehlinger and Powers (2002) focused mostly on computers, the OTAs description oftechnology encompasses a wide range of items that can be used in the classroom. Someof these items, such as satellites or sensor probes, are not practical for social studiesteachers, many of the other devices are commonly used in classrooms around the country.The present study uses a broad lens, such as the one used by the Office ofTechnology Assessment, to examine the use of technology by exemplary social studiesteachers. It focuses not only on these teachers use of computers, but also on other formsof technology that they employed to enhance their instruction. While computers remainedthe focus for several of the observed technology lessons, televisions, VCRs, CDs, slides,and other forms of technology also played a large part in the classrooms of theseexemplary teachers. While much of the research cited in this chapter relates to computers,

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16a broader conception of technology helped to illuminate the innovative approaches theteachers used in their classes.Teacher BeliefsIn recent years, many researchers have acknowledged the great influence thatteacher beliefs have on instructional practices. Richardson (1996) explained that althoughresearch into the related area of teacher attitudes has been prevalent for decades, studiesof teacher beliefs are fairly recent and concentrate on a wide range of topics. Despite therelatively recent body of research in this area, scholars have found a strong connectionbetween teacher beliefs and classroom practice. Many researchers hold that a betterunderstanding of how teachers apply their beliefs will benefit current educators and playa larger role in teacher preparation.This concept, however, is complex and overlaps a number of associated areas.Pajares (1992), in a widely cited review of the research, drew a number of conclusionsabout the nature of teacher beliefs. First, he argued that beliefs are formed early in lifeand tend to self-perpetuate throughout a teachers career. Even if change does occur, it isoften temporary, and teachers can easily revert to previous ideas and routines. Second, heclaimed that beliefs were inextricably intertwined (p. 325) to knowledge. A number ofresearchers have also noted the connection between knowledge and beliefs(Feiman-Nemser & Floden, 1986; Munby, Russell, & Martin, 2001; Richardson, 1994)and in some cases have used the terms interchangeably. In addition, Pajares (1992)contended that belief change in adulthood is a rare happening; and usually takes placeonly with a change in authority. Overall, the issue of teacher beliefs is multifaceted, andtherefore makes any kind of analysis difficult. To clarify the concept of teacher beliefs,three areas of teacher beliefs that influence the use of technology by exemplary social

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17studies teachers were examined: beliefs about instruction, beliefs about technology, andbeliefs about social studies.Beliefs about InstructionSince the beginnings of the American school movement, vigorous debate hascontinued over the role of the teacher in providing the best possible environment forstudent learning. In his pioneering work on the teaching profession, Schoolteacher: Asociological study, Lortie (1975) argued that despite efforts from teacher educationprograms, outside organizations, and many teachers, traditional practices have remainedthe norm in American schools. Lortie maintained that with so much time devoted tonon-instructional responsibilities, teachers were unlikely to change their classroomroutines. He suggested that while many teachers wanted to change their instruction, theyare like practitioners in other fieldsthey are reluctant to try new approaches unlessthey feel sure they can make them work and avoid damaging their reputations (p. 234).As long as this reluctance to take risks remains in place, Lortie concluded that theteaching profession would see little change in the foreseeable future.Cuban (1993) similarly viewed teaching as an inherently conservative professionand argued that classrooms have changed very little in the past 40 to 50 years. Hestressed that if any changes did take place, they were more likely to be incremental thanfundamental. New technologies such as computers have changed the physical appearanceof classrooms, he argued, but the traditional methods that teachers have used ininstruction have remained the same. Among the characteristics that Cuban ascribed tothese traditional classrooms were a heavy reliance on textbooks, whole-class instruction,and teacher talk over student talk (p. 7). Cuban supposed that without substantialreform efforts, the nature of the instruction would remain constant for years to come.

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18Despite this tendency for teachers to adhere to traditional practices, a number ofstudies have documented how non-traditional instructional methods have been successful.Among the characteristics that Cuban (1993) attributed to this approach were small-grouplearning, more student talk than teacher talk, and varied instructional materials (p.7) that the teacher can use in a variety of situations. Based on a collection of case studies,Bray, Kramer, and LePage (2000) characterized their view of the expert teacher. Theyheld that this teacher was constantly reflective on his or her practice and embraced theopportunity for improvement. The authors went so far as to say the expert teacher isthrilled at the prospect of trying something original and different, thriving onopportunities to learn about current educational trends and social issues (p. 79). ForBray, Kramer, and LePage, the effort to improve instruction comes with the recognitionthat students have diverse learning styles and may not benefit from traditional methods.Several studies have explored exemplary social studies teachers beliefs aboutinstruction. From a pool of twenty teachers, Onosko (1992) identified ten as outstandingand ten as less than outstanding; and then described characteristics shared among themore accomplished practitioners. One of the major similarities among the outstandingteachers concerned the issue of depth versus breadth of content coverage. Nearly all ofthese teachers felt that trying to cover too much material actually impeded student effortsto learn, and they advocated a concentrated approach to various subjects to encouragehigher-order thinking among students. Also, Brophy and VanSledright (1993)interviewed seven exemplary elementary teachers and found that they preferred a varietyof learning activities compared to the traditional, worksheet-driven social studiescurriculum. These teachers, as a whole, found textbooks to be ineffective tools for student

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19learning and much preferred engaging students in a variety of forms of teacher-studentand student-student discourse (p. 5). Even though studies such as these show thepreference of many social studies teachers a wide array of teaching methods, socialstudies classrooms as a whole remain among the most traditional of the major academicdisciplines.What is important about this area, however, is that the debate surroundinginstructional methods still continues. While some researchers try to support a particularpedagogical stance through their studies, it should be recognized that different situationscall for different pedagogies. While looking at instructional approaches as absolutes canbe useful, most teachers use a mix of methods and are hard to characterize.Beliefs about TechnologyWhile the literature in the area of teacher beliefs about instruction is a fairly recentphenomenon, the literature pertaining to beliefs about technology is an even newer, andthus a more unexplored, area of research. Cuban (1986) applied his ideas about theconservative nature of teachers and their reluctance to change classroom practice to theircaution in using new technologies. He found that if the technology supported existingpractices (i.e., multiple choice test construction or drill and practice software), teacherswere much more likely to embrace it than they would if it involved modifying orradically changing their instruction. In a more recent study, Cuban, Kirkpatrick, and Peck(2001) interviewed twenty-one secondary teachers and found that thirteen of them saidthat technology had changed their instructional practices. Upon closer examination,however, these changes were primarily of an institutional nature (e.g. grade tabulation,record keeping, test construction) rather than revisions in instruction. Even though a few

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20of these teachers reported that technology had made them more student-centered,observations showed little change in traditional practice.Studies of teacher beliefs in regard to technology are fairly evenly split betweenanalyses of survey data and case study research. In their landmark study of six hundredtechnology-using teachers, Hadley and Sheingold (1993) used a lengthy questionnaire toexplore what teachers believed about technology use in their classrooms. Of thetechnology-using teachers questioned by Hadley and Sheingold, eighty-eight percentindicated that computers made a difference in their teaching. Among the teachers whosaid that computers had made a difference in their teaching, a majority also indicated thatthey were able to spend more time with individual students, to lecture less, and to expectbetter work from students.In another large-scale study, Niederhauser and Stoddart (2001) surveyed over onethousand elementary teachers about their uses of educational software. The authorsdiscovered a significant relationship between the type of pedagogy preferred by theseteachers and the types of software used in the classroom. They categorized the softwareusing three descriptorsopen-ended, skill-based, and combinedand generally foundthat teachers used the types of software that fit best with their pedagogical stance. Forexample, if a teacher was interested in more teacher-directed software, drill and practiceprograms such as Reader Rabbit or Math Blasters would be desirable. For teachersengaging in more student-centered teaching practices, an open-ended piece of softwaresuch as Where in the World is Carmen San Diego? or Oregon Trail would be preferred.In their conclusion, the authors contended that if instructional change was to take place,teacher beliefs about technology should not be ignored. They added that professional

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21development could assist teachers in choosing the right type of software for their beliefs,and it was ultimately teachers who determine (p. 29) how effectively technology isused in the classroom.The Teaching, Learning, and Computing Survey of 1998 undertaken by the Centerfor Research on Information Technology and Organizations addressed beliefs abouttechnology on an even larger scale. This study of over 4,000 teachers, administrators andtechnology coordinators yielded a number of reports related to technology use and schoolcontexts. In one of these reports, Constructivist-Compatible Beliefs and Practices amongU.S. Teachers (Ravitz, Becker, & Wong, 2000), the authors sought to determine therelationship between teachers stated beliefs about technology use and whether or not thiswas apparent in their classroom practices. The report showed that across almost everysubject area, teacher beliefs were a strong indicator of the type of instruction used. As thetitle of the report showed, the authors argued that teachers who held more constructivistviews used activities in the classroom (i.e., projects, group work, problem-solving tasks)consistent with these beliefs.A number of qualitative studies have also explored the relationship between teacherbeliefs and technology use. In one such study, Windschitl and Sahl (2002) examinedthree teachers at a private school in Seattle that had recently initiated a laptop computerprogram. These middle school teachers had varying beliefs about the technology at thebeginning of this initiative. One teacher believed that technology could provide a hookto bring more students into the learning process, one was dubious about the effect laptopscould have in his classroom, and the third was new to technology, but excited about thepossibilities it could bring to her classroom. After two years of using laptops, only one of

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22these three teachers was using technology on a regular basis; the others returned totraditional practices used before the introduction of these machines. Overall, the authorsfound that understanding teachers decisions on whether or not to use technology was acomplex enterprise, and more research was needed to better comprehend the role ofbeliefs in this process.In contrast to the previous study, findings from the Apple Classrooms of Tomorrow(ACOT) project (Sandholtz, Ringstaff, & Dwyer, 1997) held that teacher beliefs changedas a direct result of having an extensive amount of technology introduced into theirclassroom. According to the authors, participants in this project became moreconstructivist in their teaching approaches and attempted more collaborative and inquiry-based activities over time. They argued that the introduction of technology toclassrooms does not radically change teaching; instead, technology can serve as a symbolof change, granting teachers a license for experimentation (p. 171). But they alsorecognized that change cannot happen without support from a number of sources,including, but not limited to, administrators, colleagues, parents, technology consultants,and the community.This area of the literature would benefit from more studies connecting teacherbeliefs to classroom technology use in a more typical classroom environment. Most of thestudies described in this section, such as the ACOT project, involved grants orinvestments from large corporations. In addition to the many institutional pressuresteachers face on a daily basis from parents, administrators, and other stakeholders ineducation, participants in such studies would also feel obliged to use the technologysupplied for them, even if it meant teaching in ways that were not comfortable to them.

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23Because of the forced nature of much of this computer implementation and expectationsfrom the technology providers for positive results, many of these analyses should beregarded with a critical perspective. Studies of teacher beliefs in more typical settings inwhich the technology has not been thrust upon teachers have the potential to impactpractice more than those in selective environments.Beliefs about Social StudiesOne of the biggest problems with judging teacher beliefs about the social studies isa debate over how to define this field of study. Even with this uncertainty, recentinquiries have found that beliefs about the discipline, however one defines it, have had agreat influence on how teachers approach the subject in their classroom. These beliefs areoften grounded before teachers have even started their teacher education programs, andtend to be perpetuated once teachers enter the classroom.Case studies of preservice teachers (Angell, 1998; Goodman & Adler, 1985;Johnston, 1990) have discovered that while some young teachers grow in theirunderstanding of the discipline, others remain content to rely on previous attitudes andexperiences. Goodman and Adler (1985) analyzed the perspectives of sixteen preserviceelementary teachers towards the social studies with interviews throughout an entire year,and sought to determine the influence of various factors on their belief systems. Thisstudy found that while student teaching did play a significant role in shaping the beliefsystems of these students, childhood conceptions of the social studies along with otherfactors were equally important in affecting instruction. In a case study of two preserviceteachers, Angell (1998) described how one grew in her understanding of social studiesand teaching, while the other remained satisfied with her previous beliefs. What isperhaps most significant about this study is the change that one student was able to

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24achieve. In contrast to those who argued that teacher beliefs were fairly rigid, Angellcontended that given the right social interactions, change in beliefs could occur. Thesestudies also highlight the disconnect between teacher education programs that emphasizea constructivist approach to social studies, and classrooms that continue to usememorization and teacher-directed learning as their focus.At the same time that case studies of preservice teachers have emphasized theimportance of beliefs about social studies, inquiries into the perspectives of practicingteachers have also emerged. In one such study, Brophy (1992) profiled Mary Lake, a fifthgrade teacher who was able to make history come alive (p. 152) for her students. Thisteacher used storytelling to capture student imagination, and, through an in-depthexamination of topics, was able to bring her students into history. She took a personalapproach to the subject, beginning the year with students autobiographies and timelinesas a means to explain their place in history. Brophy argued that the visible worth sheplaced on social studies and the time she devoted to its instruction made the subject moremeaningful for her students, and by limiting the content she covered, she was able toprovide a significant depth of coverage for her students.The question of depth versus breadth in coverage is significant for social studiesteachers. VanSledright (1997) profiled two eighth grade American history teachers,Nancy Kerwin and Bob Jansen, and compared the ways in which they approachedinstruction. Kerwin was concerned about presenting students with a chronologicalaccount of history and used the textbook to guide them through a steady array of factsand concepts. Jansen, on the other hand, chose to concentrate on a few significanthistorical themes and relied on his own background and content expertise to lead students

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25through this unit. Despite going into more depth, Jansen was able to complete his unit inonly twenty days compared to the thirty-eight that Kerwin used. While he believes thatpursuing depth in historical study appears to be a worthwhile goal (p. 41),VanSledright acknowledged that it had its limitations with the omission of importanthistorical detailsBeliefs about subject matter have also received a good deal of attention at thesecondary level. Wineburg and Wilson (1991) explored the subject matter knowledge oftwo high school American history teachers and found that despite different classroomapproaches, both of these teachers saw the importance of having their students activelyparticipate in historical inquiry, and not have their students become little historians.John Price, one of the participants in this study, noted in describing his approach toteaching, My mission is to really get them excited about some of the characters alongthe way so that they have some interest in the past (p. 329). Through experience andconstant reflection, both of these teachers conceptualized social studies in a way thatsuited their personal beliefs, and more importantly, enhanced student learning in theprocess.In looking at the importance of social studies teachers beliefs as a whole,Thorntons (1991) description of instructors as curricular-instructional gatekeepers (p.237) deserves attention. In this capacity, Thornton argued, teachers have a great deal ofcontrol over how the subject is presented in their classrooms. Social studies teachers havetraditionally allowed textbooks to dictate how their classrooms are managed and havereduced the subject to an exercise of memorization and regurgitation of facts. In thisprocess, many students have grown to dislike social studies. Thornton stated that while

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26research has heightened an understanding of social studies teachers practices, hebelieved that there needed to be more case studies of exemplary practice if meaningfulchange was ever going to take place.This area of the literature has grown dramatically in the time since Armento (1986)surveyed the research in the social studies over fifteen years ago and noted a lack ofqualitative studies. Inquiries like many of those detailed in this section have becomemuch more common in the literature and have provided needed insight into the beliefs ofboth preservice and inservice teachers about social studies. But the pendulum may haveswung too far toward the qualitative paradigm, and Seixas (2001) and others haveadvocated additional quantitative studies to present a more balanced picture of theinfluence of teacher beliefs on social studies teaching and learning. But even without thebenefit of such data, recent studies have significantly increased the understanding of theeffects of beliefs on both current and future social studies teachers.Teacher LearningA concept closely related to teacher beliefs is that of teacher learning. It ispresumed in this area of the literature that teachers continue to learn from the time theyenter the profession until the time they leave the classroom, although how and to whatdegree varies. In commenting about possible changes in the future of schooling, Lortie(1975) remarked that inservice training necessary to promote teacher learning rarelyrises above the superficial level (p. 234). If school districts had serious concerns aboutthe future of their teachers, Lortie claimed, staff development would receive much greaterattention. In the nearly three decades since Lorties landmark study, there has been asteady increase in the area of teacher learning. Richardson and Placier (2001) regardedteacher learning as the most significant factor for enacting changes that might actually

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27improve education. In reviewing the research in this area, the authors found that teacherlearning is much more likely to be meaningful where there is an environmentencouraging commitment, collaboration, and empowerment (p. 929). In an effort toattract and retain qualified teachers, more attention is being paid to the lifelongdevelopment of teachers (Steffy, Wolfe, Pasch, & Enz, 2000) and the support that isneeded along the way.With the arrival of personal computers in the school environment, teachers havebeen strongly encouraged to make use of new technologies in their classrooms. Becauseof the numerous demands placed on teachers, taking the time to learn about newinnovations and implementing them in the classroom is a daunting task, but manyteachers have found ways to make this happen. Many of the articles focused on learningabout technology have come from the traditional professional development perspective,in which outside agencies have come into schools to train teachers on variousapplications. Fewer studies have been written about the influences of colleagues, bothinside and outside the school, for enhancing ones technological expertise. Even less hasbeen published concerning how teachers explore technology through personal endeavors.Understanding the importance of each of these three areas in regard to learning abouttechnology is crucial if one is to arrive at a deeper understanding of technologyimplementation.Professional DevelopmentFeiman-Nemser (2001) maintained that staff development traditionally has been adissemination activity (p. 1041) in which teachers passively receive information on anynumber of topics. Teachers sit in a crowded cafeteria, auditorium, or media center andlisten to an expert tell them what they need to know about some area deemed important

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28by administrators at the school or district level. The problem with this approach, as manycritics have noted, is that these one-time-only training events usually have little bearingon how teachers improve their instruction. Prominent educators, including LindaDarling-Hammond (1997; Darling-Hammond & McLaughlin, 1996), have proposedalternative models of staff development that are sustained (more than just one-time-onlyevents) and directly connected to teachers daily experiences. Darling-Hammondacknowledged that these activities would likely involve more time than was currentlybeing spent by teachers in staff development, but in the long run they would relate moredirectly to what teachers were doing on a daily basis.The traditional staff development approach for technology training has producedlimited results in helping teachers become more proficient in their technology use. Evenas schools acquire more and more machines and construct additional computer labs, littlesupport has been given to teachers in using this technology. One report (QualityEducation Data, 1998) stated that only five percent of federal expenditures on educationaltechnology was spent on professional development. The Presidents Commission ofAdvisors on Science and Technology (1997) recommended a significant increase inteacher training from five percent of federal expenditures in the technology budget tothirty percent. At the present time, this increase has not been realized. More hardware hasbeen added in many districts, but the support provided for teachers has not followed.Hasselbring et al. (2000) powerfully showed the importance of professionaldevelopment for teachers in their review of the literature on technology and teacherdevelopment. The authors contended that many teachers were not ready to usetechnology in their classrooms and argued:

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29In sum, a school can have the best hardware and software available, yet it isunlikely that they will be used well, or even used at all, if teachers are not trained.Training teachers on the integration and use of technology appears to have asignificant impact on whether they feel comfortable in using technology. Trainingalso increases the likelihood that they will use software and web sites forinstruction. Thus, as schools continue to purchase more and better technology, thebenefit to students will increasingly depend on how well teachers are prepared touse these new tools. (p. 5)Even though professional development opportunities have increased in many states,many teachers have not taken advantage of these offerings and remain ill equipped to usetechnology in their classrooms.Despite the limited attention paid to professional development activities, severalstudies have been published in recent years that show positive results from technologytraining. Several of these studies claim that after such training teachers displayed moreconfidence with technology integration and became more student-centered in theirapproach to teaching. The Southwest Educational Development Laboratory (Burns, 2002)undertook a project with 150 teachers at six schools to create learner-centered,technology-rich learning environments (p. 36). Teachers in this project receivedthirty-six hours of professional development over the course of two summers and, inaddition, received on-site support from consultants. Results from this venture showed thatteachers learned valuable technology skills and strategies and became more constructivistin their approach to teaching.Similar results came from the ten-year Apple Classrooms of Tomorrow (ACOT)Project. While the initial thrust of the project was to observe the impact that providinghardware and software would make in the classroom, professional development laterbecame an integral part of the study. Project coordinators established the ACOTDevelopment Center, whose efforts had three major components: a weeklong practicum

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30with instructional tools and practices demonstrated, a four-week summer leadershipinstitute, and continued follow-up support by ACOT coordinators. In a report assessingthe impact of the professional development initiative, the authors (Ringstaff, Yocam, &Marsh, 1996) reported seeing three major changes in the teachers who participated in thestudy. First of all, the teachers classroom organization changed, with teachers spendingless time in front of students and more time assisting collaborative learning. Second, theteachers indicated that they used more technology in their instruction, and students weremore motivated as a result. Third, and most significantly, the participants in this studyunderwent an attitudinal change and felt more excited about using technology in theirclassrooms and towards teaching as a whole. According to the authors, the teachers in thestudy took this enthusiastic attitude back to their schools, and their eagerness positivelyinfluenced other teachers.While these two models for professional development provide some useful datashowing how teachers can learn about technology and impact student learning in theprocess, they are not representative of the state of affairs in most schools today. What ismissing in the research is how staff development takes place in more typical settingswithout the assistance of substantial external funding. Success stories from individualschools or districts may prove more valuable to the educational community as a wholethan these more intensive studies of well-funded institutions.Collegial ActivitiesMany educators have participated in collegial activities that enable them to learnand grow within the profession. Collaboration allows teachers to share ideas and buildrelationships that can sustain them in their professional growth. Duck (2000) describedthe importance of support groups in promoting the growth of teachers, particularly those

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31new to the profession. He elaborated on several mentor programs that pair noviceteachers to experienced ones as particularly effective for building a collegial environmentin individual schools. Feiman-Nemser (2001) also emphasized the importance ofcollegial interaction, but argued that educators needed to rethink the entire idea ofprofessional development. She advocated establishing communities of practice inwhich teachers would rethink their pedagogy, their conceptions of subject matter, andtheir role in curriculum development (p. 1043).Willis (1993) undertook a review of the literature analyzing barriers to technologyuse in the classroom and found that isolation was a major obstacle to teachers learningmore about technology. One finding that came out of a number of these studies was thatsmall, school-based groups, supported by consultants, seem to be an effective way ofproviding on-going support and encouragement (p. 28). Another important finding wasthat the precise structure or makeup of the group did not matter as long as there wasconsistent sharing of ideas. A second, and perhaps more revealing, study on theimportance of collegial activities, came from Becker (1994), who surveyed forty-fiveteachers labeled as exemplary users of technology. One of the common characteristicsthat Becker found among these teachers was that they had created social networks at theirschools through which to share ideas about computers. In schools with exemplarytechnology-using teachers, Becker found that nearly twice as many teachers usedcomputers as in schools without such teachers in place. None of the schools in Beckersstudy had special technology initiatives in place, but he contended that the impact ofthese networks of teachers interested in technology was more significant than formal staffdevelopment on technology.

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32Both of the projects mentioned above in the Professional Development sectionallowed participants to work among colleagues to discuss various aspects of technologyintegration. In the SEDL project (Burns, 2002), teachers worked for much of the timeduring summer sessions in small groups to complete a portion of a larger technologyproject. According to the author, this dialogue continued among colleagues even whenthe sessions were completed. As part of the ACOT project (Ringstaff, Yocam & Marsh,1996), project coordinators established e-mail accounts for teachers and facilitatedcommunication among project participants. Based on teachers suggestions, coordinatorsalso worked on developing an online bulletin board for teachers to continue theirconversations begun at the ACOT Development Center.Individual LearningThis area of teacher learning is probably the most significant, but it is also the areathat is addressed least in the literature. Lortie (1975) conducted one of the most thoroughstudies of teachers to date and made some keen observations about how instructorslearned on the job. He argued that most people who go into teaching enjoy learning andenjoy being in classes, but when they encounter students who do not share the samesentiment, it is often frustrating for them. Because of this dissatisfaction, many teachersoften become more inwardly focused and isolated, rather than looking to colleagues forsupport and guidance.Even though many teachers learn a great deal about technology on their own, littlehas been written about how they go about this task. In a recent report issued by theNational Center for Education Statistics (Smerdon et al., 2000), researchers asked overtwo thousand full-time teachers about their technology use, including questions abouttheir preparation and training. When asked about various sources that prepared them to

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33use technology in their classroom, ninety-three percent of the respondents indicated thatindependent learning was the most important factor in their training. In this response,teachers also expressed the extent to which independent learning, professionaldevelopment, and colleagues impacted their preparation with technology. Of those thatindicated that their preparation was supported by individual learning, thirty-nine percentsaid that independent learning played a large role in their training, over twentypercentage points greater than learning from professional development activities andcolleagues (p. 79). Other factors, such as college and graduate work and studentassistance, were mentioned as well, but they had a much less significant role than theother three areas of development.Individual learning about technology remains an area relatively untouched byresearchers. Several factors account for this lack of understanding. Single-subjectresearch is time consuming, and it may not lead to any conclusive findings about howthese teachers learn about technology. In addition, many advocates of technology feelthat instruction is more effective in group settings than on an individual basis and do noteven want to encourage this type of learning. A third factor may be closer to the heart ofthis issuethe fact that teachers learn about technology at much different rates atdifferent times. In his landmark book Diffusion of Innovations, Rogers (1995) showedthat individuals take to new technology in different ways. He identified five groups interms of their adoption rates from fastest to slowest: Innovators, Early Adopters, EarlyMajority, Late Majority, and Laggards. Rogers claimed that these categories held fairlyfirm for the adoption of any innovation and roughly followed an S-curve in theirdistribution.

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34Understanding of these five groups is essential to anyone trying to convinceteachers to integrate technology in their teaching, especially those in the social studies.As research has shown (Becker, Ravitz, & Prenovost, 1998; Berson, 1996), social studiesteachers are among the slowest of the core subject area instructors to use technology intheir classrooms. Many proponents of technology have taken the stance that Rogers(1995) identified as individual blame (p. 114), in which teachers who do not usetechnology are criticized for not adapting the latest innovations in their instruction.Knowledge of diffusion theory reveals that the late majority and especially the laggardsdo not respond well to having technology forced upon them and are more likely tointegrate technology into their teaching if they are given the time to see it used in waysthat match their teaching style. Many technology supporters in the social studies claimthat as new teachers trained in technology enter the social studies classroom, the curvewill begin to swing upward, and more teachers will incorporate it into their teaching.In the NCES report (Smerdon et al., 2000) cited above, a large number of teachersindicated that they did not feel prepared to use technology in their classroom. Only tenpercent felt very well prepared to use technology in their teaching, and justtwenty-three percent indicated that they were well prepared (p. 75) to use it. Whileexamples of successful professional development programs have added somewhat towhat is known about training teachers to use technology, much more can be done tostrengthen this area of research. The NCES report also suggested that professionaldevelopment activities could encourage teachers to spend more time learning aboutvarious technology applications. If this assumption is correct, studies of the types ofopportunities created through professional development would also be appropriate. New

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35innovations in technology make planning professional development difficult, but ifteachers are to keep pace with these changes and support student learning, moreopportunities to learn about technology need to become available for future educators.Facilitators and BarriersWhile the previous section described various means by which teachers learn how touse technology, this section examines facilitators and barriers facing teachers as theyapply what they have learned to actually implementing technology in their classrooms.Facilitators and barriers are often interconnected concepts. Researchers interested in howteachers learn about technology tend to focus on factors that facilitate technology use,and studies of teachers not using technology will often concentrate on barriers toclassroom implementation. Most of the research in this area consists of quantitativestudies taken from surveys or self-reports. Many of the studies explore facilitators andbarriers simultaneously, but this section addresses facilitators and barriers to technologyuse as separate concepts before linking them to recent studies focusing on both factors.FacilitatorsThe literature related to facilitators of classroom technology integration consists ofboth self-reports and case studies to determine what or who supports teachers in their useof technology. One facilitator for teachers use of technology is their recognition of thepositive impact of technology on their students. Hadley and Sheingold (1993) surveyed600 technology-using teachers and assessed a number of factors influencing theirtechnology use. When asked what incentives existed for incorporating technology intotheir teaching, the top responses all involved expanding students learning, experience,capacities, and productivity (p. 281). While personal time invested and self-esteem werealso deemed important by many of these teachers, the impact on childrens growth was

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36seen as the motivating factor for using technology. The authors also stated that the desirefor student growth with technology often paralleled the teachers development in learningthe same sorts of ideas and skills.Another factor that supports teachers in their use of technology is accessibility. Ifteachers have access to computers, televisions, etc., then they will be more likely to usethem. In a study of secondary teachers in Australia, Zammit (1992) asked in aquestionnaire what encouraged them to use computers, and access was overwhelminglythe top response. Many of the teachers in the study reported that access to technology wasadequate at their schools, but some were also concerned that accessibility would becomemuch more difficult if additional teachers began to use technology. Zammit discovered infollow-up interviews that access was important for these teachers not only in theclassroom, but also in lab settings. Interviews with computer coordinators showed thatcomputer labs were fully booked over ninety percent of the time, and without additionalaccess in the classroom, many teachers chose not to take their students to these labs.Through the Apple Classrooms of Tomorrow (ACOT) project, researchersdiscovered that access to a computer lab was not always what teachers wanted. Johnson,Schwab, and Foa (1999) observed that many of the teachers in their study would muchrather have a few computers in their classrooms than twenty-five in a remote lab setting.In comparing computer use in the classroom to that in a lab setting, one teacher in thestudy remarked, Would business people use computers as tools if they could only usethem 25 minutes per week in a room down the hall (p. 43)? The authors suggested thatteachers who had access to computers in their classrooms actually changed their

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37instructional styles to meet student needs, moving away from teacher-centered to morestudent-centered teaching approaches.While access to technology is the obvious first step to helping teachers usetechnology, support must accompany this phase. In addition to professional developmentactivities, much attention has been paid to the role of technology coordinators inindividual schools. As part of the Teaching, Learning and Computing survey, Ronnkvist,Dexter, and Anderson (2000) examined the influence of technology support at the schoollevel, reporting data from principals, technology coordinators, and teachers. The authorsfirst defined technology support as assistance with both technical content (such astroubleshooting or equipment repair) and instructional content (with subject area softwareand classroom strategies). According to the study, most teachers were aware of thetechnology support that was available to them. On average, they found support availablefor technical help 90% of the time and for instruction 80% (p. 13). While teachers in thisstudy deemed technical support important, most felt that they needed much moreguidance in instructional matters to use technology more confidently in their classrooms.In addition to student motivation, access, and support, studies have looked at anumber of other factors to determine what facilitates teachers use of technology. Thesefactors include, but are not limited to, parental support, supportive administrators, districtpolicies, and student interest. Most of these studies focus on teachers who have beenidentified as exemplary technology users but do not examine the average teacher whomay use technology, but just not at the same level as those exemplary users. Studies offactors that assist typical technology users would be a significant addition to the research.

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38BarriersThe research in this area relates more to barriers facing teachers in their use oftechnology than to factors facilitating its use. Many of these studies derived their lists ofbarriers from teacher surveys and questionnaires. Frequently cited barriers includedfinancial constraints, concerns about inappropriate material, teachers weak knowledgebase about technology, and poor quality of available software. Among these barriers,three were the most prevalent in the literature: limited access to technology, lack ofsupport, and inadequate time to learn about technology.As a logical contrast to the importance of access showed earlier in the review, asignificant barrier facing teachers attempting to use technology is limited access. Zammit(1992) asked teachers about encouragers to their technology use and also had teachersreport disincentives to classroom implementation. Software quality was important tomany of the teachers in this study, but access was a much greater concern. Respondentsindicated nearly equally that access was important for students in both the classroom andin a lab setting. The NCES survey (Smerdon et al., 2000) also revealed that access was agreat concern for teachers trying to use technology. This lack of access was a greaterconcern among teachers in some settings than in others. High school teachers were moreconcerned about access than elementary teachers, larger schools had more problems withaccess than smaller schools, and city schools had less access than suburban and ruralschools.A second concern among teachers attempting to use technology is a lack ofsupport. The need for assistance is apparent at many levels. Teachers in Hadley andSheingolds study (1993) noted a lack of financial support from the district, inadequateadministrative support at the school, and not enough help supervising students using

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39computers in the classroom. Teachers from the NCES survey (Smerdon et al., 2000)noted a number of support problems: inadequate training opportunities, lack ofadministrative support, lack of support regarding ways to integrate telecommunicationsinto the curriculum, and a lack of technical support or advice (p. 91). The reportsuggested that having a technology coordinator would help to reduce the barriers teachersperceived in regard to their use of technology.According to Ronnkvist, Dexter, and Anderson (2000), about ninety percent of theschools surveyed had someone designated as a technology coordinator (p. 6), but in onlynineteen percent of these schools was it a full time position. In many cases, coordinatorswere also classroom instructors, network coordinators, or media specialists. Withresponsibilities well beyond helping teachers use technology for instruction, it wasextremely difficult for these coordinators to have a significant role in providing thedesired support. Therefore, technology coordinators were much more likely to superviseclasses or troubleshoot hardware problems than they were to assist and train teachers inhow to use technology in their classrooms. While individual technology coordinatorshave shared success stories from their individual institutions, a more systematic study ofthe impact of positive technology support would be beneficial for the research literaturein this area.In a number of studies, lack of time was the factor that teachers most frequentlymentioned as the greatest barrier to their technology use. Data from the NCES report(Smerdon et al., 2000) brought out major time concerns among respondents. Teacherssurveyed were given the choice of defining time as a small, moderate, or great barrier totheir use of computers and the Internet for instruction, and no matter the level of

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40experience, time was perceived as a great barrier. Teachers participating in Hadley andSheingolds (1993) questionnaire responded to thirty-five perceived barriers to usingtechnology. Of these responses, the top two both related to time: lack of time to developlessons that used computers, and scheduling enough time to integrate computers intoinstruction.Even though these studies identified a number of barriers, they generally agreedthat barriers could be overcome, given the right conditions and support. Access hasimproved in many schools across the country, and many schools have pulled computersout of labs and placed them in teachers classrooms. Support is still a major issue in manyareas, but findings from such studies as the ACOT project have presented models for howteachers can be assisted in their technology integration. Time is the issue for which noneof these studies attempted to provide a solution. Teachers have so many constraints ontheir time that learning about technology and fitting it into classroom schedules is anearly impossible task, and research to this point provides few solutions.Key Research that Addresses Both FactorsCubans recent work, Oversold and Underused: Computers in the Classroom(2001), is of primary significance for understanding facilitators of and barriers totechnology use. Cuban focused on a number of San Francisco area educationalinstitutions, from pre-school through university, and claimed that despite assurances thatcomputers would revolutionize education, instruction has remained primarily unchangedat all levels. Even in Silicon Valley, the heart of the technology industry, classrooms havebeen only marginally altered by this influx of computers and associated software.Cubans analysis of technology use in two San Francisco area high schoolsprovides an interesting paradox in the examination of facilitators and barriers. Both

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41schools that Cuban and his colleagues studied had an abundance of technology available.They were well above the national average in connectivity to the Internet, and all of theteachers in both schools had their own e-mail accounts. Yet despite sufficient access,many teachers still did not use computers in labs, the media center, or even in their ownclassrooms. Cuban acknowledged that results from these schools may not be totallyrepresentative of others around the country, but the reasons that teachers offered for notusing technology more were consistent with other studies presented in this section.Time was a major concern for teachers for fitting computer use into their classroomschedules and but for finding opportunities to try out new software or other products. Asecond complaint heard often from teachers was the lack of relevant support for learningabout technology. Through in-depth interviews, Cuban found that most of the technologytraining teachers received was related to basic computer skills and irrelevant to theirspecific and immediate needs (p. 98). Teachers wanted to have specific ideas andmethods that would work for their subject area and their students, but this type of trainingwas unobtainable. In his final analysis, Cuban argued that while schools as a whole havepushed for technology integration, little teacher training has accompanied the growth intechnology, and therefore little has actually changed in terms of daily classroompractices. Given the nature of schools as institutions reluctant to change, Cuban saw littlepossibility for the technological revolution to have a significant impact.Social Studies and TechnologyIn his analysis of the history of teaching in the social studies, Cuban (1991)concluded that instruction had changed little since the beginning of the twentieth century.He noted a number of incremental changes that had been made in the use of textbooks,films, videos, and other classroom activities, but he argued that the fundamental change

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42advocated by many social studies educators had not occurred. Although other changeshad influenced the structure of many social studies classrooms, teacher-centeredinstruction and the use of textbooks still dominated the field.This historical perspective is significant for analyzing the impact that technology iscurrently having in the social studies. A number of studies (Becker, 2000; Becker et al.,1998; Berson, 1996) have noted that social studies teachers have not brought newtechnologies into their classroom teaching at the same pace as teachers in otherdisciplines. Becker and Ravitz (2001) reported that twenty-four percent of Englishteachers used computers more than twenty times during the year, compared to seventeenpercent of science teachers and only twelve percent of social studies teachers. Whilerecent studies have highlighted individual areas of success within the social studies, therehas been little fundamental change in the practice of classroom teachers. As SocialEducation editor Michael Simpson (1999) asserted, We are still at the early stages ofidentifying and evaluating the best uses of current technology in the classroom, far fromthe instructional and technical possibilities that will be realized in the cybercentury tocome (p. 133). This section summarizes research that has explored technologyintegration in the social studies, examine some of the prominent areas of current research,and consider possibilities that exist for social studies teachers wishing to use technology.Research in Social Studies and TechnologyEhman and Glenn (1991) analyzed research in the field of social studies andtechnology, most of which took place in the late 1980s with the introduction ofcomputers to social studies classrooms, and found little significant work at that time. Theexisting research was scant at best, and many of the studies examined the impact of thedrill and practice software that accompanied the first classroom computers. The authors

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43did note, however, that research designs were improving and recognized a few promisingareas that could eventually lead to instructional improvement. With databases andsimulations, in particular, Ehman and Glenn recognized potential for technologicalimprovement and hoped that the research base would widen in this area.Berson (1996) discerned similar results in his review of the literature on computeruse in the social studies just five years after Ehman and Glenns analysis. He examineddifferent applications of computer technology, including drill and practice, tutorials,games, simulations, problem solving, and word-processing. While studies of applicationssuch as these had increased the research base, Berson saw little evidence that wouldvalidate the instructional necessity of computer use in the social studies classroom. Buthe also maintained that the study of computer effectiveness in the social studies was stillin its infancy and encompasse[d] a dynamic process (p. 496) that would see significantchanges in the near future. He emphasized the impact that the World Wide Web and theInternet were beginning to have in social studies classrooms and held that these areaswould necessitate examination.In an issue of Theory and Research in Education devoted to technology in thesocial studies, Diem (2000) noted continued problems related to social studies teachersattempts to use technology. Most of the research showing social studies teachers usingtechnology emerged from single studies unique to a particular population, which wouldbe difficult to replicate in many schools without the resources to provide for additionalhardware, training, and support. Diem argued that to make more meaningfulgeneralizations about technology use in the social studies, researchers needed to gobeyond these singular social studies constructs (p. 498) and take a more holistic

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44approach to describe what would benefit social studies teachers. Research on teacherswithout advanced technology skills or without a classroom full of computers may provemore effective at influencing instruction than descriptions of ideal situations.More recently, Whitworth and Berson (2003) examined the literature from 1996-2001 in the three major publications of the National Council for the Social Studies: SocialEducation, Social Studies and the Young Learner, and Theory and Research in SocialEducation, and articles from general education journals. The authors conducted a contentanalysis to bring out major themes in these articles. While software reviews andoverviews continued from previous years, articles highlighting Internet resources were byfar the most prevalent in these journals. The authors held that the use of the Internetadvocated in many of these articles was not promoting significant improvement for thesocial studies classroom, but continue[d] to serve the primary function of facilitatingstudents access to content and remain[ed] somewhat relegated to being an appendage totraditional classroom materials. If the goal of civic education is to be met in the socialstudies classroom, Whitworth and Berson concluded that there needs to be moreinnovation in the uses of classroom technology.Teacher EducationEven though the social studies and technology literature is lacking in a number ofareas, one subject that has received well-deserved attention is that of preservice teachereducation. Social studies educators are becoming increasingly aware of the concernsexpressed in national reports that beginning teachers are ill prepared to use technologyupon entering the classroom. Many college methods professors have begun to write abouttheir experiences integrating technology into their courses (Mason & Berson, 2000;White, 1997; Willis, 1997). Meyers (1999) added that social studies educators must

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45expose preservice teachers to technology in as many different settings as possible, andmust provide connections from the methods classroom to the practical setting (p. 117).If schools of education increasingly expose their students to technology in realisticsettings, Meyers and others contend that the initial transition into teaching will be muchsmoother.Keiper, Harwood and Larson (2000) examined preservice teachers perceptions ofbenefits and obstacles facing them as they attempted to learn about integratingtechnology into their instruction. Eighty-eight percent of the participants in this studyindicated that data collection was the most perceived benefit of technology use, followedby students acquisition of technology skills, the use of dynamic sounds and images, andas a communication tool. Among the barriers expressed by these preservice teachers,accessibility was the biggest concern, followed by dealing with students of differingability levels, dependability of machinery, and supervision of students. The authorsconcluded that as these preservice teachers begin their professional careers, they willneed to effectively weigh the benefits and obstacles of computer use (p. 578) and decidethe best ways to integrate technology into their teaching.Studies of Practicing Social Studies TeachersAlthough many studies have emerged in recent years on preservice teachereducation, research describing how practicing social studies teachers are usingtechnology in their instruction is deficient. Much of what is known about social studiesteachers is through survey data, and even these studies are not representative of thecurrent state of instruction. Northrup and Rooze (1990) surveyed nearly 500 NationalCouncil for the Social Studies members to ascertain computer availability and utilization.While 84% of respondents had access to computers, the uses for classroom instruction

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46were limited. Word processing, simulations, and drill and practice software made up over70% of the computer programs utilized. Teachers also showed a strong desire for moretechnology training, especially in software related to the social studies. Since 1990, mostof the survey data on teachers has emerged from larger studies of technology users(Becker, Ravitz, & Wong, 1999) and has not specifically focused on characteristicsunique to social studies teachers.Descriptive studies of how social studies teachers are using technology in theirclassrooms are limited and generally have focused on specific technology applications. Intheir study of San Francisco area high schools, Cuban, Kirkpatrick, and Peck (2001)described a novice social studies teacher who had used digital video to have studentsdebate the question: does democracy really exist? This teacher argued that while thislesson could have been taught without technology, its use enabled more students toparticipate in the classroom discussion. He added that for active learners, in particular,this use of technology brings them into the class, and allows their ideas to be viewed andvalued (p. 824). Milson (2002) concentrated on a sixth grade teacher (Pam) in a typicaltechnology environment to investigate how she conducted inquiry through an approachknown as the WebQuest (see below). Although the findings from the study apply more tostudents than teachers, Milson still emphasized the role that Pam had in directing studentsthrough an Ancient Egypt WebQuest and in helping them gather information withoutproviding it for them. While studies such as these are useful for examining how socialstudies teachers are currently using technology in their classrooms, they still provide onlya glimpse at what is currently taking place in the field, and more case studies focusing onthis issue would provide needed insight.

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47Areas of PromiseIn an address to members of the National Council for the Social Studies, Becker,Ravitz, and Prenovost (1998) discussed strategies that social studies teachers might use ifthey wanted to become more constructivist in their approach to instruction. Some of theapproaches suggested by these presenters included simulations, databases, web authoring,and PowerPoint presentations. While these types of activities are still relatively untestedby social studies teachers, some exciting new avenues for technology use in the fieldhave garnered attention in the literature.As mentioned above, one powerful approach to using technology in the socialstudies is an inquiry activity known as the WebQuest. Dodge (1995) described thisapproach, which he helped to create at San Diego State University, as an inquiry-orientedactivity in which some or all of the information that learners interact with comes fromresources on the Internet. Students participating in WebQuests usually workcollaboratively to accomplish an authentic task and are challenged to extend theirthinking in the process. WebQuests usually have a specific content-area focus, and socialstudies activities are well represented on Dodges WebQuest page. Milson and Downey(2001) described the implementation of a WebQuest on Ancient Egypt and suggested anumber of reasons why it was a valuable activity for the social studies classroom. Theauthors contended that the WebQuest helped to structure data collection for students,aided the teacher who had limited computer resources, and benefited students whoenjoyed working in small groups.Another area of potential for social studies teachers wishing to use technology iswith handheld computers. Whitworth, Swan, and Berson (2002) discussed the promisethat Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) had in the classroom for writing, research,

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48organization, and assessment. More directly related to social studies, the authors pointedout that with individual handheld computers, students could analyze primary sources suchas those available through the Smithsonian Institution, Virginia Center for DigitalHistory, or Holocaust Cybrary. While most of these handheld computers operate onlywith text at this time, the authors believed that the technology will soon advance to thepoint that it will be possible for digital images, maps, and movies to be readily availablefor students, and that teachers needed to be ready to use this new technology.SummaryThis section has attempted to explore the literature related to exemplary socialstudies teachers technology use. To articulate the main terms within the primary researchquestion, this section began with an exploration of exemplary teaching and technology.Stanleys (1991) analysis of teacher competence provided a strong framework fromwhich to view accomplished practice. Both the teacher effectiveness model (e.g. Good &Brophy, 1994; Porter & Brophy, 1988) and the program of subject matter knowledge(Shulman, 1986) have provided needed insight into exemplary teaching. While most ofthe research on technology has dealt with computers, a broader definition of technologyhelped to emphasize some of the innovative activities that the exemplary teachers in thepresent study are incorporating in their classrooms.After clarification of these terms, the first major area investigated was whatteachers believe about instruction, social studies, and technology. The research showsthat beliefs are a powerful indicator of classroom practice, and while most of the researchin this area has consisted of surveys and questionnaires, case studies (Brophy &VanSledright, 1993; Windschitl & Sahl, 2002; Wineburg & Wilson, 1991) have addedmuch to the knowledge about how beliefs influence practice. The second area focused on

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49three components of teacher learning: structured staff development, learning fromcolleagues, and independent learning. While most of the research indicates that teacherswould benefit from sustained training and collaboration with colleagues, the reality is thatmuch of what teachers learn about technology takes place on an individual basis(Smerdon et al., 2000). The third area of the literature considered both facilitators andbarriers for teachers attempting to use technology in the classroom. Factors thatencouraged technology use included access in both classroom and lab settings, support inimplementing technology in the classroom, and belief in the positive impact technologycould have on student learning. Barriers to technology use also included access andsupport, but time was of the utmost concern for teachers. Even though access and supportare improving for many teachers, Cuban (2001) showed that this improvement still doesnot guarantee that teachers will actually use the technology available to them inmeaningful ways. The final section looked at the research related to social studies andtechnology and some of the innovative ideas that social studies teachers are beginning toimplement in the classroom.

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50CHAPTER 3METHODS AND METHODOLOGYQualitative ResearchBecause of a desire to investigate exemplary social studies teachers use oftechnology in a natural setting and explore the classroom culture surrounding its use, Ichose to undertake the present study using a qualitative research paradigm. According toSherman and Webb (1990), qualitative research describes experiences that are lived,felt, or undergone (p. 7). To portray these experiences in as thorough and real amanner as possible, the qualitative researcher attempts to describe the entirety of thesituation in its natural setting. Context is essential in understanding the experiences ofparticipants and cannot be removed from analysis.Whereas in quantitative research surveys, questionnaires, or other measurementtools are used to discover findings, the qualitative researcher is the primary instrument ofdata collection and analysis. S/he attempts to interact with participants in order to findmeaning in the data and becomes thoroughly involved in all aspects of the learningenvironment. Bogdan and Biklen (1992) argue that this search for meaning is essentialfor qualitative researchers, and that the process of interacting with study participants ismuch more important than simply looking at outcomes.Merriam (2001) states that while the human element of qualitative research canlead to error, it also allows greater opportunity to interact with information in a way thatmay be omitted otherwise. She notes that with the qualitative researcher, mistakes aremade, opportunities missed, personal biases interfere, and that it takes a certain type of

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51individual to undertake this type of research. Merriam focuses on three characteristicsthat she believes make an effective qualitative researcher. She holds that the investigatorneeds to be open to encountering ambiguous situations, sensitive to all aspects of thesetting and context of the study, and able to communicate, both in asking probingquestions and in listening to participant responses. All of these characteristics played acritical role in the investigation of these exemplary teachers.I encountered a number of ambiguous situations that required me to be flexiblethroughout the study. One of the challenges was to concentrate on these teachers insettings that were not always conducive to technology use. Participants would sometimesgo to great lengths to use technology in their classes for one lesson, but not use it in othersituations that in my mind would have been ideal for its implementation.I also had to remain perceptive of the setting and context in which each of theseteachers conducted their daily instruction. Familiarity with two of the three schoolsprovided some insight on the teachers instruction, but I still learned a great deal on eachsuccessive observation. Because most of the present study took place in the latter part ofthe school year, more disruptions faced teachers than at other times of the year.Preparation for the states year-end assessment test took away from much of theinstructional time given to social studies, and computer labs were often unavailable forpurposes other than students training for this test. Therefore, the teachers felt pressure toget through more material at the end of the school year.Finally, communication played a much greater role than I anticipated in the study.Interviews constituted a crucial part of the data collection process and illuminated what Iobserved in the classrooms. Merriam (2001) emphasizes the importance of researchers

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52being good listeners and hearing not only what is expressed, but also what is notexplicitly stated but only implied (p. 23). As the study progressed, I developed a goodrapport with each of the teachers and was able to uncover deeper meaning in a number oftheir comments. In addition to challenges faced in the interview process, it wassometimes difficult coordinating observations with participants because of field trips,jury duty, a house move, and generally hectic end-of-year schedules. E-mailcommunication was not always sufficient, and visits to the schools were sometimesnecessary to confirm plans with participants. On several occasions, teachers would tellme that they would be teaching about one subject, and when I arrived, students would beworking on a much different topic. Despite my frustration at the number of changes inplans, the process reminded me of the flexibility needed to be a classroom teacher.Merriam (2001) holds that these characteristicsopenness to encounteringambiguous situations, sensitivity to all aspects of the setting and context of the study, andan ability to communicatewhile important for qualitative researchers, are not skills thatcan be learned easily or acquired by taking a university course. Certain personality traitsmay be preferable, but the primary means by which qualitative researchers become moreskilled is through experience. I had some experience with qualitative research before thisinquiry, but still received a great deal of guidance in this process. While I could haveundertaken another type of study using a quantitative methodology, a desire to studyexemplary social studies teachers in a natural setting lead me to a qualitative case studyresearch design.Case StudyBased on the questions posed, the desire to investigate the process that theseteachers underwent when using technology, and the unique role of the researcher in

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53qualitative studies, I concluded that a case study approach was the most appropriatemethodology to employ. One unique aspect of the case study approach is the type ofresearch questions that are asked. Yin (1994) asserts that how and why questions arebest suited for case study research, but that what (p. 6) questions that are exploratory innature are well suited to this approach as well. Both the main research question and theguiding questions outlined in the present study are the types of questions that Yin andothers describe as best answered with a case study methodology. Since the present studyis situated in real classrooms, a case study approach provides the opportunity to describethe practices of exemplary social studies teachers with technology and examine therationale behind many of their classroom decisions.Merriam (2001) affirms that case study is the most suitable approach to use whenthe study in question involves a process. The process that Merriam describes has twoimportant facets: First, it describes, monitors, and puts the study in its proper context;second, it helps to analyze and interpret the issues in question. Chapters 4, 5, and 6 of thisdissertation provide the context that Merriam suggests, and Chapters 7 and 8 help bringthe relevant findings and issues to the surface.In qualitative research, and with case studies in particular, the role of the researcheris complex, and inextricably woven into the overall fabric of the case itself. Stake (1995)emphasizes the unique roles that the researcher undertakes when conducting a case study:researcher as teacher, advocate, evaluator, biographer, theorist, and interpreter. While thecase study researcher may feel pulled in many different directions by these distinctiveroles, this dynamic also allows the investigator to have a richer understanding of allaspects of the case in question. Throughout the present study, I developed strong

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54relationships with each of these social studies teachers, and with this report haveattempted to shed greater understanding on their use of technology.Investigator BiasStake (1995) emphasized the unique roles that the researcher undertakes whenconducting a case study. One of the roles is that of researcher as advocate; theinvestigator describes the present situation and does his or her dead level best toconvince the readers that they too should believe what the researchers have come tobelieve (p. 93). While some critics argue that researchers should attempt to remainneutral, Stake argued that qualitative research necessitates a close relationship betweenthe investigator and his or her data, and neutrality is not possible or advisable. Heconcluded that it is better to give the reader a good look at the researcher (p. 95) ratherthan attempting to conceal beliefs and opinions.In regard to technology, the debate over its implementation is rarely neutral and hasits strong supporters and ardent opponents. Among those who advocate the use oftechnology, the belief that it is inherently positive, no matter what the situation, is afrequently used argument. Rogers (1995) described this approach to technologicaladvancements as sometimes dangerous and warned of a pro-innovation bias. Hedescribed this stance as the belief that an innovation should be diffused and adopted byall members of a social system (p. 100). He argued that overlooking this bias in researchcould lead the investigator to overlook potential shortcomings of the innovation inquestion.While I conducted the present study, I tried to be an advocate for technology use inthe social studies classroom, but at the same time, be aware of a possible pro-innovationbias. I attempted to convey the idea that technology is only a tool that can support

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55teachers and not a panacea that will solve all of educations problems. This sentiment wasshared by each of the three teachers in the study. However, I also sought to acknowledgemy own beliefs about the positive results that can emerge from technology use in theclassroom. Through classroom teaching and university experiences, I believe that I amqualified to discuss the benefits that technology can bring to the social studies classroom.While by no means an expert technology user myself, I did make numerousattempts to incorporate everything from video clips to virtual tours to e-mailing the SouthPole during my seven years of secondary teaching. With a specialization in technology inmy doctoral program, I have taken a number of classes and engaged in other researchstudies that have explored the impact that technology can have on the social studiesclassroom. My most meaningful experience with technology in my university educationwas the opportunity to teach a masters level class to future secondary social studiesteachers entitled Integrating Technology into the Social Studies Classroom. In additionto learning a number of technical skills and competencies, students critically examined anumber of technology applications and questioned their appropriateness for the socialstudies classroom. This critical approach to studying technology helped me to examinemy own beliefs about technology and whether or not it is appropriate for the socialstudies classroom.Berson, Lee, and Stuckart (2001) contended that despite the promise that has beenput forth by proponents of technology, its impact on social studies education has beenlimited. The authors assert:Whether blame rests with the lack of teacher preparedness, failure to seamlesslyintegrate technology into instruction, insufficient access to computers, or onlypartial realization of the potential of the hardware and the software to enhance the

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56content, the efficacy of technology for transformation of schools remainsunrealized. (p. 222)As I observed these teachers and examined their reactions to technology, I endeavored tofind a balance between the positive outcomes of using technology in the classroom andthe formidable obstacles that can restrict its use. As a proponent of technology, I wouldhave found it easy to impose my opinions on these exemplary teachers, and, in fact, eachteacher asked me my opinions on technology use at various times during the study.However, I tried to remain aware of my biases towards technology at all points in theinquiry and not let these ideas negatively interfere with how I conducted the study.AccessBefore I began any data collection, I had to gain access to the subjects and thesettings used in the study. Since I had already worked with two of the teachers, I wasfamiliar with their classrooms; but I knew that the present study would be more intensivethan previous investigations, and I needed to be clear about expectations. I talkedinformally to each of the teachers in January 2002 and each expressed an interest inparticipating in the study. After obtaining permission from the university to conductresearch in late February 2002, I received informed consent (see Appendix A) from thethree participants and authorization from the three schools to conduct research. I beganobserving these teachers in April 2002 and completed my investigation in October 2002(See Appendix B for a list of important dates in the study). While I would have preferredto complete data collection in a single school year, each of these teachers had studentinterns from January until March of 2002, and the two months at the end of the schoolyear proved to be insufficient to complete the necessary investigation.

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57ParticipantsThree teachers, who for a number of reasons can be considered exemplary, werechosen for examination in the present study. Patton (2002) and others have described theapproach of identifying these teachers as purposeful sampling. The power of this type ofsampling comes not from having a representative sample that can be related to thepopulation at large, but from the information-rich cases (p. 230) that each of theseparticipants can provide to the study. Patton goes on to describe various types ofpurposeful samples, and the present study fits most closely within his description ofextreme and deviant (p. 230) samples. In searching for study participants, I was notlooking for extreme cases to compare, but rather sought to find rich examples ofoutstanding social studies teachers.Researchers in this area (e.g. Brophy, 1992; VanSledright, 1997; Wineburg andWilson, 1991) have identified a number of traits that characterize exemplary socialstudies teachers. Among the characteristics most often attributed to outstanding teachersare a passion for subject matter, an emphasis on in-depth content coverage, a thoroughsubject matter knowledge, and an ability to express this content knowledge in such a waythat subject matter is engaging for students. The teachers in the present study exemplifythese characteristics.Each has won awards related to teaching, one has National Board Certification, andeach has served his or her school in capacities well beyond the classroom. Universityfaculty have identified these teachers as outstanding mentors, and all have served assupervisors of preservice social studies interns. Though their individual school situationsand school populations differed, each teacher clearly valued student learning andencouraged high quality work. These teachers evidenced a depth of knowledge of their

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58content and viewed social studies as essential for their students education. Furthermore,although each teacher infused technology into his or her instruction, none could beconsidered technology experts.Below are brief biographical sketches of each of the participants with reference tobackground, teaching assignments, classrooms, and technology conditions. The namesare pseudonyms. More detailed descriptions follow in Chapters 4, 5, and 6.Mr. ClaytonMr. Clayton did not always envision a career in education, but with a number offamily members, including his father, already in education, becoming a teacher wasalways a possibility. After a brief look at engineering as a possible career, Mr. Claytonbecame a political science major. He also had minors in history and secondary education.After earning a masters degree in social studies education, he taught for three years at alarge high school working with eleventh and twelfth graders in American history andAmerican government and politics. At the same time, he began taking courses towards aPh.D. in Educational Leadership, despite being two to three hours from the universitywhere he took classes.With a desire to be closer to the university, Mr. Clayton began teaching ninth gradecivics at a laboratory school where he has now been for five years. He has been active atthe school, serving as a faculty coordinator, committee head, and coach. He has beennamed Teacher of the Year at his school. As part of his civics course, he also initiated aservice-learning project to get his students to investigate local issues and a tolerancementor program that brought high school and elementary school classes together for tenweeks to promote cooperation among students. Despite a strong desire to remain in the

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59classroom, when the opportunity arrived to become an assistant principal at his school, heaccepted the offer and began his new duties in the fall of 2002.Mr. Clayton had a computer class in his masters program, but has not had anysystematic training with technology since that course. During his first teachingassignment, he served on a district committee on Instructional Technology andAssessment and helped the district determine how to spent grant money. Early in hiscareer, he used video clips, word processing, and music as his major technologyactivities, and in his current placement, he leads students through WebQuests, Internetsearches, and simulation activities. He gives himself a B for his current use of technologyand adds, Im not among the best for sure, but I do probably make more attempts thanmost to incorporate it into my lessons (Clayton, Interview, 4/24/02).I first came into contact with Mr. Clayton when I observed one of his studentteachers and discovered that we had a mutual interest in incorporating current events andissues into the social studies classroom. This shared interest led to a classroominvestigation of student interaction with current issues and technology. I felt that hisability to motivate students and his desire to learn more about technology would makehim a strong participant in the present study.Ms. HartWhile Mr. Clayton was not always sure that he wanted to pursue education as acareer, Ms. Hart had thought about being a teacher most of her life. After earning anundergraduate degree in economics, she completed her masters degree in social studieseducation during a fifth-year program at the same university. She taught two years at anestablished middle school before transferring to a new middle school in the same district.At the new school, she assumed the role of team leader and became fully involved in the

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60life of the school, serving as the chairperson of several key committees and earningseveral grants on behalf of the school. In addition to her middle school commitments, shewas working towards a Ph.D. in social studies education and teaching classes at the localuniversity. She has received numerous awards for her teaching ability and has also earnedNational Board Certification.Ms. Harts teaching assignment during most of the present study consisted of twoclasses of eighth grade American history and one class of sixth grade world cultures. Inthese classes she taught students with a wide range of abilities on a daily basis. Becauseof an emphasis on math and language arts at the school, social studies and science wereone-semester courses, and she received a brand new group of students halfway throughthe year. Despite having to cover a huge amount of material in just four months, sheembraced this challenge and clearly worked hard to make a difference in the lives of herstudents in the short time she taught them. In fall of 2002 Ms. Hart assumed a newassignment teaching in an integrated sixth grade science and social studies program.Among the three teachers in the study, Ms. Hart had the most formal and the mostrecent training with technology. She took a technology course in her masters studies nineyears ago and also had several courses on integrating technology through her doctoralprogram. As a team leader, she spent a great deal of time on the computer organizing andplanning team activities. During time away from school, she tried to search Internet sitesfor primary sources and pictures that would assist her in her instruction. Among thetechnologies she used in her classroom were slide shows, music, Internet searches, andWebQuests. She was positive about the amount of technology she used for instruction,but indicated that she would like to do even more.

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61Although I had not had the opportunity to work with Ms. Hart or her students onprevious studies, I knew her briefly from the university and was aware of her reputationas an outstanding teacher. Based on a number of inquiries that I made around theuniversity and the district, this reputation was confirmed. When first contacted aboutcontributing to the study, she was enthusiastic about the benefits of reflecting on her ownteaching and was eager to participate.Mr. RobbinsMr. Robbins was the most experienced of the teachers, with thirteen years spent inthe public schools. His academic background was primarily in history with a B.A. in thesubject, and he earned advance degrees in social studies education. After eight years ofteaching, he took a ten-year hiatus from teaching and served as president and generalmanager of a small business. The attraction of public school teaching remained strong,however, and he chose to return to the classroom as a middle school social studiesteacher.During the present study, Mr. Robbins taught three classes of eighth gradeAmerican history to gifted and talented students in a magnet school setting. With classsizes of 18-25, he was able to get to know all of his students well and had a strong rapportwith them. His enthusiasm for teaching was apparent, and he was quick to boast that hehad the best teaching job in the county (Robbins, Interview, 4/26/02). Overall, Mr.Robbins highly visual, interactive classroom atmosphere was extremely positive, andstudent responses indicated that this was a class that they enjoyed attending.In terms of technology, Mr. Robbins jokingly referred to himself as a dinosaur(Clayton, Interview, 5/8/02), but he had a good deal of experience with computers andother innovations. He bought his first computer, an Apple Macintosh, after seeing a

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62commercial in the 1984 Super Bowl and continued to be an Apple user at home. Hereceived additional training with technology during his doctoral program andcollaborated on several research articles related to computers in the social studiesclassroom. When I began the study, he had just received two new iMac computers, andhe acquired three additional machines during the course of the study. The classroom alsocontained an overhead projector, mounted television, and CD player. Some of thetechnology-based activities he used in his teaching included video clips, slide shows,primary source investigation, and simulations. Despite his dinosaur comment, heconsidered himself somewhere between average and savvy in terms of his technologyuse.I worked previously with Mr. Robbins on a study related to technology andhistorical understanding, and we had developed a good working relationship as a result.Even though his school was well equipped in terms of technology, I knew that he wascritical about its use in his classroom. With more teaching experience than both Mr.Clayton and Ms. Hart, his perspective helped to balance the ideas of the other teachers.SettingsI conducted the present study in three schools in a medium-sized southern schooldistrict: two 6-8 middle schools and one K-12 laboratory school. Each school hasleadership that encourages the acquisition of more hardware, and in some areas theseefforts have been successful. The technology available in these schools would beconsidered fairly typical for the region and for the nation as a whole.GrangerGranger (Mr. Claytons school) is a laboratory school affiliated with a localuniversity. This K-12 institution serves students from all parts of the county, and parents

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63are responsible for transporting their children to and from the school. Demographically,the school attempts to reflect the race, gender, and socioeconomic characteristics of thecounty and state as a whole. Mr. Claytons classes are non-tracked and reflect theschools mission for serving a diverse student population. The campus is the oldestamong the three school settings, but the buildings have been fairly well maintained.Granger is fairly well equipped in terms of technology. Both of the classrooms inwhich Mr. Clayton teaches contain eight networked computers stationed on one side ofthe classroom. In the mid 1990s, the school received a grant that allowed for theconstruction of a technology lab that would assist in the integration of technology in thesciences, but would be available for other subject areas as well. The lab is state-of-the-artwith thirty-two networked iMac computers and contains a master destination unit that theinstructor can use to display information to classes and control student computers. Themajor difficulty for teachers desiring to use this lab is that, because of overcrowding atthe school, some classes must use the lab as their regular classroom.The current head of the school is generally supportive of teachers using technologyand assists in the acquisition of new equipment for the school. Outside of the technologylab, teachers at the school gain access to a portable destinations unit with a DVD player, aroom suitable for videoconferencing, a wireless network, and a portable cart with laptopcomputers. Even though this equipment was acquired for instruction, Mr. Claytonbelieved that few teachers had taken advantage of the technology available to them.ChanceChance (Ms. Harts school) is a fairly new middle school in its sixth year ofoperation. It is located in a section of the county experiencing rapid growth; itspopulation includes children from a wide socioeconomic range. In contrast to Grangers

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64space constraints, Chance has a sprawling campus and courtyard that separate sixth,seventh, eighth, and exploratory wings. In addition to housing classrooms, each buildinghas a teacher planning area and computer lab. Because students remain in their wingsmost of the day, the chaos that often accompanies class changes is not as apparent atChance as in some other middle schools.Technology at Chance is adequate in some areas, but lacking in others. When theschool opened six years ago, the school received a number of computers from localbusinesses, but many were already up to five years old. Since that time, hardware andsoftware acquisition has been limited, and many machines are incompatible with moderncomputer networks. While the schools labs are frequently used, a variety of computerbrands makes maintenance of each lab difficult for all involved. Most teachers haveindividual classroom computers, but these computers, including the one in Ms. Hartsroom, are used primarily for record keeping and test preparation, and are not adequate forstudent use.AlexanderAlexander (Mr. Robbins school) is a middle school that houses a county magnetprogram for technology and gifted studies. The school is situated in the middle of anestablished working-class neighborhood, and buildings are tightly contained within theschool grounds. Like many other middle schools, it is stirring with activity, and the giftedprogram exemplifies this characteristic. Students are involved in school activities such asband, chorus, and clubs, and frequent field trips enhance these programs. During my timethere, students participated in several workshops and traveled on field trips to a localCivil War battlefield and to a Renaissance festival.

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65Even though it has been classified as a magnet for technology, Alexander is notunlike other area schools in terms of technology availability and access. Sixth gradestudents are required to complete a technology class as part of their program, but otherthan that experience, they have limited exposure to technology in the remainder of theirmiddle school experience. The three computer labs in the school are extremely popular,and teachers sign up well ahead of time for week-long activities. While they are used fora variety of purposes, standardized test preparation is their primary focus. In individualclassrooms, one computer reserved for the teacher is the norm. Mr. Robbins functionedwith one computer for several years, but with the support of the Parent TeacherAssociation, he was promised five brand new iMac computers for student use. While twonew machines did arrive during the school year, the other computers had not arrived bythe time I completed my classroom observations.Data CollectionMerriam (2001) described three techniques that are crucial to collecting data duringa case study: document analysis, observations, and interviews. I used all three techniquesto corroborate and triangulate information gained from this process.DocumentsMerriam (2001) described documents as a wide range of written, visual, andphysical material relevant to the study at hand (p. 112). Other qualitative researchershave referred to these types of items as artifacts, records, or physical materials. In thecourse of the present study, I analyzed a number of documents, most of which wereprovided by the teachers themselves. Items in this category included lesson plans (seeAppendix C), student assignments, classroom activities, handouts, readings, quizzes,course syllabi, and examples of exemplary student work. While I did on occasion ask for

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66these documents, the teachers often gave me these items without a specific request. Twoother items were also significant in this category. Each participant supplied a professionalvita that described education, work experience, awards, and other professionalexperiences. These documents provided evidence of the accomplishments of theseexemplary teachers, guided interview questions, and shaped the biographical sketch ofeach participant.ObservationsI spent approximately fifteen hours in each teachers room in the course ofinformal observations. During these visits, I attempted to get a feel of how theseteachers conducted their classrooms and examined how their teaching philosophy playedout on a daily basis. During each observation, I took notes on the structure andorganization of the classroom, what the teacher was doing, and what the students weredoing. I later put these notes into narrative form and used them to help build abiographical sketch of each teacher and to assist in data analysis.In addition to these classroom visits, I made two key observations (about twohours each) in which I saw these teachers use technology in the course of their lesson andtook extensive field notes. According to Bogdan and Biklen (1992), field notes arecritical to participant observation studies. They contend that in order for the study to besuccessful these records should be detailed, accurate, and extensive (p. 107). With eachof these lessons, I wrote ten to fifteen pages describing as much as I could about theclass, focusing on the role of the teacher in directing or facilitating technology use. I alsoincluded in the field notes observers comments that attempted to deal with thoughts,ideas, patterns, or guesses I had regarding the lesson and the study as a whole. Whilemany of these comments proved to be unrelated to the studys key questions, others

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67provided significant insight and guidance during the data analysis phase of the study (SeeAppendix D for a representative sample). Combining the informal and key observations, Ispent approximately twenty hours of observation in each teachers classroom, or sixtyhours total for the inquiry.InterviewsProbably the most valuable component of the data collection for the present studywas the interview. In describing the importance of interviewing for qualitative research,Seidman (1991) argued that interviewing is a powerful way to gain insight intoeducational issues through understanding the experience of the individuals whose livesconstitute education (p. 7). With this sentiment at the heart of the present study, Iconducted the following interviews with each exemplary teacher:! A background interview to obtain general information about teaching. A background interview to obtain information about technology. (See Appendix E for background interview questions)! A pre-observation interview before a key observation using technology. A post-observation interview after a key observation using technology. (See Appendix F for observation questions)The first three interviews were semi-structured to guarantee that questions related to eachof the four guiding concepts were addressed. I did have a few guiding questions after thetwo key observations, but much of the content for these interviews came directly from thesubstance of the lesson itself.In addition, I interviewed the participants on several other occasions whenimportant issues that related directly to the study arose. For example, Mr. Robbins had aguest speakersomeone who provided computer advice in the local newspaperaddresshis classes about such issues as file sharing, copyright, computer viruses, and junk

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68e-mails. After this presentation, I had a brief conversation with Mr. Robbins about histhoughts on the speaker and any impact it may have had on his students.Interviews varied in length from about ten minutes to just over an hour. Overall, Iconducted four to five hours of interviews with each participant for about fifteen hours oftotal conversation. I used the Nomad II digital audio player and the Olympusmicrocassette recorder to tape interviews and transcribe them verbatim into a workableform. However, I learned a valuable lesson regarding technology in this process when Iaccidentally erased two of my interviews as I was transferring them to the hard drive ofmy computer. For the remainder of the study, I used both recorders simultaneouslyduring the interviews. After the interviews were transcribed, I erased the tapes to protectthe identity of each participant.Data AnalysisNumerous qualitative researchers (Bogdan & Biklen, 1992; Merriam, 2001; Stake,1995) have noted that data analysis should not be conducted as a separate stage of astudy, but should be treated as a crucial component that constantly guides inquiry. Yin(1994) described data analysis as the process of examining, categorizing, tabulating, orotherwise recombining the evidence to address the initial propositions of a study (p.102). From the moment that I began to think about the investigation of exemplary socialstudies teachers and their use of technology, I developed constructs and correspondingquestions that would guide me through the study. As I crafted interview questions andconducted background interviews, I began to note similarities in the beliefs and actions ofthese teachers and attempted to dig deeper into the evidence. Observers comments(Bogdan & Biklen, 1992) also proved to be valuable as I conducted observations andexpressed some initial views about how these teachers used technology in their teaching.

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69Before I reached the formal data analysis stage of the study, I had already framedtentative reactions to my research questions and created some initial categories ofinterest, and these steadily grew as the study progressed.For the more intensive portion of data analysis, I based my inquiry on the fourforms of analysis and interpretation suggested by Stake (1995), who held that analysiswas a matter of giving meaning to first impressions as well as final compilations (p.71). Through categorical aggregation, I was able to find multiple examples of some ofthe factors influencing these exemplary teachers as they used technology. I based some ofthese categories (e.g. beliefs about social studies, staff development, barriers totechnology use) on the major constructs for the study, but as I reviewed interviewtranscripts, observation field notes, and relevant documents, I was able to developadditional codes and categories that guided this level of analysis.I also used specific instances from the data to investigate significant events inwhich direct interpretation of the situation is appropriate. Stake (1995) argued that mostof the time spent in case study analysis should be on this step, rather than focusing toomuch on the categorical data acquired in the first step of analysis. One significantexample of this type of interpretation emerged from Ms. Harts experience (to be furtherdescribed in Chapter 5) in which two student technology aides attempted to repair heronly computer. This machine was constantly malfunctioning, and by the end of the studyit was removed from the classroom. This event helped to shed light on Ms. Harts beliefsabout technology, and how she dealt with some of the barriers restricting her technologyuse.

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70As I continued to read through relevant data, I searched for correspondence andpatterns based on categories developed in the beginning of the analysis. As with theinitial categories, I already had an idea of some of the patterns, but others emerged fromthe data. To organize and manage the large amount of information that surfaced in thisanalysis, I constructed a cross-teacher matrix with examples of conceptual issues from allthree exemplary teachers. Strauss and Corbin (1990) encouraged the use of thisconditional matrix to help organize information and to bring out patterns that may nothave otherwise appeared.As his final category of analysis, Stake described his idea of naturalisticgeneralizations that would help the reader better understand the study in question. WhileStakes first three categories are within the control of the researcher, this final area ofanalysis is less concrete. Stake identified naturalistic generalizations as conclusionsarrived at through personal engagement in lifes affairs or by vicarious experiences sowell constructed that the person feels as if it happened to himself (p. 85). To make theseaccounts more personal, Stake contended that an emphasis on time, place, and personare the most important steps in the final narrative. Through naturalistic generalizations, Iam hoping that the readers will connect what they have learned in reading my study totheir own personal experiences. I have tried to present descriptions of these teachers thatare full, accurate, and interesting, and that resonate with the reader on many levels. Ianticipate that the present study will be of interest to social studies teachers, social studieseducators, administrators, and others who have an interest in how technology can be usedin the social studies classroom. With these groups in mind, I include an Implications

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71section in Chapter 8 that attempts to help the reader draw connections and makegeneralizations.In addition to the four steps advocated by Stake, Creswell (1998) added descriptionas another crucial stage in the analysis of qualitative data. He held that before analyzingthe data in a formal way, the researcher should attempt to put together a narrative thatwill help to establish the context of the study. This narrative could be as formal orinformal as the researcher feels is necessary, but should contain as many details aspossible that shed light on the story. Earlier in this chapter, I provided a thoroughbackground of the school settings and brief sketches of these exemplary teachers. Thesedescriptions were crafted to help the reader understand how these teachers use technologyand to provide an early portrait of three unique individuals in their natural schoolenvironments. Chapters 4, 5, and 6 build on these initial sketches and provide a morecomplete picture of the complex nature of these teachers use of technology.MetaphorLakoff and Johnson (1980) argue that the use of metaphor is much more thansimply a matter of language and is part of our everyday lives. They add that metaphor isan open-ended (p. 115) concept that can have different meanings for different people.Patton (1990) believes that in qualitative research metaphors can be powerful andeffective ways to communicate findings. In the present study, I developed metaphors todescribe each of the exemplary teachersMr. Clayton the model citizen, Ms. Hart theconnector, and Mr. Robbins the storyteller. In this metaphor development, Patton (1990)contends, "It is important to make sure that the metaphor serves the data and not viceversa" (p. 402). These descriptions emerged after all of the data had been collected and Iwas beginning the more intensive portion of data analysis. Mr. Robbins portrayal as a

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72storyteller was the first to emerge and, after several variations, metaphors for Ms. Hartand Mr. Clayton were chosen.CredibilityIt was imperative that the findings from the present study be rigorous andappropriate within the qualitative paradigm. Patton (2002) presented five sets of criteriafor evaluating the worthiness of qualitative data: traditional scientific, social constructionand constructivist, artistic and evocative, critical change, and evaluation standards andprinciples. While the present study shows elements of a number of these groups, it fitsmost closely within the social construction and constructivist criteria. Within thisapproach, the researcher recognizes the biases inherent in this type of research and ismore interested in triangulation and particularity than finding internal and externalvalidity. Patton argued that three criteria are necessary for the credibility of qualitativedata: rigorous methods, credibility of the researcher, and a belief in the value ofqualitative inquiry. In the course of the present study, these three elements were criticalfor ensuring that the inquiry would be conducted in a careful and thorough manner.A key component in ensuring that qualitative methods are rigorous is the attentionpaid to numerous forms of triangulation. Patton (2002) found that triangulation was muchmore successful than any single method and provided more grist for the research mill(p. 555-6). By comparing data from observations, interviews, and other data sources, Isought to find similarities in the data and tried to determine why differences in thefindings might have existed. Another form of triangulation Patton detailed was looking atdata over time. In the interviews I conducted later in the study, I asked questions similarto those I asked at the beginning of the study and compared similarities and differences in

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73responses. A third form of triangulation Patton described was review by the researchparticipants or member checks.As I constructed the stories told in Chapters 4, 5 and 6 of the dissertation, I sharednarratives with the participants to ensure that the accounts I created were fair, complete,and as accurate as possible. Once these sections were completed in April 2003, I providedMr. Clayton, Ms. Hart, and Mr. Robbins with copies of their individual chapters andreceived feedback from each participant. All agreed that their portrayals were appropriateand provided additional information to strengthen my descriptions. Typical of thecomments received was a clarification by Ms. Hart that when Chance was built, thecomputers at the school were already used, and not brand new, as I had originallythought. Similarly, Mr. Clayton and Mr. Robbins confirmed that their portrayals wereaccurate and added key insights into access and support issues. Stake (1995) argued thatmember checks regularly provide[d] critical observations and interpretations (p. 115) tohis research and ultimately improved his analysis. Even though I did not receive a greatdeal of feedback from the participants, their input was still critical.The second criterion Patton (2002) placed on the credibility of data was thecredibility of the researcher. As a former teacher and a teacher educator, I believe that Ipresent a useful and reasonable perspective on exemplary social studies teachers and theclassrooms they lead. In addition, exposure to technology in my own teaching, atconferences, through research, and as part of my graduate studies has fostered my abilityto think critically about its use in the classroom. To form the narratives for each of theteachers, I had to spend a good deal of time in each teachers classroom, and thisprolonged engagement helped me to experience how these teachers used technology.

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74Finally, I kept a researchers journal to track my progress in completing this inquiry andto show my thought process from initial steps in formulating research questions, tocollecting and analyzing data, to completing the written report. (See Appendix G for arepresentative sample)The third criterion Patton (2002) used to determine the credibility of a qualitativestudy is an inherent belief in the value of this type of research. While I examined bothqualitative and quantitative data in the literature review, the nature of case studymethodology makes the qualitative paradigm more appropriate for the type of inquiry Iconducted. Stake (1995) argued that the decision to undertake a qualitative study is not asimple one, as humans are generally curious, and researchers have a special compulsionto inquire (p. 46). I came into the present study knowing that this type of research wastime consuming, complex, and often marginalized in education, but given what I wantedto know about these exemplary teachers and their use of technology, it was clear from thebeginning of the study what approach I would take.LimitationsIn their assessment of qualitative research, Marshall and Rossman (1999) noted thatthere is no such thing as a perfectly designed study (p. 42). This study is no exception.While I have noted above the steps I have taken to ensure its credibility, the present studycould have benefited from selected changes.First of all, I could have taken greater care to give more voice to the participants inthe study. While interviews definitely helped these teachers tell their stories, framing thepresent study within a case study methodology places boundaries on what participants arewilling and able to share. Second, because of limited time and resources, I was able tostudy only three exemplary social studies teachers. While studying more teachers would

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75have increased the internal validity of the study, this was not possible because ofconstraints with time and available resources. The third limitation of the study relates tothe time frame in which these teachers were studied. Coordinating my schedule alongwith these teachers schedules meant that most of the classroom observations andinterviews had to be conducted at the end of the school year. The remainder had to becompleted during the fall of the next year. I recognize that this separation may make eachteachers story somewhat disjointed, but I tried to tell these stories in such a way that thedivision would not be apparent.Exemplary TeachersIn-depth studies of exemplary teachers who are using technology in innovative yetrealistic ways may hold the key to a better understanding of how technology should bestbe applied in the classroom. As Feiman-Nemser and Floden (1986) noted in their chapteron The Cultures of Teaching:The practical wisdom of competent teachers remains a largely untapped source ofinsights for the improvement of teaching. Uncovering that knowledge is a majortask in research on the cultures of teaching and can lead to policies that build onwhat teachers know. (p. 505)While researchers have previously undertaken case studies of exemplary social studiesteachers (Grant, 1996; Thornton, 1988; Wineburg & Wilson, 1991), these studies havefocused more on what teachers know and believe than on what they are actually doing inthe classroom. By providing examples of good teachers who used technology in powerfulyet practical ways, I hoped to shed light on the type of wisdom that would be useful tosocial studies teachers and educators at all levels of experience and expertise withtechnology.

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76I mentioned in an earlier section the numerous awards and accolades that theseteachers received, but when I asked participants what made them outstanding teachers,they did not mention these awards. While each of the three teachers brought up uniquereasons for their success, such as organization, an interesting classroom atmosphere, apassion for public education, interest in subject matter, and a strong work ethic, what wasconstant in all of their responses was the relationship they had with their students. All ofthese teachers enjoyed working with young adolescents and felt that they related well tothis age group. This relationship was one in which the teachers modeled appropriatemethods of behavior and action, and the students usually responded with the same respectaccorded to them. Mr. Clayton effectively summed up the nature of this teacher/ studentconnection in his response to the question of what made him an exemplary teacher. Thisresponse also highlighted how these teachers saw their roles as social studies educators.He remarked:And I think what makes me a good teacher is that I value every kid for somereason, maybe not as a scholar, but as a future citizen. And I really try to think ofevery kid Ive ever taught as someone who is going to live next door to me and bemy neighbor because you know in a way, they all will be and Im really trying towork on things with them that make them more social and more effective in termsof being part of a larger whole, or working for a greater good. You know, again, itsounds kind of obvious and it sounds kind of corny, but Im trying to create moreeffective citizens, immediately and for the future. And I think what makes mesuccessful is that I try to model it through being a good citizen myself. (Clayton,Interview, 4/24/02)Typical SettingsIn an era when public school teachers are pulled in many directions by thepressures of standardized testing, parent demands, curricular concerns, student discipline,and numerous other competing interests, finding ways to bring technology into theclassroom is difficult at best. While some teachers have been blessed with the latest

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77computer equipment, the majority of American educators have had to make do withmachines and software that do not keep up with new innovations in technology. But asindicated in Chapter 2 of this dissertation, the technology literature does not focus onthese typical settings. Researchers have tended to focus on the more progressiveclassrooms and the more advanced teachers in terms of technology use, but seeing howteachers in common settings use technology may prove to be even more instructive,especially for teachers entering the profession.This sentiment was voiced in a report authored by the Presidents Committee ofAdvisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) that advocated more empirical studiesbased in typical settings. In their recommendations, the group (PCAST, 1997) contended:It is important that a substantial amount of research also be conducted underconditions more typical of actual classrooms without access to unusual financialor other resources, or to special outside support from university researchers. (p. 95)This panel wanted to ensure that technology was not studied in isolation just for the sakeof acquiring technical skills, but that it would focus on learning about technology withinthe K-12 curriculum. In finding appropriate settings, I was concerned that I find schoolsand social studies classrooms that used technology as part of their regular instruction, butin ways that went beyond word processing and drill and practice software.Defining what is typical in terms of technology in the classroom is a difficultventure, but state-compiled statistics provide a glimpse of what is taking place in thetypical classroom setting. In the state of Florida, where I conducted the present study,access to technology is a recurring issue in political and educational circles. Indetermining the most current state of affairs with technology, the number of students percomputer is often the most frequently cited statistic. Education Weeks TechnologyCounts report (2002) profiled all fifty states and showed that Florida had improved its

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78computer access for its students and was operating slightly better than the nationalaverage. Access to computers had improved from 4.2 students per instructional computerin 2000 to 3.6 in 2001. In terms of Internet-connected computers per student, the mostrecent figure in the state is 7.1. While statistics such as these do not show what studentsare actually doing on the computer, they are important for seeing trends in access andavailability.The Technology Counts state profile (2002) also mentioned that teachers desiringcertification had to document a hands-on activity using technology. According to Floridaschool officials, this requirement would ensure that more teachers integrate technologyinto instruction (Technology Counts 2002: Florida State Snapshot). The report alsohighlighted one unique program in the state, the Florida Virtual High School, whichserved more than 5,000 students in locations across the state. Especially in rural districtsin which course offerings were limited, this online high school offered uniqueopportunities for student learning. Jim Horne, Floridas Secretary of Education, hassuggested a similar venture for the states teachers with an education portal that couldfoster communication among educators and provide online learning opportunities(Technology Counts 2002: Florida State Snapshot).While reports such as these provide a limited account of the current state of affairsin Floridas schools, they still do not fully answer how technology may be used in atypical classroom. I chose these typical settings based on a number of factors, butprimarily on personal experiences with Florida secondary schools. I spent three yearsteaching in a rural Florida school district and visited schools all over the state in auniversity course, Perspectives in Secondary Curriculum and Instruction. As I met with

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79administrators and teachers in these middle and high schools, my core question was,What role does technology play at your school? In some schools technology played asignificant role with elaborate computer labs and an average of ten computers perclassroom; in others, teachers were fortunate to have one computer in their classroom,and in some schools, technology was non-existent.For the purposes of the present study, I attempted to choose schools that were not ateither extreme of technology availability, but those with average access and availability.With its connection to the university and a director with a strong vision for technology,Granger is well equipped, but space problems make its implementation difficult forteachers. Chance had acceptable technology when it opened in 1996, but hardware andsoftware acquisition has not kept pace with advances in technology. Alexander is amagnet school with the latest technology in many areas, but an emphasis on standardizedtesting makes using the schools resources difficult for many teachers.Even though it is difficult to argue that these settings are entirely typical, I wouldargue that they fall somewhere within the range of schools that I have seen around thestate. The teachers in the present study, while exemplary in their pedagogy, have had tostruggle with the same difficulties that others face. From malfunctioning computers, toscheduling conflicts with the computer lab, to a promise for new machines that have yetto be seen, these teachers were able to adapt and continued to use technology in ways thatengaged their students.SummaryIn this chapter, I have discussed the importance of qualitative research and itsappropriateness for this inquiry. I briefly portrayed the exemplary teachers and theschools in which they work. Next, I explained the three data collection techniques

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80utilized and the analysis procedures used to examine the data. Finally, I explored issuesof bias and reasons for studying exemplary teachers in typical settings. In Chapters 4, 5,and 6 I expand the description and analysis of the studys participants. Throughout thischapter, I have also described the significance of the case study approach and suggestedhow the present study is best suited for this methodology.Shulman (1983) recommended undertaking case studies as a means of examiningthe possible in education, not just relying on quantitative data to figure out what is thenorm. He added:Another increasingly influential type of research is the case study, persuasivelydrawn portraits of teachers, pupils, schools, or programs. They lack the hardstatistical data of the more traditional policy study, but richness of portrayal ordrama of human detail often sway the beliefs of decision makers far moreeffectively than do tables of means and frequencies. (p. 494-5)The investigation of exemplary teachers provides the opportunity to show what can bedone through integrating technology in the social studies classroom. Even the bestteachers can continue to learn and improve their instruction, and case studies can affordthe insight needed to improve individual practice and bring about a general improvementin the field.

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81CHAPTER 4THE MODEL CITIZENCharacter is ultimately who we are expressed in action, in how we live, in what wedoand so the children around us know, they absorb and take stock of what theyobserve, namely uswe adults living and doing things in a certain spirit, getting onwith one another in our various ways. Our children add up, imitate, file away whatthey've observed and so very often later fall in line with the particular moralcounsel we unwittingly or quite unself-consciously have offered them.Coles, The Moral Intelligence of Children (1997)Vignette OneOn this warm spring morning, twenty-eight ninth grade students are packed intoMr. Claytons civics classroom. The room was an afterthought in designing the buildingand is oddly squeezed between larger classrooms on either side. In the five years since hehas been at Granger, Mr. Clayton has never had a classroom of his own, but he does notcomplain about being a traveling teacher. He does not have to worry about designingbulletin boards or cleaning rooms, but, at times, he is still envious of those teachers whoare able to control classroom space for whole-class discussions or cooperative activities.In addition to the thirty or so desks in the room, nine networked computers are tightlyaligned along the windows at the far end of the class. Because of the limited space inwhich these machines are placed, it is difficult for Mr. Clayton to conduct any classactivities using these computers, and for the most part, they remain untouched.For the previous week, Mr. Claytons class has been reading and discussingJonathan Kozols Savage Inequalities. This book, focusing on the plight of some of themost impoverished schools in America, attempts to meet one of the major objectives of

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82 Figure 4-1. Mr. Claytons second-period classroomthe civics course: to provide students with learning experiences that allow them to cometo understand the larger world, nation, state, and community in which they live. Whilefourteen and fifteen year olds usually have a fair understanding of their own schoolenvironment, Mr. Clayton wants his students to have a broader knowledge andunderstanding of students and schools in other areas of the country. Although examininga variety of schools first hand would have been the optimum way for students tounderstand differences in education, Mr. Clayton takes the next alternative, Kozols bookand an accompanying documentary, Children in Americas Schools (1998), to bring awide array of school portrayals to his students.On this particular day, Mr. Clayton chooses to show the final part of this video,which not only presents schools in a variety of settings, but also contains a town meeting

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83with Kozol and other stakeholders in Ohios education system. He has tried a number ofapproaches to using video in this classroom, but the layout is not conducive for viewing.The screen is fairly small, a 21 or 25 inch model, and is positioned in a cabinet in the topright corner of the classroom. While the students sitting close to the set have a clear view,those sitting farther back not only get a strong glare from the morning sun, but also haveto deal with the air conditioning unit turning on and off every couple of minutes. Whenthe unit is off, the room gets rather warm, and by 10:00 when this class begins, it isalready 85-90 degrees outside. Mr. Clayton decides to turn the air on during parts of thevideo and endures a few student complaints of not being able to hear. The logistics ofshowing a video are complex, but Mr. Clayton still feels that the benefits outweigh theproblems associated with its use.Before watching this portion of the video, Mr. Clayton passes out worksheets withfive questionsranging from specific questions about the films content to moreopen-ended questions about the state of American education. These questions help toguide students during viewing, but they are not the only form of assessment that Mr.Clayton uses for the video. He stops the movie at a number of key places, and studentsrespond to key statements or phrases. At one important juncture during a comparison ofrural and suburban schools, a person in the video remarks, It makes you wonder ifAmerica likes its children. Mr. Clayton uses this opportunity to contrast rural andsuburban schools, in particular to ask why pregnancy rates are higher in poorer schools.A few of the student responses in this interchange include the following:! Students in rural districts have more free time outside of school and are more likely to engage in sexual activity.! In rural districts, there is not enough formal instruction about how not to get pregnant.

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84! Students in rural districts are more stressed and sex can be a good stress reliever. (This comment gets a loud chuckle from the class, but Mr. Clayton brings the focusback quickly.)! More students in rural districts do not think their lives will go anywhere, and they are not as likely to push them towards success.Mr. Clayton concentrates on this last statement and moves the discussion to one studentin his class whose mother had given birth while still a teenager. This student relates thatwhile her mother did not regret having her daughter, she still wishes things had beendifferent. This example shows the close relationship that Mr. Clayton has with many ofhis students and how much trust they have in him to share that type of information. As afollow-up to this line of questioning, Mr. Clayton asks rhetorically, Do babies of youngmothers really have a choice? Students ponder this question for a while and then returnto the video.Later in the class period, the video has ended and students are responding to theirstudy questions. Since most of the students have finished reading Savage Inequalities,Mr. Clayton asks them if anything surprised them about the video. A number of studentsremark that the book is too redundant, but that the video shows a wider variety ofschools. One student, in particular, contends that if the book had pictures to go along withKozols descriptions, it would have been more relevant. Mr. Clayton then poses a keyquestion that is at the heart of his beliefs about using video in the classroom: Does itmake it more real to see the video? Most students immediately nod in agreement, butafter a short time of contemplation, some doubts emerge. While the video was able topersonalize the stories of schools in Ohio, a few students assert that it is not the same aslooking at the differences in schools in their own community.

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85Mr. Clayton then redirects the dialogue to students ideas about schools other thanGranger that they have personally experienced. A number of these ninth graders take theopportunity to complain about the conditions in local middle schools, focusing primarilyon poor facilities and bad food in the lunchroom. On the other hand, several studentseloquently describe the newer schools they had attended and relate generally positivemiddle school experiences. After discussing schools on both extremes, another studentinquires about where the average schools are. Mr. Clayton ends this part of theconversation by asking students to think of area schools they could visit that wouldrepresent a broad range of school environments, and they eagerly dive into this task.(Clayton, Observation, 5/16/02)Defining TechnologyAlthough some educators would argue that the use of a television and a VCR is afairly primitive application of technology, Mr. Clayton prefers to take a broader approachto their use in his classroom. In several interviews, he refers to technology as a tool andequates it to a good book or a good speaker. When asked more specifically to give hisdefinition of technology, he points to three attributes that technology can bring to theclassroom: its ability to motivate children, to facilitate communication, and to introducestudents to multiple perspectives.First, he argues that students enjoy technology because it helps them to becomemore active and not just sit at a desk reading a textbook or listening to a teacher. Heemphasizes the interactive nature of technology and adds, It [technology] gets kids outof this box of a classroom, either through television or the World Wide Web, or lettingthem be interactive and go out and shoot video, capture sounds, or do a documentary(Clayton, Interview, 4/24/02). For his comparison of American schools, Mr. Clayton

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86wanted his students, especially the visual learners in the class, to see real kids and realpeople (Clayton, Lesson Plan, 5/16/02) struggling with difficult conditions, and yetdoing the best they could under the circumstances. He recognizes that watching atelevision documentary is not the same as visiting a school, but he realizes that it can helpstudents encounter differing perspectives on key educational issues.Second, he views technology as an important medium for facilitatingcommunication. In several interviews, he mentioned the importance of e-mail anddiscussion groups for connecting to a broader range of people. He takes a globalperspective toward communication and argues that the world is becoming increasinglymore interconnected. He wants his students to have the skills and dispositions necessaryto survive in the twenty-first century and encourages them to learn about places outsidetheir community. He claims that as the world becomes more interconnected, technologyis going to play a bigger and bigger part in our lives and were not going to escape it(Clayton, Interview, 4/24/02). While this particular lesson did not have a significantcommunication component, it did serve as a catalyst for a final project based on anessential question from Savage Inequalities. As a result of Mr. Claytonsrecommendations, many of the students e-mailed local and state officials to obtain moreinformation about their topics.A third component of Mr. Claytons conception of technology is its ability toaddress multiple perspectives. He contends that technology touches on a wide variety ofabilities among his students and adds that when he uses it, I reach more kids, because ittaps into a prior knowledge base of kids who know how to use these skills already(Clayton, Interview, 4/24/02). He feels that even for students who are not as skilled with

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87technology as others, it can often bring out an interest that would have otherwiseremained untouched. In this lesson, students are exposed to schools outside of theircommunity and state, and while they could identify with some of the conditions, thisvideo opened up a much broader perspective on schools across the country. In theinterview that followed this lesson, Mr. Clayton argued that the multiple perspectives thatstudents saw in the video made this use of technology not just appropriate, but alsoessential, for helping them get to the level of understanding that he desired. Thissentiment clearly emerges in the following statement:What Im getting at is the way that they learn to do that [draw their ownconclusions] is through lots of different ways: reading, seeing, speaking, and doing.And with the book that we are reading, Savage Inequalities, the kids reported that itwas helpful, even though they knew the things that were reported in the video.To be able to see them really solidified the objectives and conclusions andunderstandings. So to get the visual of a dilapidated school or to hear from a fourthgrader with a lack of materials, or to hear a frustrated seventh grade teacher talkabout it, to be able to see it visually, to be able to look into peoples eyes in thevideo and hear their tale makes it a lot more real. (Clayton, Interview, 5/16/02)Ultimately, Mr. Clayton does not want to dictate to his students what they shouldthink about the condition of schools, but he believes that they should draw their ownconclusions based on a variety of perspectives. While he says that he could have taughtthe same lesson without technology by using pictures of schools or testimonials fromteachers and students in those places, it would not have been as significant as the videowas for his students.Teacher BeliefsAnother facet of Mr. Claytons teaching that can be examined from this vignette isthe significance of his beliefs about instruction, about social studies, and abouttechnology with regard to his instruction. While teacher beliefs are not always reflected

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88in classroom practice, in Mr. Claytons case, they are well-articulated in interviews andwritten communication and clearly evident in his instruction.Beliefs about InstructionMr. Claytons personal philosophy about instruction stems from his belief thatstudents learn best when educational experiences are hands-on, authentic, and connectedwith events from their own background. For his ninth graders, in particular, he has foundthat if the learning does not have any immediate connection or familiarity, they are notvery likely to engage in it. In the five years that he has taught civics, he has continued toadapt his curriculum to make it more engaging for students and more connected to theirdaily lives.One assignment that highlights this approach to teaching is the final assignment ofthe year that he gives to accompany Savage Inequalities. For this activity, studentsdevelop an essential question that flows from their reading and answer that questionwith research from the Internet, newspapers, or other community resources. Some of thetopics that students explored in this assignment included school dropout rates, racism,class sizes, and the impact of standardized testing in their community. In explaining thereasoning and philosophy behind this assignment, Mr. Clayton emphasizes theimportance of having students develop their own inquiry. He maintains, In a way, Iframed it, but I asked them to ask a big question so that they feel empowered by focusingon something that they have an interest in or can relate to so that they can use theresearch in answering it (Clayton, Interview, 10/30/02). In addition to a written reportanswering their question, students also present their key findings to Mr. Clayton and theirclassmates on the last day of the semester.

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89Mr. Claytons application of classroom videos also exemplifies his philosophy ofteaching. In one interview, he criticized the method that many teachers use when showingfilms in their classrooms, saying that too often teachers play a video, perhaps havestudents answer a few questions on a worksheet, but otherwise do not provide anyfeedback to assist students in what they are viewing. He expresses great concern aboutthis approach and maintains that just to show a video without any contextualization,without any introduction, without tying it in with their life, doesnt do any good,especially long term (Clayton, Interview, 5/16/02). He worries about social studiesteachers, in particular, who often carry the reputation of showing videos withoutproviding opportunities for student reaction or response.In this lesson, frequent pauses in the video not only served to bring about someenlightened discussion, but also allowed students to make their own connections to themovie, and more importantly, to their own lives and school experiences as a whole. In a40 to 50 minute section of video, he stopped the tape four times to correspond withsignificant events and statements, but rather than telling students what they should thinkabout particular topics, he allowed students to express their own opinions and thusconnect to personal experiences.Beliefs about TechnologyMr. Clayton understands that technology can be a powerful motivator in theclassroom, and he says that if there is a way that he can incorporate it into his teaching,he will. He advocates an application of technology that goes well beyond the methodsthat are often implemented at Granger. Increasingly, technology is used to preparestudents for standardized testing, not for common instructional purposes. While he agreesthat assessment is an important part of education, he contends that the drill and practice

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90or drill and kill (Clayton, Interview, 10/30/02) approach that many teachers use for testpreparation actually does more harm than good in getting students ready for testing. AtGranger, the computer lab is more often used for test preparation than for what Mr.Clayton says should be the focus of integrating technology into the classroomgivingstudents opportunities to access data, manipulate data, and present data (Clayton,Interview, 10/30/02). Because school report card grades are significant for Floridasschools, he understands the pressure on Granger for its students to perform well on theFCAT, but he still believes that good teaching is more important than test scores.Mr. Clayton is grateful for the access he has available at Granger, but he alsorecognizes that technology equipment is too often obtained only for the sake of havingtechnology and does not guarantee better instruction. He claims that adding televisions,computers, or wireless networks may make schools seem more advanced, but that thisequipment does not necessarily lead to student learning. In an early interview, thesebeliefs about technology were made abundantly clear in a conversation about the futureof schools:I think technology has the potential to make the world an even smaller place, whichis a good thing. Were no longer going to be able to think of other people as distant,or disconnected, or uninvolved in our lives. People are more and more involved ineach others lives, potentially, through technology. And getting ways to get schoolswired, if you will, with one another, so they can communicate best practices andkids can meet one another and compare one schools way of learning with anotherschools way of learning, to share information, work on good communication skillsthrough technology, all have huge implications for learning. (Clayton, Interview,4/24/02)In an interview after the aforementioned observed lesson, Mr. Clayton emphasized theimpact that the video had in helping students see beyond schools in their owncommunity. He related that while it is important for them to read about significant topicsof study, to be able to see it visually, to be able to look into peoples eyes in the video

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91and hear their tale makes it a lot more real (Clayton, Interview, 5/16/02). It was apparentwhile the video was playing that the students were connected to the story and wereattentive throughout the class. But without Mr. Claytons contextualization of the videoand emphasis on student experiences, it would have been just another movie, andstudents would have remained passive observers in the process.Beliefs about Social StudiesWith a political science major in his undergraduate work and a concentration insocial studies at the masters level, Mr. Clayton has acquired a strong content areabackground. During his eight years in the classroom, he has developed a clear conceptionof the role of social studies teachers. He believes that, rather than being purveyors ofinformation, social studies teachers serve their students better by framing key issues forthem and equipping them with the skills and dispositions needed to make sense of theimmediate future (Clayton, Interview, 4/24/02). In his initial interview, Mr. Claytonexpressed his ultimate goal for students in his civics classes. He wants them to realizethat they are not the center of the universe, but a small part of a much larger world, andthat we are interdependent on our fellow human beings and on different countries, ondifferent ways of living, and it really is one world (Clayton, Interview, 4/24/02). Duringthe same interview, he mentioned September 11, 2001, as a horrible yet potent(Clayton, Interview, 4/24/02) example of how interconnected the world is, and howimportant it is for students to understand that their actions do have an impact on others.In the class described above, Mr. Clayton is clearly shown as he typically is: not asthe sole source of information, but as someone who cares deeply about public educationand who wants his students to have a similar knowledge and passion. He does notdominate the discussion, but interrupts only to clarify a point or to facilitate the numerous

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92comments that his students want to make. It would have been easy for him to turn thisconversation to a criticism of the system that allows attractive schools to exist side byside with those in terrible disrepair, but he allows students to arrive at these conclusionsthemselves, and the technology is simply a means by which he helps them reach suchinsights.A final component that allows Mr. Clayton to reach his desired objectives is hisunderstanding that social studies is best taught when it is integrative in nature. Thisattribute is one of the five characteristics of "powerful and authentic social studies" asproposed by the National Council for the Social Studies (1994). In the SavageInequalities lesson, he brings in economics to explain how schools are funded and toanalyze the impact of low teacher salaries. He also incorporates geography to explain theimportance and significance of location for some of the featured schools and to explorewhat human characteristics make these schools and their communities unique. Finally, herelates this discussion to its historical basis in the U.S. Constitution, and he describes thenature of the ongoing debate over the role education should play in American society.These connections to other subject areas within the social studies are not contrived;indeed, they help his students to realize a primary goal : for my kids to become better,and more cooperative, and more effective citizens (Clayton, Interview, 4/24/02).Vignette TwoWhile student motivation is usually at its lowest point at the end of the school year,Mr. Claytons students are on the edge of their seats eagerly waiting their visit to thecomputer lab to get started on Sim City 2000. About half of the thirty-two students in hissecond-period class have played some game from the Sims series, and most of the othersare at least aware of the simulation. Before going to the computer lab, however, Mr.

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93Clayton takes ten to fifteen minutes of class time to introduce Sim City 2000, offer somegame-playing suggestions, and explain the significance of this game for accomplishingobjectives of the civics course. He distributes two handouts to help guide studentsthrough the simulation and spends a few minutes describing basic requirements. Heexplains some of the functions of the game, including the tool bar, which guides studentsin the formation of their cities. While some of the students are paying attention todirections, it is apparent that most students are anxious to move to the lab and begin thesimulation.Before leaving class, Mr. Clayton asks a fundamental question about the nature ofthe simulation: Why include Sim City in our civics classroom? Some student responsesinclude the following:! To see how government works and how things happen To see that we have to help out and cooperate to make a city work To understand different areas of town life and taxing To deal with making people happy Mr. Clayton commends them for these thoughtful answers and adds, Like a lot of thingsin this class, we are going to have a lot of different skill levels. He requests that studentsput forth their best effort, given their experience with the game. Finally, he leaves theclass with a final reminder: This is the last thing I will saythe best way to learn how toplay it is to play it. With this statement, the students move to the computer lab and beginthe simulation.The computer lab is a large room with thirty relatively new, networked iMac computersarranged in a horseshoe around the back and sides of the large rectangular space. Thirtyor so classroom desks are arranged in rows in the center of this horseshoe. The room islarge enough that students can move back and forth from desks to computers without

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94causing a major disturbance. With some technical support and a site license, Mr. Claytonwas able to install Sim City 2000 on all of the computers and allow all of his students theopportunity to build their own communities. Figure 4-2. Mr. Claytons class in Grangers computer labAfter all of the students are sitting at their computers, Mr. Clayton asks for anyonewho needs to be taken through the beginning of the simulation to move to one side of theroom. Normally, he would use the projection unit in the lab for demonstration purposes,but because the master computer and master unit are not synchronized, he allows studentsto congregate around a single computer to provide an introduction. Seven students watchhim get started with this mini-demonstration, and while they tell him that theyunderstand what to do, several puzzled expressions indicate otherwise. While Mr.

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95Clayton helps this group of students become acquainted with the game, most of the othersare engaged in Sim City 2000 and are actively attempting to create their cities.After completing this initial demonstration, Mr. Clayton reminds students, Dontforget to check your budget menu bar and ordinances and also listen to your advisor. Atthis point in the lesson he starts at the upper right corner of the horseshoe and talks toeach student individually. He tells one student good job and reminds him that he shouldcheck brown areas on the tool bar; he affirms another who is doing nice work, andreminds her to check budget and ordinances. As he continues from computer tocomputer, one student asks, Mr. Clayton, how do I get people to move in to my city?After two to three minutes of consultation, Mr. Clayton encourages the student to workout the problem on her own, and she thanks him for his assistance. With the next studentwho solicits help, the problems are many, and he sits down for four to five minutes toimprove her understanding of the game. While he is working with this student, four orfive more students raise their hands with questions about playing the game, some ofwhom vociferously demand immediate attention. Rather than losing his patience at thisbarrage of concerns, he calmly reminds them again to look into all of the areas of thesimulation before coming to him for assistance.After a few minutes of attempting to answer all of his students questions, Mr.Clayton interrupts the class and says, Good people, let me have your ear for a minute.He repeats the goal for Sim City 2000, which is to create a large city, but also a livablecity. He reminds students to check their budget and ordinances and to obtain advice fromthe department heads who are included in the simulation. While Mr. Clayton could have

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96been critical about student effort at this point, he commends the students overall and addsthat they are doing a nice job in the simulation.For the remainder of class, he continues to assist individual students, but at aslower pace than he set for himself earlier in the period. He helps students for three orfour minutes at a time and walks around to check on a number of others with quickerassessments. The only evidence of off-task behavior is in a cluster of students who areplaying the game by testing out what happens to their cities if a tornado or hurricanestrikes. Realistic special effects make these disasters intriguing for ninth grade males, andthis group thoroughly enjoys this feature of the simulation.With only minutes left in the class, he attempts to summarize the days activity.Even though many students have not progressed very far into the simulation, he still triesto praise them for their effort. He concludes, Good people, lend me your ears. Most ofus have done a very good jobits not easy and there are lots of considerations to makein playing the game. He then asks the class to shut down their computers and dismissesthem for lunch.Mr. Claytons dismissal usually initiates a chaotic rush out of the classroom, but onthis day, students calmly turn off their computers and slowly exit over the course of thenext few minutes. Ten minutes later, a handful of students are still playing Sim City 2000and would have remained even longer if not for another class coming into the computerlab and Mr. Claytons request that they leave. (Clayton, Observation, 5/22/02)Using the SimulationAs one of the major objectives for his civics course, Mr. Clayton lists that studentswill understand the symbiotic relationship between individual citizens and thecommunity in which they live (Clayton, Lesson Plan, 5/22/02). This theme emerges at

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97numerous times during the year, and by the final nine weeks when this lesson takes place,students are beginning to appreciate the interconnectedness of citizen and community andto understand the importance of being productive members of society.In the follow-up interview to this lesson, Mr. Clayton discussed the process that heundertook to acquire Sim City 2000 for his classroom and the changes he has made withthe simulation in the four years that he has used it. When he first brought the game intohis classroom, he had several classroom copies (just Sim City at the time) on floppy discand struggled to make it meaningful for his students. The game served as a stand-aloneunit, and Mr. Clayton took two weeks of classroom time to complete it. He continued tomodify the simulation in successive years and later integrated it into the themes andunits of the class (Clayton, Interview, 5/24/02). As it is currently placed, he believes thatit serves as an excellent activity to bring ideas together at the end of the year.As mentioned earlier, Mr. Clayton views technology as a real motivator forstudents, and this game is distinctive in that capacity. This motivation is apparent asstudents are engaged with the simulation during class time, and even more evident asseveral students remain after dismissal time. When asked in a follow-up interview aboutstudent interest in Sim City 2000, Mr. Clayton related the following ideas:Youre trying to build the most thriving city that you can, and kids understand that.And they get after it. There was some frustration of not being able to build quitethe city they wanted to, but I think it was a healthy frustration, in that theycontinued to make progress, but not as quickly as some of the kids wanted to. Iwant them to do the same sort of reflection that Ive done as a teacher about thevalue of the game and how does it tie in with the objectives of the course. Imgoing to have to have them do a reflective writing pieceand you saw thisachecklist with minimal things that you ought to be able to do that you see play intoa city and then at the end there are some related questions about some basic thingsthat I want them to understand. So, well see if their motivation to do a writtenassignment is increased because they were able to use technology to do it. (Clayton,Interview, 5/24/02)

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98Mr. Clayton has used a number of simulations and other computer programs in hisclassroom, but this one has remained. The interest that students showed both during andafter class illustrates why he has returned to the simulation, and why it is importantenough that the school acquired a site license for the computer lab. Without hesitation, headds that, given the opportunity, he would continue to use Sim City 2000 in his classroomand would encourage other civics teachers to use it as well.The success of this lesson goes well beyond simply putting a computer program infront of thirty students. Mr. Clayton had to put forth a great deal of effort ahead of time,and he enlisted the services of others in the school to help the simulation come to fruition.Two of the key concepts in the present study are essential to examine at this juncture tobetter understand how he was able to make this simulation work: teacher learning, andfacilitators of and barriers to technology use.Teacher Learning about TechnologyLearning through Professional Development and Collegial ActivitiesAccording to Mr. Clayton, Granger has offered a number of opportunities forprofessional development in which teachers can improve their technology skills. Heasserts that most of these opportunities are aimed at teachers new to technology and notreally useful for those like him with a solid technological background. He mentions thatthe school occasionally offers workshops on computer applications such as PowerPointor Excel or on setting up e-mail accounts. Although he is not certain in his recollectionsabout all previous professional development opportunities, he recalls that Granger has notoffered any systematic training to assist teachers desiring to use technology forinstructional purposes. He adds that this problem is not unique to Granger, butcharacteristic of technology training as a whole. He contends, School systems dont do a

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99very good job with professional development, and they do an even crummier job as awhole with technology professional development (Clayton, Interview, 4/24/02). A majorproblem with technology training, he states, is that it is usually in the form of aone-time-only workshop, and that teachers are provided little sustained support to use thetechnology in the classroom. As was prominently shown in the Apple Classroom ofTomorrow (1997) data, teachers need ongoing assistance if technology is to make adifference in their classrooms. Learning about technology through professionaldevelopment has had little, if any, impact on Mr. Claytons use of technology with thissimulation. He received no formal training on how to incorporate simulations in his civicsinstruction, but learned about Sim City 2000 through interactions with his colleagues andon his own time.In terms of other professional development activities, Mr. Clayton finds thatthrough conferences, connections with the local university, and interactions at Granger,he continues to grow as a teacher. He has been active in the American EducationalResearch Association, National Council for the Social Studies, Association forSupervision and Curriculum Development, and Coalition of Essential Schools, and hereceives a number of these organizations' publications. While these journals providesome ideas for his teaching, he receives more inspiration from conferences sponsored bythese organizations and tries to attend several each year. He finds that at theseconferences he is able to talk with fellow educators about curricular issues and to takeaway many teaching ideas that he uses in his classroom.Because of his outstanding reputation as a teacher, university social studies facultyhave placed a number of preservice teachers with him over the past four years. One of the

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100major lessons that he tries to communicate to these future teachers is that the initialinvestment put into a unit, a lesson, or an activity has a great impact on how it willsucceed in the classroom. He believes that this effort is especially significant in regard totechnology. In the past his student teachers have created WebQuests, primary sourceevaluations, and other powerful activities using technology. He holds that it really doespay dividends for students with that initial investment you have to make technology-wise,both by learning through technology and actually creating it, and it does pay off in thelong run (Clayton, Interview, 10/30/02). Mr. Clayton gains personal satisfaction fromassisting interns in their use of technology and has been extremely pleased with theirefforts. In addition, he acknowledges that observing the process by which studentteachers create technology-rich lessons helps him to be more critical about his own usesof technology.Mr. Clayton has also worked with the local university in a study conducted with adoctoral student in social studies education.1 After supervising one of Mr. Claytonsstudent teachers, this doctoral student approached him about collaborating in a classroomtechnology study. One of the goals of the civics course relates to an increased awarenessof current issues, and Mr. Clayton was not completely satisfied with students fulfillmentof this objective. The doctoral student had created a WebQuest designed to help studentscooperatively examine a current topic of interest and to use the Internet to find relatedresources. This collaboration shows Mr. Claytons willingness to work with someonefrom the university to help his students and reveals his interest in learning more abouttechnology and finding appropriate ways to integrate it into his teaching. 1 For the purpose of this description, I am referring to myself in third person.

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101At Granger, Mr. Clayton has a number of colleagues with whom he consults aboutinstructional matters on a regular basis. He is a team leader for the ninth grade and workswith other teachers in math, language arts, and science to discuss students and curricularissues, but technology is rarely discussed. He shares office space with three other highschool social studies teachers and often discusses subject-specific matters with them, butagain, other than sharing videos or computer software, attention to technology isminimal. He indicates that he and his social studies colleagues talk plenty aboutdiscipline, and this activity and that activity out of the classroom (Clayton, Interview,4/24/02), but technology rarely enters this dialogue. He did attempt to coordinate the SimCity 2000 lesson with two fellow civics teachers who also teach sections of the class, butbecause of varying circumstances, neither of these other teachers attempted thesimulation.Another colleague, however, did play a significant role in this lesson: Mr. Peters,the technical support person for Granger. Even though the school owned a site license forSim City 2000, having the entire class playing it required that it be installed on allthirty-two computers in the lab. Mr. Peters was able to complete this installation beforethe classes came into the lab, and, in the process, saved Mr. Clayton a good deal of time.Mr. Clayton is grateful to have someone who can handle the technical aspects of thecomputers on hand, but is also realistic about Mr. Peters role. He reasons, Now, hewont be able to help you on your teaching methods, and he cant suggest better ways ofteaching, but he is excellent in terms of helping you with the technology itself (Clayton,Interview, 5/24/02). Mr. Peters was not present during the implementation of the lesson,

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102but fortunately the game was accessible on most of the computers and technicalassistance was not needed.Learning IndividuallyMr. Clayton has learned a great deal about technology on his own throughexperimentation outside of classroom time. He owns a computer at home and uses it forsuch purposes as e-mail communication, databases, and desktop publishing. In his role asa basketball coach, he has also developed skills in video editing and has helped playersprepare tapes for college teams. He observes that most teachers he knows who areproficient with technology spend considerable time on it outside of the classroom. Headds that most teachers who are skilled with technology did not become competentthrough formal training (Clayton, Interview, 4/24/02) but learned necessary skills ontheir own.Because this is the fifth year that Mr. Clayton has used Sim City in his classroom,he did not have to prepare ahead of time as much as he has in the past, but he still had toput in some individual effort to insure the activity's success. He reserved the lab inadvance and checked with Mr. Peters on several occasions to guarantee that the gamewas loaded on all of the computers and operational. He also had to run off additionalcopies of the directions sheet for the students, and he prepared a checklist and questionsheet for students to complete as they played the game. He also briefly reacquaintedhimself with the game to prepare for student questions. He acknowledges that individualpreparation cannot make him ready for all of the eventualities that may result from SimCity 2000, but he feels that it is important for him to put in the additional time so that hecan provide the guidance needed for students as they are playing the game.

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103Facilitators and Barriers to Using TechnologyFacilitatorsMr. Clayton realizes that because of Grangers affiliation with the university and anadministration that has acquired classroom equipment, access to technology at Granger isgenerally better than at most public schools. Each classroom has its own television setand VCR, and programs can be broadcast from the media center to multiple classroomsaround the school. The school media center has a large number of videos on hand, andteachers can also check out resources from any of the libraries in the university system. Inaddition to Grangers computer lab, many of the high school classrooms, including thetwo rooms Mr. Clayton uses, have six to ten computers with access to the Internet. Everyclassroom at Granger also has wireless capabilities, and at the time of the study, severallaptops were available for teachers and students.Besides the ample access to technology at Granger, another factor that facilitatesMr. Claytons use of technology is guidance provided from his students. In his initialteaching assignment, he became one of the first teachers at his school to be connected tothe Internet with the help of a twelfth grader who came in on a Saturday and wired hisclassroom (without school permission). While some teachers may be hesitant to askstudents for assistance with technology because they are afraid it will make them lookignorant or ill-prepared, Mr. Clayton realizes that his students have grown up aroundtechnology and that he can learn from them. He encourages his more technology-savvystudents to use it to complete class projects and has benefited from their expertise.Mr. Clayton recognizes that the Sim City 2000 simulation would have beenimpossible to implement without some unique circumstances. First, a fully equippedcomputer lab with a machine for each student allows students with different levels of

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104game expertise to proceed at their own pace and plan their own community decisions.The layout of the room itself also permits Mr. Clayton to have easy access to studentswho have questions during the simulation. As described earlier, the presence of atechnical support person makes loading the game on the machine possible and frees upvaluable time for Mr. Clayton to work on other projects. Although the site license for aclass to play Sim City 2000 is fairly expensive, grants and administrative support madethis activity possible, and he appreciates the opportunity to use this type of technology.BarriersWhile technology may be more readily available at Granger than at other schools,the level of use among teachers there is fairly typical. Much of the technologycomputers, a destinations unit with a DVD player, a telecollaborative lab, wireless,etc.remains unused. The distribution of computers throughout the school has causeddifficulties. According to Mr. Clayton, some teachers desiring to use technology have hadto seek that stuff out (Clayton, Interview, 10/30/02), and others with a classroom full ofcomputers only use them on rare occasions. Without a permanent classroom, Mr. Claytonhas to coordinate his technology use with a number of teachers, and this process cansometimes be tedious. While Mr. Clayton cannot speak for all of his fellow teachers, herecognizes that with the various demands on his time and the institutional barriers inplace, he cannot do nearly as much with technology as he would like.A number of factors made it difficult for Mr. Clayton to prepare the Sim City 2000lesson and to carry it out in the computer lab. First, the logistics for securing thecomputer lab for his class were complex. During the second block, when Mr. Claytonscivics course meets, an AP English class uses the classroom for its regular meetings. Thelab is situated in a five-year-old technology wing that was built with the stipulation that it

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105would only be used for technology purposes. Changes in space and an additionalemphasis on standardized testing now necessitate utilizing these areas for regular classmeetings. Mr. Clayton assesses the difficulties of this situation:Well, weve grown a little bit as a school in the last three years. Well, 100 kids isabout three more classrooms and we took the video technology/ production classout of the third room, and then the technology room that were in, weve scheduledsome intervention classes for FCAT drill and practice to beef up basic skills onstandardized tests. Were no different from other schools in that respect. (Clayton,Interview, 5/24/02)He also believes that Granger is grappling with a major philosophical difference amongthose who feel technology should be used to supplement existing teaching practices andthose who believe that it is an efficient means to assess students and increase test scores.While some teachers in leadership roles want to make sure the lab can be protected for avariety of uses, space issues and the pressures of standardized testing make it moredifficult for teachers like Mr. Clayton to use the computer lab for instructional purposes.Another factor that made planning this activity difficult was negotiating thedifferent levels of technological experience and expertise among students. While somestudents were confident with technology and had played Sim City 2000 before, others hadnever played the game and were not sure where to begin. Mr. Clayton acknowledges thedifficulty in making the game meaningful for all of his students and says that when youhave kids at different levels, it makes it challenging for direct instruction, because whileyou want to keep it interesting to all kids and useful to all kids, its hard when you havekids that have never seen the game before to those who have spent hours playing it(Clayton, Interview, 5/24/02).During the implementation of this lesson, he tried to negotiate these differences inseveral ways. First, he provided all of the students with a fifteen-minute explanation

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106preceding computer time, complete with overheads and an instruction worksheet. Oncethe activity began, he worked with students in small groups to assist them with individualskills, and at the same time, allowed others to move ahead. He also allowed a couple ofstudents who were proficient with the game to help classmates when he was busyassisting others. But even with these supports, he was concerned that some students weretoo dependent on him for encouragement and did not advance enough individually tomeet the objectives of the game.Another barrier Mr. Clayton faced with this simulation was the malfunction of themaster projection unit in the computer lab. This unit was attached to the same type ofcomputer (an iMac) that students had in the lab and could be used to display informationto the entire class. During Sim City 2000, he would have been able to freeze studentcomputers to make a point to the entire class instead of trying to talk to students whilethey continued playing the game. While he felt that the students benefited from theindividual instruction he was able to give them as he walked around the room, herecognized that he could do more. In exploring the possibilities of conducting this lessonwith a master unit, he hypothesized:It would be good for kids to consult me through writing with questions and clarifythose questions. I could shoot answers back to them, if they worked, which mightbe neat too. I could tell them that they were not allowed to address me verbally, butthey would have to send me a note like that I was in a remote spot and needed help.Thats a good sort of communication tool too. (Clayton, Interview, 5/24/02)But while he had these thoughts of how his ideal class could run, he was also veryrealistic about actually implementing this plan. He lamented:But due to time and my lack of expertise, I dont do those sorts of things. I knowthat they are possible, or if you really wanted to get good at it, you could make anassignment where a kid built a city so big that it had certain problems, and theycould solve their problems. There are obvious ties to real, authentic learning

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107here, but its about having the time and the willingness to do all of that. (Clayton,Interview, 5/24/02)A final barrier Mr. Clayton encountered was with technical difficulties in the lab.While the simulation loaded on all of the computers without any trouble, a number ofstudents experienced problems as the game progressed. About thirty minutes intocomputer time, one students computer froze, and all of his work on the game was lost.While Mr. Clayton was more concerned about the process of creating and sustaining acommunity than looking at the final outcome of how many Sims (people) were livingthere, he recognized that it would be frustrating for students to lose all of their work. Butit continued to happen, and by the end of the class, six students had to restart their games.Mr. Clayton attributed these freezes to a quirk in the network (Clayton, Interview,4/24/02), but with Mr. Peters gone, no one remained on campus to assist with this type ofdifficulty. The option to save was part of Sim City 2000, but with limited server space,students were not able to take advantage of this function. Despite these barriers, Mr.Clayton still felt that he accomplished what he set out to do in the lesson, and studentswere able to play Sim City 2000 to the best of their abilities.Model Citizen as Technology UserMr. Clayton consistently presents himself in a professional way and wants hisstudents to conduct themselves in an appropriate manner. He does not govern by absoluteauthority but makes students a part of the learning process and helps them to understandthat education does matter. By the time students enter ninth grade, they are beginning tohave a real interest in the world around them, and Mr. Clayton has a strong understandingof what issues most impact his students lives. In the five years that he has taught civics,he has shaped it to represent topics that are interesting to young adolescents, and at the

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108same time he provides them with the necessary content background to make sense ofthese issues. What is perhaps most impressive about this approach is that while studentsgrapple with significant topics, Mr. Clayton models how students should consider suchissues.This modeling approach to teaching and learning has a major impact on how Mr.Clayton approaches technology. In all of the observations made in his classroom, bothformal and informal, technologywhether computers, music, or videowas always usedfor presenting students with a real world application of what they were discussing. In thecomputer lab, students researched current issues of interest, examined evidence related totheir community research project, and investigated an essential question about localschools that emerged from their discussion of Savage Inequalities. He does not havestudents explore websites just for the sake of using the technology, but he has a specificand practical purpose in using the computers. He also models this approach to his ownInternet searching by sharing relevant websites that he has found from his own inquiries.With video, Mr. Clayton shows clips that are not only visually appealing tostudents, but he also encourages them to examine critically the issues discussed in class.In another observation from this dissertation study, he presented Merchants of Cool, aPBS Frontline program that explores how marketers attempt to appeal to teenagers. Aftershowing this video, he held a lively discussion on whether or not students felt exploitedby MTV and other authorities on popular culture. Certainly, he is extremely concernedthat his students engage with the material and not be passive recipients of whatever themedia, usually television, presents to them. As he shows excerpts from the program, hedoes not tell students how to think about what they are watching but steers the discussion

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109towards critical issues that allow them to interact with each other in meaningful ways(Clayton, Observation, 4/29/02).In one typical interchange in response to the Children in Americas Schools video,he asks students, given the difficult conditions shown on the video, how many of themwant to teach as their chosen profession. Only one or two students raise their hands. Hethen proposes that teacher salaries be doubled and again inquires how many would bewilling to teach. Another student raises her hand, but most of the class still shows nodesire to teach. When Mr. Clayton asks why no one else wants to teach, students aremore than willing to express their opinions of the profession. One student contends thathe does not have the patience needed to become a teacher. Another student says, Icouldnt teach the kinds of kids that we are (Clayton, Observation, 5/16/02). The basicresponse from the class is money (Clayton, Interview, 5/16/02), and students argue thatteachers are not paid nearly enough for the jobs that they do. Mr. Clayton then ties theconversation back to the video and asks what it would take for more teachers to work ininner city schools. Most of the students maintain that money and resources would help,but they acknowledge that even with more support, teaching in such environments wouldbe a challenge. By providing students with opportunities for discussions like thesethroughout his civics course, Mr. Clayton has helped them become more knowledgeableabout the world around them, and he hopes this translates into their competency ascitizens.Mr. Claytons innovative uses of technology and the overall structure of his civicsclass are in direct contrast to the typical criticism that social studies classes are boringand cover a range of trivial information not connected to students lives. By modeling

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110professional behavior and presenting material that connects to the lives of students, Mr.Clayton has demonstrated to his ninth grade students that they do have somethingpositive to contribute to the class and can make a difference in their community. Hebelieves that exposing students to a wide range of practical activities gives them thechance to understand the larger world, nation, state, and community in which they live(Clayton, Lesson Plan, 5/16/02), and technology is one of the areas in which his studentsneed to be proficient. Because he knows that his own expertise with technology has roomfor improvement, he continues to look for ways to enhance his instruction and modelsthis quest for additional knowledge to his students.

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111CHAPTER 5THE CONNECTORHistory is never either a neutral force or a complete worldview; history is alwayssomeones history. All of us, then, start with our own diverse social historiesthestory of who we are as interpreted through the experiences of daily living, familystories, pictures and artifacts. If our students are to become visibleable to seethemselves as participants in the ongoing drama of historythen we have torethink the ways which we conceive of history.Levstik and Barton, Doing history: Investigating with children in elementary andmiddle schools (2001)Vignette ThreeEverything in Ms. Harts classroom is organized. Desks are tightly arranged incoordinated rows with pairs of students facing the overhead screen and white board infront of the room. Milk crates are positioned strategically to hold student work,worksheets, and other materials Ms. Hart may use during the course of the day. Studentshave their own manila folders that are passed out at the beginning of every class period.The two corners of the room highlight the subjects Ms. Hart teaches, American Historyand World History, and posters of presidents, ancient civilizations, the Civil War, andgreat women in history adorn the walls of each area. Several bulletin boards around theroom attest to the personal nature of the classroom with items such as Harts StarStudents containing examples of outstanding student work and I Like It with relevantcartoons and pictures, many of them related to the local universitys sports teams. In theback of the room, containers hold markers, glue, scissors, and other materials forclassroom projects. Even Ms. Harts office area adjacent to the room contains neatlystacked books, journals, and magazines related to history and social studies.

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112 Figure 5-1. Ms. Harts third-block classroomOn this day, as has been the routine for the past three months, Ms. Hart is at thedoor to greet her eighth grade American history students. Upon entering the classroom,students receive their folders and copy the daily agenda from the board. While they arereadying themselves for class, Ms. Hart announces, All right, you guys, the first thing Iwant to do is check your haiku poems. This statement indicates that class has officiallystarted and lets the students know that it is time to get down to business. The pace of theclass is steady, and students do not have any time to waste on extraneous activities. Ms.Hart feels strongly about using class time wisely and makes sure that instructional time iswell spent. She lets students know precisely how long they will have to completeactivities, whether it be five minutes or over an hour, in her eighty-minute teaching block.

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113After collecting student work, Ms. Hart explains that they will be moving fromJapanese internment to the Holocaust. She pulls the screen down to begin a slide lectureand discussion that she has adapted from materials she received through the History Alive(2003) curriculum. This program advocates an approach to history based on theexpectation that it can excite students about social studies by engaging them in dynamicactivities that tap into their multiple intelligences. Through several grants, she hasacquired a number of History Alive titles, including the one on World War II that she isusing for this lesson. In preparation for her presentation, she has created a handout forstudents with rough pictures of the slides and a column entitled Details about Slide thatstudents can add to during the presentation. Because many of her students are studyingthe Holocaust in their Language Arts classes, she encourages them to add relevant detailsthat they have learned in their other class. Once students have their handouts ready, shedims the front lights and begins the presentation.She introduces the slides with a review question: Germany was devastated afterWorld War I. Why? Then she shows a picture of a man on the street with a lot ofpersonal belongings around him. She asks students what this reminds them of, and theysuggest such diverse ideas as the homeless, a burnt house, and a yard sale. Afterexploring these ideas for a short time, she inquires, How do you think this guy feels?Students ponder this question for a moment and answer that they sympathize with thisman, but several wonder why he is not able to get a job.From this exchange, one question emerges that Ms. Hart is compelled to answer:Why cant Germany just print up more money to help their people? Ms. Hartseconomic background is essential here as she stresses that this is something I think you

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114ought to write down, class; people paid for stuff at this time in Germany withwheelbarrows full of money. This illustration of inflation seems to resonate with theclass, although the idea of whether the United States would ever sink to this economicdepth is quickly passed aside by the students as impossible under current federalregulations.Another significant exchange takes place with a conversation about a Nazi Partypropaganda poster advertising The Day of the German Race. The poster shows an eaglerising from a plume of smoke, drawn in the shape of Germany. Ms. Hart engages studentsin the cartoons meaning, and although they initially struggle to find significance, theyeventually hit on the greater symbolism in the picture, that Germany is reemerging afterbeing decimated by World War I. Rather than focusing too much on the eagle and thesmoke, however, she moves to another image of propaganda in Nazi Germany. Thispicture features a Jewish man with the assertion, He instigates war, he extends war. Shetalks about how Hitler blamed the Jewish people for the German losses that followedWorld War I. After exploring German sentiment towards its Jewish citizens, she posesthe following: What is the mood of the poster? Students point out the dark moodprovoked by the curtain, the smoke, and the facial expression of the Jewish figure. Thenshe asks the students what might be the results of propaganda pieces like the ones shown.The overwhelming response is that people would now grow to distrust Jews and mighteven try to hurt them. She uses this opportunity to describe the April 1933 boycott ofJewish businesses and how this propaganda may have influenced average Germancitizens.

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115Several slides later, Ms. Hart focuses on a famous picture of malnourished men inthe barracks at the concentration camp in Dachau. In this photograph, several prisoners,including one particular man in the front of the picture with a protruding ribcage, stareforward with empty expressions. The students are simultaneously interested in andhorrified at this image, and one student in particular wonders, Who takes a picture likethis and does not do anything about it? This question brings about a lengthy discussionon Dachau, which Ms. Hart describes as one of the worst concentration camps during thewar.The conversation then is diverted to some questions about camp life, such as Didthey separate genders in the barracks? and What did they get to eat, if anything?Neither of these questions receives much attention, but one question that does is acomment about Taliban and al-Qaeda prisoners in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. One studentasks about the circumstances in which the military is keeping prisoners of war andwhether or not it is that much different from conditions in concentration camps.Ms. Hart is visibly excited by this observation and the connection made betweenwhat they are studying and current events, and she exclaims, Thats an excellentquestion! She takes this opportunity to highlight the relationship between past andpresent and brings up a larger question with the class: We study history so that we canlearn from our mistakes. But does this always happen? A number of studentsimmediately respond No to this significant question, but after a brief pause, anotherstudent inquires, Well, if we are such a free country, why are we keeping the conditionsof these prisoners such a secret anyway? Ms. Hart then relates the importance ofworking through differences and tells a brief story about how prisoners in World War II

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116were told that they were going to take showers and instead were poisoned with pesticidegas. This anecdote seems to raise interest, and another student asks, Why didnt they tellanyone what was going on? Ms. Hart immediately replies, Well, who are they going totell? The concept that the Jewish people did not fight back seems hard for these studentsto fathom, but one of the major lessons that Ms. Hart has been trying to communicate toher class is that history is complex and that the explanations students desire are not oftenpossible. For Ms. Hart, this is what makes history such a great subject to teachthere areno easy answers (Hart, Observation, 5/15/02).Defining TechnologyWhen asked in an initial interview about her conception of technology, Ms. Hartsfirst instinct was to reply definitely computers (Hart, Interview, 5/9/02). With severalcourses during her doctoral program in educational technology and numerous trips to thecomputer lab with her classes, it is apparent why this was her first reaction. But after ashort time, she broadened her definition to add anything that requires the use ofmachinery such as the VCR, slide projector, overhead, and tape recorder (Hart,Interview, 5/9/02). In her classroom, she has access to all of the above items and usesthem on a regular basis. In fact, these items functioned more consistently than herclassroom computer, which malfunctioned on a regular basis.What attracts Ms. Hart to use technology of all sorts in her classroom is its abilityto engage her students. In interviews, she often related the challenges of working with adiverse group of students and trying to make history appealing for them. Despite workingwith students of varying ability levels, she believes that all of her students can leave herclass with a greater understanding and appreciation of history. She feels that technology

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117can be a way to accomplish this goal. But like Mr. Clayton, she sees technology as a toolfor helping students, not as the primary means for learning.In her lesson plan on the Holocaust, Ms. Hart provides three primary reasons forusing technology: it is easy to get information to students in an engaging manner, itprovides visual stimulation for interactive discussion, and it stimulates critical thinkingand analysis. Even though some might find the slide projector to be too low-tech for theclassroom, most of Ms. Harts students are interested in the slides and take an active rolein the accompanying class discussion. She strongly embraces Gardners (1983) theory ofmultiple intelligences and maintains that these slides hold particular appeal for the visuallearner who takes cues from images rather than words. While more static resources liketextbooks and handouts may contain similar images, Ms. Hart recognizes the potentialimpact of these primary source slides.Another perspective by which to examine this lesson is from the discussion thattakes place with the slide presentation. While the vignette shows important sections of thedialogue, it is impossible to recreate the entirety of the powerful exchanges betweenteacher and students, and more importantly, between student and student. When asked ina later interview whether or not technology took away from the human aspect of history,Ms. Hart paused to think about the question and said that it depended on the instructorsuse of technology. In her case, she felt that it was important to give the students somefreedom with the technology, but at the same time, to have an involved role as theteacher. In referring to the History Alive materials, she contended, Its about the inquiry,getting their opinions, soliciting their responses, helping them piece together what theythink is going on. And they ask some interesting questions (Hart, Interview #2, 5/15/02).

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118While the History Alive manual provides some guidelines for leading discussion, Ms.Hart prefers to infuse her own ideas and direction in order for her students to relate tothese historical events and people.As long as Ms. Hart is able to help her students make connections to history, she itnot concerned about what types of technology to use in the classroom. Whether it iscomputers, videos, slides or digital video, the connections are what matters, and not thetechnology students use to get there. During this lesson on the Holocaust, it is theassociation the student makes between Dachau and Guantanamo Bay that shows the highdegree of thought and analysis that Ms. Hart is able to bring out in her classes. Pictures ofordinary people combined with questions such as How do you think this guy feels(Hart, Observation, 5/15/02)? help her students to develop greater historicalunderstanding. In the follow up interview to this lesson, she said that a teacher could lookat World War II through key battles and statistics, but that it was much more meaningfulfor her students to study it from the stance: What was the impact on individual lives(Hart, Interview #2, 5/15/02)? Although the slide projector is the only technology Ms.Hart uses in this lesson, it still plays a significant role in enabling her students to engagewith the material and to learn about Holocaust victims and survivors.Teacher BeliefsThroughout the numerous observations, interviews, and other communications withMs. Hart during this study, she continually demonstrated passionate beliefs about diversetopics, ranging from working with at-risk students to inequities in school funding to thenumber of social studies teachers who do not understand the difference between aprimary and secondary source. At the core of these passionate beliefs is a strong desire tohelp her students in any way that she can and, in her words, go the extra mile (Hart,

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119Interview, 5/9/02) so that all of her students can succeed in school. These beliefs,particularly those about instruction, about social studies, and about technology, help toshed light on the Holocaust lesson described above and her instruction as a whole.Beliefs about InstructionMs. Harts approach to teaching her sixth and eighth grade history classes containsa mixture of traditional and non-traditional teaching methods. She occasionally useslecture to cover essential material, and in some of her History Alive presentations, she hasstudents complete fill-in-the-blank sentences as they watch relevant slides. She includesquizzes and tests as part of her formal assessment tools and believes that because herstudents social studies backgrounds are so weak, whole class instruction is appropriatefor many topics. But she also uses a number of teaching strategies that would beconsidered non-traditional. During the course of this study, students engaged in hands-onexplorations, developed a script for a class video, and conducted oral presentations aspart of an individual project. The physical make-up of the classroom lends itself toworking with partners or small groups, and Ms. Hart uses cooperative learning on aregular basis. She finds that this sort of arrangement improves students efficiency incompleting assignments and also gives weaker students an outlet for expressing ideas,which they would be less likely to do in a large group situation. In addition, with aneighty-minute block of class time to negotiate, she finds that cooperative group workhelps her students remain on task.Ms. Hart believes that students learn in a number of different ways and tries tocreate activities and assignments that appeal to differing learning styles and abilities. Forvisual learners, she uses video, slides, and other imagesmost often primary sourcedocuments related to the current unit of study. She attracts auditory learners by reading

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120historical fiction aloud to her class and bringing in music from various historical periods.For artistic learners, she incorporates a number of projects that reward creative talent,including a collage of historical themes and a shield from a medieval civilization. Tocapture all of these learning styles, she requires a portfolio for each unit in which studentsshowcase their work and reflect on their likes and dislikes. With this approach toinstruction she is continually revising her curriculum from year to year, and even fromclass to class, but she has found that by using this array of approaches, the product isamazing, and the kids learn more and retain it (Hart, Interview, 5/6/02) better than theywould through more traditional means.This Holocaust lesson is a strong example of how Ms. Harts beliefs aboutinstruction are manifested in her classroom. For most of the period, Ms. Hart engages inwhole-class discussion and provides information about the historical relevance of eachslide. She has an outline at her side to guide her through the presentation, and shecirculates around the room to make sure that students are writing down the necessaryinformation. In addition to the guided viewing questions, she uses several other means toevaluate student understanding. She makes a conscious effort to engage as many studentsas she can during the class period, and most of them contribute at some point in thelesson. At the end of this study on World War II, Ms. Hart was also able to assess studentlearning through a project that contained elements from throughout the unit. Studentscreated a World War II newspaper with both articles and an editorial that tied togethermany of the topics covered during this unit. When asked about the merits of such anevaluation of student learning, she emphasized the individual effort needed to puttogether a well-crafted editorial and added, Students have a chance to decide for

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121themselves if the U.S. reaction [to entering World War II] was appropriate and sufficient(Hart, Reflection, 5/15/02). This variety of assessment was typical of other units Ms. Hartused in her classes, and student generally responded well to having multiple ways todemonstrate their understanding.Beliefs about TechnologyFor Ms. Hart, technology is a powerful motivator for her students. She claims thather students are excited (Hart, Interview, 5/9/02) any time they experience technology,and because of this enthusiasm, she tries to incorporate technology into her units as muchas possible. Because of the vast amount of information, especially primary sourcesavailable on the Internet, she tries to take her students to the computer lab at least twiceevery nine weeks. In addition to computer experience, she also tries to expose students toaudio content with music and voices from the past. While she uses the slides from theHistory Alive material most frequently, she occasionally uses the cassette tapes orcompact discs provided to play jazz from the 1920s or rock from the 1960s.The World Wide Web also provides Ms. Hart with valuable resources that she usesto enhance her curriculum. Even though Chance Middle School is fairly new and has awide variety of materials available for teachers, she finds Internet sources to bemultiple and interactive (Hart, Interview #1, 5/15/02). One of the sites that she hasused extensively in her classroom is the American Memory Collection of the Library ofCongress. Both she and her students have found the collections available through the siteto be valuable resources for documents, sound files, and photographs. Another benefit oftechnology for her students is the opportunity to interact with other students around theworld. In her sixth grade class for the past several years, a university professor has comeinto her class and shown slides of schools in Japan. Because of this exposure, Ms. Hart

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122has had her students interact with a Japanese middle school through a telecollaborativeexchange. Harris (1998) contends that these types of activities foster cultural awareness,communication skills, and technology awareness for students. Without these types ofactivities, Ms. Hart commented, studying the world would be boring (Hart, Interview#1, 5/15/02), and students would gain little appreciation of other cultures or ways of life.In the Holocaust lesson, the slides consistently hold the students attention, evenwith lunch taking place in the middle of the presentation. But Ms. Hart alsoacknowledges that the slides themselves do not motivate the studentsit is thequestioning and discussion that really encourage their responses. By the end of thesemester, students have had a good deal of practice in taking notes and formulatingsignificant questions, and, as a result, they are able to engage in meaningful discussions.In Ms. Harts opinion, this discussion is successful because they are not only able toanswer her questions, but they are also able to answer classmates questions. Sheacknowledges that the engaging visuals contribute to some of this productive dialogue,but she credits the students themselves for being able to make connections to what theysee.Ms. Hart also believes that students can use technology to enhance what they arelearning in the classroom and encourages them to find responses to questions that shecannot answer. At several points during the lesson, students ask questions somewhatrelated to the Holocaust, but obscure enough that Ms. Hart does not know the answer.One student asks if Stalins son was in a concentration camp? and another inquires,Who takes a picture of people in concentration camps (Hart, Observation, 5/15/02)?Rather than bypassing these types of questions, she persuades students to inquire on their

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123own and perhaps find answers on the Internet that they can share with the class. She saysthat about sixty percent of her students do research at home, and the ones who ask suchquestions will usually be motivated to find the answers on their own. In regard to thistype of outside investigation, she adds:And to me, thats making technology become a tool for learning. Because thatmakes them see, Okay, I dont just have to rely on the teacher for all of theanswers. I can go and learn and find the information using the Internet, using theweb sites that she has given me or what I know of. (Hart, Interview #2, 5/15/02)Beliefs about Social StudiesLevstik and Bartons (2001) quotation at the beginning of this chapter is significantfor a number of reasons, especially because Ms. Hart uses part of it on her syllabus torelate her beliefs about teaching history to students and parents at the beginning of eachsemester. She takes to heart the part of the passage that reads the story of who we are asinterpreted through the experiences of daily living, family stories, pictures and artifacts(p. 2) with her History of Me project. In this introductory project, students are able tobring in artifacts and stories to share with classmates before creating personal narratives.Levstik and Barton argue that activities such as this are important if students are tounderstand that they themselves have a history and that they are in history just as muchas they are in the natural world (p. 41). For Ms. Hart, this assignment provides herstudents with an immediate connection to history, and it allows her to understand theunique backgrounds of her students and to relate to them on a more personal level.Ms. Hart uses a wide array of resources to teach history to her classes. While sheoccasionally uses the textbook for key information, she argues that history is more thanjust what the book says (Hart, Interview, 5/6/02) and tries to supplement her teachingwith other student resources. She encourages students to check out books from Chances

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124media center and keeps a number of fiction and nonfiction books in her classroom. Asmentioned earlier, History Alive is a major component of class content, and she hasseveral of its curricular materials at her disposal. To keep up with current events, shesubscribes to Junior Scholastic news magazine and tries to use it on a weekly basis.In her lesson plan for the Holocaust presentation, Ms. Hart listed as one of hergoals for student learning that students would develop historical empathy (Hart, LessonPlan, 5/15/02). According to Foster and Yeager (1998), historical empathy is a processthat introduces an historical event with appropriate context and chronology, incorporatesthe analysis of multiple perspectives, and encourages students to develop a narrativeframework through which historical conclusions are reached to understand whysomething happened the way it did. In this lesson, Ms. Hart introduced the Holocaust tothe class and provided sufficient context for the students to understand the event beforedelving into questions such as What was it like in a camp? or Why do you think theGerman people were so drawn to the Nazis (Hart, Observation, 5/15/02)? Ms. Hartbelieves that the approach to history in the History Alive materials motivates her studentsand helps them to engage in the historical empathy process. More importantly, thisapproach corresponds with Ms. Harts beliefs about history and helps her make therelationship between the past and present significant for her students.History Alive provided most of the substance for this lesson, but other materialshelped to strengthen what students learned about World War II. Ms. Hart gave studentsseveral handouts on the Holocaust, including accounts from the concentration camps atAuschwitz and the trials at Nuremberg. While these descriptions helped studentsunderstand some of the details of the war, the document that had the greatest impact on

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125students understanding of World War II was a diary kept by Ms. Harts father, a soldierand former prisoner of war in Europe. Students were fascinated by this personal accountof the war, which included an escape from his captors, and it made the conflict more realfor them.For Ms. Hart, her fathers diary is not just another classroom resource; it is a key tounderstanding her interest and passion for teaching history. Because her father did notoften talk about his experiences, his diary offered a unique glimpse not only into this erain history, but, more importantly, into her fathers character and priorities in life. Ratherthan focusing on a random assortment of dates and events, Ms. Hart prefers to take apersonal approach to history and see what motivated people, both famous and ordinary,to do what they did given their circumstances. This approach to history can be frustratingfor students when incentives are not easy to pinpointas with the question as to why theJews in the concentration camps did not try to escapebut it is exactly these types ofquestions which Ms. Hart wants her students to ask to develop a more personalconnection to history.Vignette FourEach grade level at Chance is located in an independent wing of the schoolbuilding, and each area has its own computer lab. Since the school was opened in 1996,the labs have operated with a wide variety of computers. Today, the labs contain manydifferent models of machines, ranging from 1990 IBM personal computers to brand newDells. Local businesses have donated their older computers to the school, and each labnow has four or five distinct types of computers. All of the computers are supposed tohave Internet access as well, but because of the age of some of the machines, theseconnections are unstable and often malfunction. Ms. Hart and other teachers at Chance

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126would rather see more computers in their classrooms than in these labs, but with anemphasis on standardized testing and improving the scores of lower-achieving students,the labs have stayed intact. Figure 5-2. Ms. Harts class in Chances eighth-grade computer labIt is now close to the end of the school year, and most of Ms. Harts eighth gradestudents are eagerly awaiting summer vacation and do not see completing schoolwork asa high priority. She knows that many of her students have a genuine interest in studyingthe more recent past, however, and continues to move through modern history. One of thetopics that has captured her students attention at the close of this semester is a web-basedexploration of Vietnam, much of which is done in the eighth grade computer lab.It is the first day back after a three-day weekend, and students come into thecomputer lab overly excited. Many use the beginning of the class to socialize. Ms. Hart

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127tells students to sit down in front of a computer and reminds them, Yes, you do haveclass today. As is normal procedure, she goes over the agenda and passes out studentfolders. She then asks them to remove their Vietnam checklist from these folders. Thischecklist helps them navigate through the various activities in this assignment. Even withthis direction, a few students continue to talk, and she firmly announces, I guess youguys dont want to be in the computer lab then. The class becomes silent after this mildrebuke and proceeds with the activity.Ms. Hart reminds students that they need to finish their reading selections andproceed to the quotation analysis section. These reading selections present secondarysource accounts of the Vietnam War and provide students with some backgroundinformation on the conflict. Once students answer questions from these selections, theyare to move to the quotation analysis section, where they compare statements made bygroups of Americans impacted by the war.She then informs the class of the third assignment on the agenda, a letter to aVietnam Veteran, and advises students that they should have it completed for homework.She gives students the option of sending the letter from home if they have e-mailaccounts there, or if they do not have Internet access, they can compose a hand-writtenresponse as if they were interviewing a Vietnam veteran, nurse, or protester. She alsorecommends that they send questions to more than one person because, based on previousattempts with this assignment, a single e-mail does not guarantee a quick response. Withthis activity, she hopes that students will be able to hear first-hand from individuals whoexperienced some aspect of this conflict.

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128As soon as the students are settled at their computers, Ms. Hart requests absoluteattention for five minutes and leads the class through the Vietnam student activitiespage. She surveys the room quickly to make sure that everyone is on the right site andthen proceeds to review the assignment on one of the classroom computers. Once theinstructions are clear, about half of the students move straight into the computer activity,while the rest finish working on handouts from the previous class period.Ms. Hart does very little direct instruction for the rest of the class period andconstantly moves from student to student or group to group to help them with theactivities. Throughout the period, more students move to the computers and by themiddle of class, nearly all of them are focused on the primary source analysis. Ms. Hartencourages students throughout this process and helps them with some of the difficultvocabulary they encounter. At the end of the period, she announces to the class, Wevegot to shut down the computers, and then I want you to push your chairs in and go backto the room. Because the students are so involved with this assignment at this point, it isalmost as much trouble to get them to stop working as it was to get them started at thebeginning (Hart, Observation, 5/28/02).The Vietnam ActivityThis web-based activity on the Vietnam conflict is extensive and involves sixindividual and group-based assignments. Among the activities she includes for studentsare a map search on Vietnam, a photographic analysis, a letter to a Vietnam Veteran, andan examination of songs and poems from the Vietnam era. Students also research andcompose a position paper on whether or not the United States was justified in entering theVietnam conflict. On a separate teacher page for this assignment, Ms. Hart lists studentobjectives, Florida Sunshine State Standards (2002), and characteristics related to

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129Howard Gardners (1983) theory of multiple intelligences. While she has revised anumber of these activities from previous semesters, the bulk of the assignment has stayedthe same. Since creating this activity two years earlier, she has received a number ofpositive comments from both parents and students on its overall impact, and it remainsone of the students favorite units. While looking at the implementation of this web-basedactivity is important for analyzing Ms. Harts use of technology, examining how shedeveloped this assignment is just as essential for understanding its implementation.Teacher Learning about TechnologyLearning through Professional Development and Collegial ActivitiesDuring her nine years of teaching, Ms. Hart has experienced very little professionaldevelopment to help her with technology issues, particularly those that directly influenceher teaching. The only sustained professional development with technology that shementioned in interviews was a school-wide effort to train teachers to use Micrograde.This program was aimed at improving the efficiency of teachers grading practices andincreasing communication with parents. Micrograde has an e-mail component that makesit easier for teachers to send grades to parents, assuming they have e-mail access at home.Chance occasionally offers one-time workshops for teachers working with suchprograms as Microsoft Word or Excel, but because Ms. Hart already is comfortable withthese applications, she does not feel the need to attend these sessions. She wouldappreciate more guidance on the creation of teacher web pages or productive uses of theInternet, but she does not foresee such training at her school or in the district. Withbudgets tight and an increasing emphasis on standardized testing, most of theprofessional development activities related to technology available at both the school anddistrict level involve either basic computer skills or test preparation software. While she

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130appreciates the efforts of such organizations as the School Advisory Committee toacquire newer machines for the labs, this support does not carry over to teachers in anysustained manner. With the lack of professional development available, only a smalldegree of Ms. Harts learning about technology can be attributed to this factor. All of theskills that she acquired to create and implement the Vietnam lesson came from colleaguesor through individual effort.Because of Ms. Harts wide range of professional interests and activities, she hasbeen able to gather technological advice from a number of different circles of educatorsthrough professional, university, and school contacts. Through her work as an assessorwith the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, she has exchanges with anumber of fellow teachers. While most of these conversations involve general classroompractice, she does discuss such ideas as how to best use primary source websites withthese other teachers. At both middle school and social studies conferences, she tries tomake personal connections with teachers on issues pertaining to technology. She attemptsto attend as many sessions as she can related to technology and tries to incorporatetechnology-related ideas in her own presentations, particularly those addressing the use ofprimary source documents and WebQuests in the classroom.In her doctoral work at the local university, she has taken several courses related totechnology and feels comfortable with Hyperstudio, web design, spreadsheets, andnumerous other computer applications. Through this work, she has also developedseveral close working relationships with professors, including one from the EducationalTechnology department. The two have worked on bringing digital video to Ms. Hartsclassroom and conducted several class projects related to various technology

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131applications. Ms. Hart realizes that this association has been a great collaborativerelationship (Hart, Personal Communication, 7/31/02), and she hopes to continueworking with others from the university.At Chance, however, Ms. Hart has found that many of her colleagues are reluctantto use technology and have not provided much support for extending what she has beenable to accomplish. As a team leader, she attempts to present learning activities, such asthe Holocaust lesson, to others on her team, but she has found little interest from hercolleagues. She has also had conversations about technology with other social studiesteachers at the school, but few have shown much interest in doing the type of activitiesthat she incorporates into her teaching.One colleague who has been extremely helpful with Ms. Harts use of technology,however, is the media specialist, Ms. Cameron. Ms. Hart describes her assistance withtechnology as phenomenal and supportive, and she adds, Im sure that I wouldnt beable to do everything that I would like to do (Hart, Interview #1, 5/15/02) without her.In addition to her responsibilities in the school library, Ms. Cameron is the technologycoordinator for the school and spends a great deal of time trying to solve some of thetechnical difficulties in the three computer labs. Occasionally, she also gives Ms. Hartinstructional advice and has taken the time to lead her eighth grade students throughcomputer simulations such as Oregon Trail in the lab.For the creation of this Vietnam activity, Ms. Hart credits a class in her doctoralstudies as the primary impetus. In this course, she learned a great deal about designingweb pages and using WebQuests and other web-based activities in the classroom. Sheemployed her skills in importing pictures, linking to other web sites, and analyzing digital

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132resources to create an assignment that would be not only visually appealing, but alsoaccessible and meaningful for her eighth grade students. Even more important thansimply learning the design aspects of creating a web page, however, was her ability toinfuse the technology into her classroom. For Ms. Hart, integrating technology into herteaching is more than simply taking her students to the computer lab several times a year.Instead, she believes that integration is using technology on a regular basis and arguesthat the more exposure kids get to that sort of stimulus (Hart, Interview, 5/28/02), themore they will benefit from a particular lesson. With the support she received from thisclass and its professor, she has continued to use this lesson and has made variousrevisions to strengthen its content and presentation.Learning IndividuallyMs. Hart finds herself working with technology for two primary purposes: tocomplete a number of administrative duties for her school, and to increase her knowledgeabout social studies and thus prepare more significant and engaging lessons for herstudents. As team leader, she must attend weekly meetings with other leaders fromChance and keep her four other team teachers updated on school business. She also usese-mail to keep both fellow teachers and parents updated on the many activities going onat the school. She does much of this work on her home machine because of continualproblems with her assigned school computer.In addition to spending time at home focusing on administrative duties, she alsosurfs the Internet looking for relevant sites to use in her classes. As a means to encouragesome of the more highly motivated students in her classes, she often provides them withone of the web sites she has found so that they can go into more depth on various classtopics. She adds that she would give these students anything that I think would be

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133engaging to help them be interested in the social studies (Hart, Interview, 5/9/02),and technology has proven to be a strong motivator for her students.Her interest in working with technology is not limited to computers or the Internet.She has received several grants to use History Alive curricula, such as the one detailedearlier on the Holocaust, and she says she will continue to add more offerings to herclassroom collection if the opportunity presents itself. She also searches for relevantvideos and compact discs to find appropriate content for her classes.For the Vietnam activity, the initial idea for the assignment came from hertechnology course, but she worked individually to collect the activities and make the website operational. Ms. Hart first used ideas from History Alive and articles from SocialEducation to form a basic framework and then added material from Internet sites shefound on her own to provide a more complete picture of the conflict for her students.With the web pages originally completed two years before this observation, she simplywent back semester-to-semester to assure that the links were still operational and addedsites she had acquired along the way. In the post-lesson interview, she said that she mightlimit some of the analysis required of students for some activities, but with its positiveimpact, she would continue to use this lesson with minimal modifications in the future.Vignette FiveHere they are again. Two student aides are hard at work during Ms. Harts planningperiod trying to bring her computer back to life. This is the third or fourth time thatsomething has been wrong with the machine this term, and it has happened so manytimes over the course of the year, she has lost track of the visits. Rather than purchasingher a newer model, or even an older one from the computer lab, the powers that be havedecided that these students should keep trying to fix this machine. The computer was

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134donated by an insurance company three years ago and was already having problems whenChance acquired it.These students spend nearly two hours a day repairing teachers computers andhave gotten accustomed to seeing the same problems. On this call, something is wrongwith Ms. Harts disc drive, and she has not been able to save any of her documents atschool. After twenty or thirty minutes of tinkering, the disc drive is finally operational.Unfortunately, when she tries to log onto the Internet at the beginning of class, thecomputer gives her a system error, and the cycle begins again.When I return two weeks later to Ms. Harts classroom, I discover that thecomputer has crashed again and has been given permanent retirement by the school. Ms.Hart says that she will make do until the end of the year and will probably get anotherdonated computer in the fall (Hart, Observation, 5/15/02). Several months later during a new school year, I come back to see a new computerin her planning room that looks as if it is functioning well. I comment that I am glad tosee that the school has finally bought her a new machine. She sarcastically replies,Thats my computer. I brought that one from home (Hart, Interview, 10/31/02).Facilitators and Barriers to Using TechnologyFacilitatorsMs. Hart has made a conscious effort to use technology with both heradministrative responsibilities and her classroom preparation, and she recognizes thefactors that help make this utilization possible. Chance provides a number ofopportunities for its teachers to use technology both inside and outside of the classroom,even though many teachers do not take advantage of these opportunities. Each room has aTV/VCR combination, networked to broadcast student announcements across the school

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135each morning. Like Ms. Hart, most teachers also have at least one computer in theirclassroom, and the three grade-level computer labs are often available for student use.Chance also owns two projection units that can display information from the computeronto a large screen; but because they are on cumbersome carts with numerous cables,very few teachers take advantage of this resource. Each computer lab also has a masterprojection unit, but it was not functioning on the day of the Vietnam activity. On anindividual level, a number of other factors help to facilitate her use of technology. Shehas applied for and received several grants that have enabled her to bring History Aliveinto the classroom and use it to strengthen student interest in social studies. Since eachprogram costs several hundred dollars, she knows that she is fortunate to have thesematerials for instruction.In addition to having access to technology, Ms. Hart recognizes that adequatesupport is also essential. As indicated earlier, Ms. Cameron provides both technical andinstructional assistance in addition to her duties as a media specialist. When asked in aninterview about facilitators to her technology use, Ms. Hart acknowledged that Chancewas fortunate to have a number of students skilled in computer repair and available toaddress teachers problems. The students who came several times during the semesterwere not paid, but just did it because they liked working with computers. In listening tothe conversation as they repaired Ms. Harts machine, it was apparent that these studentsunderstood the mechanics of computers and had thought about how they could best beused in the classroom. They argued that the new Dell computers in the labs should havebeen given to teachers where they could keep an eye on them. They complained thattheir fellow students ripped up (Hart, Observation, 5/15/02) the computers in the lab

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136and concluded that the machines would be better off with teachers like Ms. Hart, whowould take better care of them and actually use them for instructional purposes. Eventhough Ms. Harts computer did not last until the end of the year, she still appreciated thatthese students were willing and able to help her when needed.BarriersDespite the benefits provided by the access and assistance available at Chance, anumber of factors make it difficult for Ms. Hart to use technology in her classroom. Interms of repairing broken computers, the technical support given to the school by thedistrict is minimal. One person is responsible for the thirty or so elementary and middleschools in the county and comes to Chance only in case of major network problems, notto deal with difficulties encountered by teachers. Ms. Cameron has been able to deal witha number of the teachers problems, but she cannot handle all of the crises along with herexisting responsibilities. She would like to spend more time with teachers, leading themthrough activities like Oregon Trail, but troubleshooting takes the majority of her time.That leaves much of the responsibility to student volunteers who can provide support inmany instances, but some teachers are reluctant to allow thirteen-year-olds to handle theirmachines.In an early interview, Ms. Hart commented that someone with her responsibilitiesas team leader should get more than a second-hand computer that requires frequentrepairs. She commented that if she didnt have her own computer at home, she would notbe able to provide students with the materials they needed or even fulfill heradministrative responsibilities. She attributed most of Chances technology problems to alack of proper funding. Even though many outsiders would look at the newness of the

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137school and assume that the technology was strong, she asserted that this was not the case.She pointed to the three computer labs, in particular, as characteristic of the problem:So you can go into the computer lab and have ten computers that dont haveCD-Roms. So even if I did have the software, I wouldnt be able to use it on thoseten computers. Then, because we have three labs, one of which is just getting up tostandard, the others get signed up for pretty regularly. So youre sharing it withteachers across the school that want to use it. So you have to plan your curriculumaround that, and its a scheduling thing. (Hart, Interview #1, 5/15/02)During the Vietnam lesson, five of the twenty-five computers in the eighth gradecomputer lab were not working on the observation day, and several others wereextremely slow in bringing up resources for students. Ms. Hart feels that student attitudesand treatment of computers make it difficult for teachers such as herself to usetechnology in the lab setting. Because additional staff is not available in these labs,teachers are often trying to keep an eye on as many as thirty students at a time. Sherecognizes that most of the students are responsible users of the equipment, but shecriticizes the few who pull out the letters and change them around and inject viruses intothe computer. They dont know how to respect the school property (Hart, Interview #1,5/15/02). One possible solution to this problem of malfunctioning machines, she believes,is for some of the lab computers to be moved to classrooms.Part of Ms. Harts vision for technology is a situation in which all of her studentswould have an equal chance to use the computer. She would like five or six functioningcomputers in her classroom, all of them with Internet access. In this manner she could putstudents in small groups on the computers and keep an eye on them more easily than shecould in the lab. But she recognizes that without additional funding, improved facilitiesare not likely, and she will continue to persevere with the technology available to her.

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138Connector as Technology UserAs the quotation at the beginning of this chapter shows, Ms. Harts main objectivein her classroom is to help her students see that they are part of history by making clearconnections to people and events from the past. During the course of this dissertationstudy, she had her students take on the roles of citizens from medieval times, readpersonal narratives about life in concentration camps, and draft a script for a movie onCro-Magnon man. In these, and other similar activities, she presented students withenough background information to give them a basic knowledge of the history content,but with an inquiry-based approach, she ultimately left it up to her students to askquestions that would lead to greater understanding.Technology plays a critical role in helping her students make the connections shewants them to make in her history classes. In describing her philosophy for showing theHistory Alive slides to her students, she compares herself to a teacher who allowsstudents to interpret a variety of assignments totally on their own. She says that thisteachers approach takes away from the meaningful aspects of history and adds, I wouldargue that it takes away from the human-interest side; thats why I try to do a little bit ofboth. I try to use the slide as a tool and not the only thing that the kids rely on (Hart,Interview #1, 5/15/02). Even though History Alive provides a script that teachers can usewhile showing the slides, she believes that the students learn best when they move awayfrom the slides themselves and begin to question what is really happening.Ms. Hart contends that technology can be of great benefit to her students,particularly if they have their own Internet access. She created the web-based Vietnamactivity so that students would have a broad exposure to a number of people and eventsduring class time. Then, after this exercise, if students wanted to go into depth on any

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139given topic, they would be able to put in the extra effort on their own time. She claimsthat this type of technology allows students to direct where their learning is going to go(Hart, Interview, 5/28/02), as they explore parts of the lesson such as writing the Vietnamveterans and studying various web sites that otherwise would receive limitedinvestigation. Because many of her students do not have computers available to them,however, this additional exploration is not always possible, and, therefore, they are notable to make the connections that she desires. This lack of access at home is why Ms.Hart feels that she needs to supplement the technology with personal insights to help herstudents relate to the content.Ultimately, Ms. Harts goal is for her students to engage with history so that theycan feel a part of it and not just remain passive recipients of facts unrelated to their lives.Technology can play an important role in this process, she believes, through computers,video, slides, music, and other media. She emphasizes that the technology is just a tool tohelp students make the significant connections, and that without an accomplished teacherpresent to help the students interact with the historical content, these connections wouldnot take shape.

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140CHAPTER 6THE STORYTELLERA need to tell and hear stories is essential to the species Homo sapienssecond innecessity apparently after nourishment and before love and shelter. Millionssurvive without love or home, almost none in silence; the opposite of silence leadsquickly to narrative, and the sound of the story is the dominant sound of our lives.Price, Notes on the Origin and Life of Narrative (1978)Vignette SixIt is the final period of the day, and twenty-four eighth grade students come quicklyinto Mr. Robbins American History classroom. The first thing that one notices enteringthis classroom is the collection of newspapers hanging from the ceiling. Thesenewspapers, dating back to 1918, portray a wide range of famous headlines in history andhave been laminated to last for years to come. In addition to the permanent displays ofhistorical newspaper headlines, student work is evident all around. Students have beenworking on a Travels in History project, and brochures and posters are lying in front ofthe class in preparation for oral presentations. In a way the space seems unorganized withpapers and projects strewn in seemingly random places, including Mr. Robbins desk,which is piled high with student papers and other classroom materials. But Mr. Robbinsseems to know where everything is, and students are able to find what they need. Onestudent who had been absent the previous day asks at the beginning of class where aworksheet might be. All it takes is a quick stare from Mr. Robbins, and the student movesto a crate in the back right corner of the class and picks up exactly what he needs.

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141From my vantage point in the back of the room, I see several items that catch myattention. On the computer table two disc drives, which seem to accompany the newcomputers, sit unattached surrounded by several blank floppy discs. In addition, aMicrosoft Word 2001 book and a Mac OSX manual are on the floor underneath the table.Next to the books rests a CD box set of Robert Johnsons Complete Recordings. I donot know if Mr. Robbins has let the students listen to this music or not, but as I wait forclass to begin, I glance through some of the biography included with the discs. Inaddition to being a talented musician and bluesman, Johnson had a complicated personallife and died at age 27 under mysterious circumstances. With his background, I can seewhy Mr. Robbins is interested in the music, and more significantly, in the storysurrounding the music.On this warm spring afternoon, Mr. Robbins is dressed professionally in a bluelong-sleeved dress shirt, red tie, khakis, and brown leather shoes. He has his AlexanderID badge on his belt buckle, and, as usual, his glasses are hanging off his neck inanticipation of reading to his class. By this point in the school day, his hair is slightlydisheveled, but he is still energized as he enthusiastically greets his fourth-block class atthe door.Class truly begins when Mr. Robbins prompts the students to copy the daily agendaand adds the reminder that if you havent done this, you have already fallen behind.Most of the students quickly open their notebooks and copy down the agenda and thedaily quotation. After a unit on Andrew Jackson and discussion about his personalcharacter and presidency, the class has now moved on to the 1830s and 1840s and theTexas Revolution. Students had a brief introduction to Texas history in their last class

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142meeting, and as an introduction to todays lesson, Mr. Robbins has students listen to TheBallad of the Alamo and follow along with printed lyrics. He asks students to listen tothe song and attempt to pick up any historical inaccuracies. During the song moststudents follow along with their lyrics sheet, and a few of the bolder students attempt tosing along with the ballad.When the song is over, one student immediately makes a comment about the totalnumber of Texans at the battle. Mr. Robbins takes the opportunity to point out differencesin history textbooks reporting of battle figures and follows with the question, Whywould textbooks want to exaggerate? Another student remarks that it would make theTexans look better and more heroic in the process. After several more comments on thedifferences between the song and the actual battle, the class moves to a visualrepresentation of the battle from the John Wayne (1960) movie The Alamo. Mr. Robbinsknew that the 1960 cinematography would be humorous to his students, but he still feltthat the video would capture their attention and assist him in telling the story of theAlamo.In the previous class meeting, Mr. Robbins discussed with students some of the keyplayers who fought at the Alamo. With larger-than-life figures such as Davy Crockett,William Barret Travis, Sam Houston, and Jim Bowie, the Alamo was an alluring subjectfor eighth grade students. Mr. Robbins provided them with both primary and secondarysources from the battle so that they would have some essential facts and insights frompersonal letters of those who fought there. In the class period before showing the video,he also presented students with the story of Davy Crockett and his controversial death.Rather than simply portraying him as the hero that most textbooks describe, Mr. Robbins

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143presented students with several conflicting theories about Crocketts death, including oneclaim that he was captured and executed at the Alamo. Students had a lively debate aboutthe authenticity of historical sources and were well prepared for watching The Alamo.Before showing the clip, Mr. Robbins takes the opportunity to discuss one messagethat he wants students to get out of the film. He warns students not to fall for everythingyou see, hook, line, and sinker. He suggests that students take notes on all of thediscrepancies they can find in the movie. Because he is showing a clip from the middle ofthe movie, he identifies the actors with their characters from the battle (Crockett, Travis,Houston, Bowie, etc.).During the video, the students are mostly attentive. When the cannon fire and riflesexplode from the screen, the students become even more focused. At one point when abuilding is hit with cannon fire and the actors jump off in unison, a number of studentslaugh out loud. One student even exclaims, This is so fake! The total clip takes aboutfifteen minutes; the discussion that ensues is much longer.The discussion begins when a student poses the question, Would a slave reallythrow himself in front of his master? Opinions as to the wisdom of this gesture varyacross the room, but Mr. Robbins assures them that this response did occur frequently inbattle and apparently did happen at the Alamo. Then, he uses the overhead projector tolist historical inaccuracies that students reveal from the movie. Among the keydifferences highlighted are:! The attack on the Alamo took place at 5:30 a.m., but the movie had the battle taking place in broad daylight.! The Mexicans are said to have surprised the Texans when they first attacked, but the clip showed a more overt assault.

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144! Davy Crockett kills himself by blowing up the fort in movie, but he probably did not die as heroic a death in real life.! Santa Ana was portrayed in the movie as meek individual on a white horse, but many accounts present him as a much more imposing figure.These inaccuracies are only a few of those listed by students, and Mr. Robbins concludesthis part of class with the claims from some historical sources that the casualties were oneTexan for every four to five Mexicans at the Alamo. He then asks, What kind ofwarning flag does this send to you as a student? One student says that the film has onlya hint of truth. Mr. Robbins agrees, saying that the film industry exists primarily tomake money and wont let the truth stand in the way of a great story (Robbins,Observation, 5/13/02).Defining TechnologyAmong the three exemplary teachers, Mr. Robbins has seen the greatest change intechnology innovation from the beginning of his teaching career to the present day. Whenhe started teaching thirty years ago, overhead projectors were luxuries in public schools,and the only computers around at that time were housed in basements of largecorporations or government facilities. After over a decade away from the classroom, Mr.Robbins returned to find that computers had become much more common in schools; andinstitutions like Alexander had grown into magnet schools for technology use.For Mr. Robbins the technology of thirty years ago and the technology of today fallinto the same category. Like the other two teachers, he views technology broadly as atool that assists the learning process and makes classroom life easier. More specifically,he describes technology as anything that goes beyond paper and pencil, chalk andblackboard (Robbins, Interview, 4/26/02). While he has been a computer owner sincethe first days of personal machines, he sees other media as having just as much impact on

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145what students learn in his classroom. He calls low end technology such as the VCR andCD player key elements (Robbins, Interview, 4/26/02) that encourage students toengage with the past and learn more about various periods of history. He worries thatmany teachers have abandoned these forms of technology for glitzier innovations such ascomputers or Personal Digital Assistants. He feels that technology has too often beenbranded as the messiah (Robbins, Interview, 5/2/02) that can save education from thedepths of ignorance, and recognizes that it cannot live up to these expectations.The lesson on the Alamo shows the breadth of Mr. Robbins characterization oftechnology. In this class period, he uses several elements that fit into his conception oftechnology. He uses the CD player to broadcast The Battle of the Alamo, the televisionand VCR to show the movie The Alamo, and the overhead projector to portray studentdiscussion responses and later in this lesson to exhibit student notes. In describing why hechose to use these three forms of technology, Mr. Robbins indicated that they enrich thislesson and provide a change of pace (Robbins, Pre-Observation Questions, 5/13/02)for those students who benefit from different learning styles. By appealing to auditorylearners with the music and visual learners with the movie and student notes, he feels thathe is able to add to the richness (Robbins, Pre-Observation Questions, 5/13/02) of theclass and impact a greater number of students.Teacher BeliefsWhat becomes apparent through observing Mr. Robbins classroom is not only hispassion for his subject, but also the lengths to which he will go to ignite the same type ofpassion in his students. During one of the earliest classroom visits for the present study,Mr. Robbins had abandoned his traditionally formal attire for a plain white t-shirt bearingthe phrase I Am a Loser. Earlier in the year, students participated in a stock market

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146simulation in which, after a period of investigating, small groups chose stocks to followfor several months. The simulation had recently ended, and since Mr. Robbins portfoliowas valued at less than that of the neighboring science teacher, he had to wear theLoser t-shirt for the entire school day. Besides enjoying the fact that he looked silly,students appreciated his willingness to have a sense of humor about learning and wereeven more focused than usual for that particular lesson.Beliefs about InstructionDuring one of his interviews, Mr. Robbins quoted a statistic suggesting thatteaching was % preparation and 75% presentation (Robbins, Interview, 5/8/02).While it is impossible to quantify his teaching performance in this manner, his mention ofthis ratio is still useful for examining his approach to instruction. Even though he hasbeen teaching at various levels for over fifteen years, he is not content to implementexisting lessons in the same manner every time, and he continues to modify and refine hispresentations to maximize student participation. As a self-described precocious(Robbins, Interview, 4/26/02) reader, he continues to expand his thinking about Americanhistory, and this enrichment helps him to craft lessons that will appeal to his middleschool students. One of his greatest concerns about the current direction of education isthe idea of teachers using prepackaged lessons. He argues that this type of preparation isextremely inauthentic and that the push for a standardized teacher-proof curriculum(Robbins, Interview, 4/26/02) removes too much of the creativity and originality fromteaching.He sees textbooks as a large contributor to this movement towards uniformity in theclassroom. While he does use the American History text occasionally in his class, he hasstudents consult it only when they can identify with it, relate to it (Robbins, Interview,

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1475/23/02). Too often, he feels, teachers base entire lessons solely on the textbook and relyon worksheets and other supplementary materials to motivate students. Mr. Robbins takesgreat pride and satisfaction in developing his own lessons, and adds that he enjoys thechallenge of bringing in a variety of sources (Robbins, Interview, 5/23/02) to appealto different students.While preparation is obviously important to Mr. Robbins, his presentation is whatkeeps students excited about coming to his class. Even though he may be slightly olderthan most of his colleagues, he still feels that he knows what appeals to young people(Robbins, Interview, 4/26/02) and tailors his lessons to match student interests. One ofthe primary methods he uses in his presentations to connect to students is humor. Hedescribes his own sense of humor as offbeat (Robbins, Interview, 4/26/02), which oftenfits well with the mindset of young adolescents. Another belief that guides his classroomstyle is a multi-sensory approach to learning. While reading and writing are significant inthe instructional process, he also wants students to learn by hearing, seeing, touching, andfeeling to engage with the past.What is probably most memorable about Mr. Robbins classroom approach toteaching is his ability to tell an engaging story. He started telling stories as a youngsummer camp counselor, and he continues to use this technique as part of nearly all of hislessons. He cannot explain exactly what makes him an effective storyteller, but heprovides a number of possible insights. Having grown up in the Deep South, he wasexposed to an oral tradition of storytelling from family and friends, and some of this artmay have impacted his character. As a schoolboy, he had several teachers who were ableto take the driest events in history and turn [them] into an interesting story (Robbins,

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148Interview, 10/31/02) and some of them made a lasting impression. Finally, he surmisesthat because stories worked on me (Robbins, Interview, 10/31/02), he is able to use thesame line of thinking to bring the subject matter to life for his students through narratives.Preparation is a large ingredient in the success of Mr. Robbins lesson on theAlamo. With a particular interest in Texas history, he distributed a number of sources forhis students before this class. Included in this packet were secondary accounts of variousevents in the revolution and push for independence, primary source letters from majorparticipants in the battle, and lyrics to several songs about the Alamo. Because studentswere able to explore these sources on their own, they were able to listen to the song andview the video from a more critical perspective.With a solid preparation for this lesson, Mr. Robbins was then able to provide aneffective presentation for his students. Although he did not initiate the humor used in thelesson, both the song and the video provided some opportunities for laughter in the class.Part of the appeal of The Battle of the Alamo is that its style was so different from themusic that most eighth graders listen to that students actually listened more closely to thelyrics than they might to a more modern song. Students could have simply read throughthe various articles in the packet, but Mr. Robbins chose to use music and movies toenhance the lesson. Adding sight and sound to student perceptions of this key historicalevent made the accompanying discussion more powerful.Most significant for the presentation of this lesson was Mr. Robbins ability tobring out the facts of the Battle of the Alamo and turn them into a fascinating story for hisstudents. Any account that shows Americans rising to the challenge presented by astronger enemy has particular appeal for students of history, and the events surrounding

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149the Alamo make for an intriguing story. Mr. Robbins introduction of personal accounts,along with those from the song and the video, helped students form a more completepicture of the events at this famous battle. Along with the account of the battle itself,what made this lesson powerful was the exploration of historical inaccuracies in the songand in the movie. Students were able to cite a large number of differences among thefacts given to them in their packets and the media sources and also to recognize the largermessagethat the media will distort the facts to entertain a mass audience. At the end ofthis lesson, students not only were able to relate to the story of the Alamo, but they alsocame away with the notion that history is not just a collection of facts listed in a textbook,but a dynamic subject that deserves a critical examination.Beliefs about TechnologyOne might examine Mr. Robbins rsum and assume that he is an avid supporterof technology in the classroom, particularly the use of computers. He has owned apersonal computer since they were first released in the 1980s and has used them forvarious applications in his classroom. He is fairly proficient at using computers for bothpersonal and professional purposes and has experience with word processing, Endnote,WebQuests, Internet searching, and numerous other applications and activities. Inaddition, he has written articles and made conference presentations related to the rolecomputers can play in the social studies classroom. He considers his competence withtechnology to be between average and savvy.But interviews and observations reveal that he has a cautious, even disparaging,view of the way that technology is often used in the classroom. During his most recentteaching experiences at Alexander, he has seen a trend in teachers using technology fortechnologys sake (Robbins, Interview, 5/2/02) rather than having a real instructional

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150purpose. He argues that much of what passes as good technology is really not beneficialfor students, but teachers use it anyway because they feel compelled to bring computersand other media into their classrooms. He believes that some good technology tools areavailable for teachers, but as a whole most classroom teachers are ignorant of what isavailable to them (Robbins, Interview, 5/2/02).One of the most disturbing trends that Mr. Robbins perceives in technologyintegration, particularly at Alexander, is the emphasis on anything that will enhancestudents test scores. With Floridas emphasis on standardized testing and the rewardsand punishments that result from the grading of schools, teachers at Alexander areextremely concerned with their students scores, and Mr. Robbins acknowledges that thisconcern is merited. Rather than addressing standards in classroom settings, a number ofteachers at Alexander have used programs in the computer lab to help their studentsprepare for these tests. In Mr. Robbins opinion, these drill and kill programs andelectronic flashcards (Robbins, Interview, 5/2/02) do little to improve student learningand take time in the lab away from teachers who would like to do more enrichmentactivities with their students. He has taken students to the computer lab on severaloccasions during the school year, but it has only been after careful consideration andplanning.Even with this critical attitude towards technology, he does believe it can have aplace in the social studies classroom. Through projects such as researching nationalparks, awarding the non-American of the century, or creating journals of Civil War eracitizens, his students have used technology to explore various topics in history. Hisfrequent application of music in the classroom is one of the areas in which he sees

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151technology having a positive impact on his students. His classroom music collectioncontains selections from colonial times to the present, and he finds himself accessingmusic frequently. As he describes his thinking as non-linear, he also expresses his taste inmusic as eclectic, thus hard to characterize. In regard to his relationship to music, hecontends that he can see connections where maybe others dont (Robbins, Interview,10/31/02), and that enables him to make history more meaningful for his students. Henotes a deep personal connection to music throughout his lifetime and believes that hiseighth grade students can relate to music in a similar way.The lesson on the Alamo helps to show some of Mr. Robbins beliefs abouttechnology in his classroom. He used computers to research information about the TexasRevolution and create handouts on the period for his students. But for teaching the lesson,he did not feel the need to go beyond the low-level technology (Robbins, Interview,5/23/02) of the VCR and CD player to relate the story of the Alamo to his students.Through film and music, students were able to analyze different accounts of historicalevents and evaluate their accuracy. He maintains that the technology enhanced thestudents experiences with this event and adds that he did not have to force thetechnology just to fit the lesson. In relating the events of 1836, he believes that throughthe technology, the kids are able to pick it up on their own (Robbins, Interview,5/23/02), and he does not have to prompt them to grasp the details of the story. If he wereto teach this lesson on the Alamo again, he says, other than spending more time exploringhistorical inaccuracies, he would continue to use the same technology and allow studentsto construct their own meaning from the story.

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152Beliefs about Social StudiesFrom early in his schooling, Mr. Robbins showed a profound interest in socialstudies content, particularly American history. His parents took him to many historicalsites as a boy, and these experiences helped to make history come alive for him. Once hestarted discovering more about history, he found that the more I learned, the more Iwanted to learn (Robbins, Interview, 4/26/02), and he continues this quest forknowledge to the present. One of the major goals for his students is that they cultivate thesame type of passion for history as he has developed throughout his life. This excitementis clearly shown in the makeup of his classroom, which is decorated with newspapersdating back to 1918. Early in the school year, he uses many of these papers inassignments that help to connect past events to current issues. He believes that thisemphasis on current events makes his classroom an interesting (Robbins, Interview,4/26/02) place and one where students enjoy spending time.Another important factor in Mr. Robbins beliefs about social studies is hisconception of history as a large story. While many social studies teachers may besticklers for names and dates, he sees history as having greater meaning and purpose. Herecognizes the importance of the names and dates in the big picture of history, but he hasalso been able to pull out the parts of history that appeal most to young adolescents. Heattributes some of his ability to turn historical events into stories to his Southern heritage,and some of it he credits to his overall enthusiasm for the subject. An illuminatinganecdote helps to show how storytelling has impacted his students:In the late 1970s there is a gubernatorial election in Louisiana. Edwin Edwardsis on the ballot, but some guy named Luther D. Knox, Luther Devine Knox, legallychanges his name to None of the above and runs for governor. It goes to theLouisiana State Supreme Court, and his name appears on the ballot as Luther D.Knox. They wouldnt let him use his None of the above. For some reason, some

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153of the students that I taught, that particular story had some kind of resonance withthem, because I saw a student almost 20 years later and he looked me dead in theeye and said Luther Devine Knox. It was something that he remembered and gota kick out of it. (Robbins, Interview, 5/23/02)He argues that history does not have to be dull and boring, but can be an exciting subjectthat eighth grade students can appreciate, enjoy, and carry with them for life. He knowsthat this approach does not work for all teachers, but given his background andself-described non-linear (Robbins, Interview, 4/26/02) ways of thinking, he feels thathis narrative style plays a large part in the success he has had in teaching.In this lesson, Mr. Robbins depiction of the Alamo is indicative of his belief thatsocial studies is much more than the static account one receives from a textbook. Whilemany American history teachers would not choose to spend several days on the TexasRevolution, he is able to connect it to broader themes in American History such asconflict, expansion, and nationalism. With his extensive knowledge of the subject matter,he is able to relate information about key events and incorporate significant primarysource material for his students. Rather than offering a linear account of the Battle of theAlamo and related events, he turns the incident into a story for his students. From thecontroversy over the hero status given to Davy Crockett to the details of the Mexicanattack, Mr. Robbins engages his students in a dialogue that leads to several significantclassroom exchanges.Because he has been telling stories for much of his life, the narrative process hasbecome almost second nature, and he thoroughly enjoys sharing his knowledge of historythrough narratives. He continues to value teaching history and feels that given thecompelling nature of the subject, it is something that he cannot help but continue to do.Since it is difficult to fail at something that is so compelling and relevant to his students

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154lives, Mr. Robbins rationalizes that teaching history is as easy as shooting fish in abarrel (Robbins, Interview, 4/26/02).Vignette SevenIt is a new school year, and Mr. Robbins is still waiting for three of the five newcomputers promised him by the administration during the last school year. He has usedthe new iMacs on several occasions, but he feels that it is difficult to engage students inwhole-class activities with only two computers. Even though he was supposed to getthese new computers six months ago, he has received no confirmation that the othermachines will be brought soon and continues to function with what is available. Scatteredbelow a table with two new iMac computers are pieces of four older machines withmonitors, keyboards, mice, and other assorted parts. These older computers areincompatible with current network operations, and Mr. Robbins is waiting for someonefrom the school to remove them.Nine weeks into the school year, Mr. Robbins eighth graders have becomeaccustomed to his classroom routines and immediately copy the agenda from the board,along with a quotation from his Commonplace Book. The passages in this book comefrom a wide variety of sources and usually are connected to the topics and themes that heis covering in class. On this day, the quotation is from John James Audubon, who noted,A true conservationist is a man who knows that the world is not given to him by hisfathers, but borrowed from his children. Once students are settled, he calls attention tothe Audubon quotation and asks, What do you associate with him? Several studentsmention the Audubon Society and his impact on wildlife and environmental issues. Mr.Robbins nods in agreement and states that students need to keep this quotation in mind asthey complete the days activity.

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155He asks students to clear their desks of everything except a writing utensil. Withthe assistance of his two teaching interns, he passes each of the students a chocolate chipcookie and divides the class into two equal groups. For humor, he asks them if they knowwhat a gag reflex is and explains that if they eat the cookies that he is passing out, hewill ask one of the students to trigger the gag reflex to bring the cookie back. While thiscomment is made as a joke, it gets his students attention, and no one attempts to eat thecookie during the activity.After this warning, he provides directions on how the different sides of theclassroom will extract the chocolate chips from the cookies. Students on one side cansmash up the cookie in any way that they want to obtain the chips, while the students onthe other side try to remove the chips while keeping the cookie intact. He gives thestudents ten minutes to complete the activity, and, because time is money, he imploresthem to work at a brisk pace. During the ten-minute extraction period, the students areextremely involved with their cookies. Some students meticulously attempt to extracttheir chocolate chips from the cookie, and others smash their cookies with recklessabandon to reach their desired end. After this ten-minute period is complete, the internscollect the chocolate chips from the plates and measure them on a scale in the front of theroom. The group that took the chips out forcibly has much more material overall, eventhough the cookies are reduced to crumbs.After collecting the cookies, Mr. Robbins approaches the CD player and tells theclass, This is a song by someone you probably have never heard of and passes out asong lyrics sheet for Paradise by John Prine, along with two questions for analysis.During the song, students are mostly listening and following along on their sheets and, as

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156was the case with The Battle of the Alamo, a couple of students sing aloud. Afterlistening to the song, Mr. Robbins asks, Why would anybody name somethingParadise? and What must a place be like for people to call it Paradise?After receiving no initial response, Mr. Robbins relates the story of Paradise,Kentucky. He informs the students that it was a coal mining town from around 1850 untilthe 1950s or 1960s when a Mr. Peabody took over the mine. Mr. Peabody was notsatisfied with current methods of mining and wanted to use strip mining as a means tofind more coal. At this point in the narrative, he turns to the class and inquires, If youwere the president of Peabody coal, would you be meticulous, or just get as much as youcan? He focuses the class back to the scale in the front of the room and inquires, If yourgoal was simply to get more chips, then what would you do?One student connects this situation to the cookie activity and argues, I would dowhatever it took! Mr. Robbins nods in agreement and adds more to the story of Paradiseby presenting pictures of the town both before and after strip mining was used. Studentsare surprised at his description of how the Tennessee Valley Authority took over the townand flooded it so that it lay under twenty feet of water. They immediately question whyand how an entire town could be under water, and Mr. Robbins adds that in the name ofmoney and progress, just about anything can happen.After finishing the story, Mr. Robbins gives his students two questions from thelesson. One question asks them to interpret a key line from the song: Then they wrote itall down as the progress of man. A second question asks students, in a well-constructedparagraph, to connect the cookie activity, the song, and their own place in the world.These types of questions are similar to the writing responses students will give for the

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157FCAT test several months down the road. After a short time of collecting their thoughtsand ideas, students eagerly craft their responses. Interestingly, Mr. Robbins is aware thatat the time of this lesson, across the campus in Alexanders computer lab students areusing software purchased by the school to improve their test-taking techniques for theFCAT (Robbins, Observation, 10/31/02).Teacher Learning about TechnologyLearning through Professional Development and Collegial ActivitiesEven though Alexander has a strong technological focus as part of its program,teachers have not received much formal training in using technology. The school hasoffered assistance with various computer applications, but attendance has generally beenon a volunteer basis. Because he is already familiar with most of the programs beingtaught, Mr. Robbins has not attended any of these technology sessions. The sole exampleof technology support that Mr. Robbins received was when the school moved to a blockschedule two years ago. Social studies teachers were provided with support by universityfaculty in how to vary their instruction for longer class periods. In one of these sessions,the presenter focused on using technology in the social studies classroom. But since thissession talked mostly about relevant Internet sites, simulations, and WebQuests, conceptswith which Mr. Robbins was already familiar, this information was largely repetitive andnot immediately useful. For the lesson on Paradise, Mr. Robbins did not receive anydirect ideas about these activities from professional development experiences.While Mr. Robbins has learned very little about technology from formal trainingprovided by Alexander, he has benefited by working through larger professionalnetworks, at the university and with colleagues at Alexander. In his professionalexperiences both inside and outside of the social studies, Mr. Robbins has continued to

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158stay current with technology issues. He tries to attend at least one national conference ayearusually either through the National Council for the Social Studies or the AmericanEducational Research Association. At these larger meetings, he usually gains a fewtechnology-related ideas that he can take back to his classroom, but generally he is moreinterested in history or social studies subject matter. He has also attended local and statemeetings, usually related to social studies.For several years, Mr. Robbins has had student interns from the local university foran early experience at the beginning of the school year and for a longer period of studentteaching later in the year. In regard to their use of technology, he has mixed emotions. Hefinds that many of these future social studies teachers have strong technologicalbackgrounds, but they do not always translate these skills into effective lessons. In Mr.Robbins opinion, these lessons often focus more on the bells and whistles than on thesocial studies objectives, and he argues, It seems like it would be more trouble than itsworth (Robbins, Interview, 10/31/02). He feels, however, that most of his interns bringgood ideas to his classroom, and he tries to give them direction in all aspects ofinstruction, not just technology.Another experience Mr. Robbins has had with technology through the university isworking on a study with a doctoral student in social studies education.2 This doctoralstudent was interested in investigating the role of technology in the history classroom andknew of Mr. Robbins reputation as an outstanding history teacher. With the goal of 2 For the purpose of this description, I am referring to myself in third person. Additional information on thisstudy can be found in Lipscomb, G. B. (2002). Eighth graders' impressions of the civil war: Usingtechnology in the history classroom. Education, Communication, & Information, 2(1), 51-67. andLipscomb, G. B. (2003). "I guess it was pretty fun": Using WebQuests in the middle school classroom. TheClearing House, 76(3), 152-155.

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159exploring eighth graders historical understanding, especially investigating the concept ofhistorical empathy, Mr. Robbins classroom seemed a natural fit. In addition, Alexanderscomputer lab provided an ideal location to complete this inquiry, primarily through theuse of a WebQuest on the Civil War. With these factors in place, this study wasconducted over the course of several weeks and resulted in a conference presentation andtwo related articles.Mr. Robbins has worked with colleagues at Alexander for technology projects onmany occasions. In previous years, he has collaborated with the technology teacher on avariety of learning activities. In one such activity, the two teachers developed anassignment on the non-American of the 20th century, which involved taking virtualfield trips, examining data from foreign countries, and creating a student web page. Mr.Robbins also has worked closely with Mr. Knox, the science teacher on his team, to sharetechnology views and teaching strategies. During one observation for this dissertationstudy, the two teachers arranged a class visit from the father of one of their students, whowrites a technology column for the local newspaper. This technology expert presentedstudents with ideas on the Internet, file sharing, copyright, and the future of technology.While these types of experiences with technology are not common in Mr. Robbinsclassroom, he will take advantage of situations if he feels that they will ultimately benefithis students.Several colleagues played a role in the development and implementation of theParadise lesson. Mr. Knox provided the scale used to weigh the two groups of extractedchocolate chips at the end of the cookie activity. The two student interns helped tomonitor and encourage students during the extraction process. The most significant points

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160that Mr. Robbins learned about Paradise came from a friend who was a baseball coach atthe University of Kentucky. This friend was actually from Paradise before it was flooded,and he provided Mr. Robbins with both pictures and information on the city. In hisdescription of the town, Mr. Robbins was able to bring in personal accounts and make theportrayal much more real for his students.Learning IndividuallyIndividual motivations and interests play a large role in how Mr. Robbins learnsabout technology. He spends a good deal of time on his own searching for interestinginformation to supplement his curriculum, much of it at home on his own computer.Rather than looking for entire lesson ideas on the World Wide Web, he instead tries touncover primary source photographs or musical selections that might enhance existingactivities or presentations. He finds the amount of information available on the Internetoverwhelming, but occasionally finds helpful pieces of information for his classroom. Healso pays close attention to television programs and new music that he might be able touse in his classes. While he has a fairly sizable assortment of compact discs andvideotapes, he continues to add to his collection.In the Paradise lesson, several elements of Mr. Robbins interests in technologycame together to enhance the overall presentation. He had taught about Paradise inprevious years, but this was the first time that he had tied the song to the cookie activityand the quotation. While Mr. Robbins friend provided significant backgroundknowledge on Paradise, individual research helped him to discover more about theorigins of the Kentucky town and its eventual demise. A simple search on Google helpedhim to find many of the photographs that he used during the lesson, and he used a printerand overheads to make them accessible for the entire class.

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161Finally, the John Prine song, Paradise, that Mr. Robbins played to enhance thestory came from his own music collection and was one that he has used in his classroomfor a number of years. Since the song was released in 1971, well before most of hisstudents were born, Mr. Robbins recognized that it would not be familiar to most of his14-year-old pupils. Despite some concerns about student attention, he knew that the songwould help deliver the message of the lesson, and with the provided lyrics, would bringstudents closer to the story.Facilitators and Barriers to Using TechnologyFacilitatorsMr. Robbins recognizes that because Alexander is a technology magnet school, ithas some advantages over other schools in regard to available hardware and software.The school has a full-time technology teacher for its three computer labs, presumably totake care of the facilities and work with individual teachers and classes. According to Mr.Robbins, several other people around Alexander are also peripherally available(Robbins, Personal Conversation, 4/30/03) for lab support if needed. He considers themedia center to be state-of-the-art with new hardware and software available for students.The PTA and other organizations have attempted to obtain more computers for teachers,including the five new iMacs promised to Mr. Robbins. Each classroom has a televisionand VCR combination, and these are used partially for student announcements that aredisplayed daily to the entire student body. Alexander has an administration that iscommitted to using technology in the school, and the principal, a former social studiesteacher, does what he can to promote technology use among all of his teachers.At Alexander many students are active with technology and have a number ofavenues to explore various interests in this area. In the sixth grade, all of the students

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162must take a technology class in which they are exposed to a number of innovations. Someof the students in the eighth grade choose to take a class in television production andcreate the morning announcements for the school. In addition, students in Mr. Robbinsprogram must complete a service project before leaving the eighth grade, and manychoose to present their findings through a multimedia approach. The programs website,also primarily designed by students, argues that these experiences with technology willprepare students to take advantage of the technological tools, which will be an integralpart of the society of the 21st century. As a whole, Mr. Robbins students have a goodbackground with technology by the time they reach his class and are comfortable using itfor any classroom assignment.Because Mr. Robbins acquired most of the materials for the Paradise lesson on hisown, he did not need to use any of the other school facilities or equipment. He used hisclassroom computer and printer to create overheads and handouts for both song lyrics andinformation about Paradise, Kentucky. Internet access in the classroom also provided himwith additional resources, including several primary source photographs of the town thathe turned into overheads and displayed to the class. As mentioned earlier, he did have toborrow the scale from the science teacher to weigh chocolate chips, but the rest of thematerials were his. He has owned the John Prine CD for a while and has used hispersonal CD player on numerous occasions for the class. Mr. Robbins contemplatedusing one of the computer labs or the media center for this lesson, but with the resourcesavailable at hand, he decided to keep his students in the classroom.BarriersEven with the facilitators listed above, Mr. Robbins has encountered a number ofbarriers that make it difficult for both him and his students to use technology on a regular

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163basis. While Mr. Robbins has used the computer labs on a number of occasions, hegenerally finds that signing up for them is complicated and not worth the trouble. Hespeculates that some teachers sign up for the labs well in advance of their assigned datesand use them not for any organized class projects, but for electronic flashcards anddrill and kill (Robbins, Interview, 5/2/02) test preparation. While the computer labshave been useful for such projects as the stock simulation and the Civil War WebQuest, ithas been difficult to obtain them when needed. Occasionally, he will send small groups ofstudents to the media center for individual research, but although Alexander has awonderful facility (Robbins, Interview, 5/2/02), the computers are often off limits forstudents. Because of previous experiences with students taking poor care of the machines,the media specialists have kept students away from the media center unless accompaniedby a teacher. Even though the potential is there for the media center to be an inviting andstimulating work environment, Mr. Robbins claims that it is definitely not kid friendly(Robbins, Interview, 5/2/02), and, therefore, it is under-utilized.Inside the classroom, several factors make using technology difficult for Mr.Robbins. Since the computer labs and media center are rarely available, classroomcomputers would provide the best alternative for student engagement. While somestudents have taken advantage of the computers already in Mr. Robbins room, havingonly two machines makes whole-class computer investigation impossible, and these twocomputers receive minimal use. The layout of the room also makes any visual or musicalpresentation challenging. With a small television mounted in the front left corner of theclassroom, videos are hard for most students to see. According to Mr. Robbins, it takes alot of preparation to use the television for class, and lights have to be adjusted to avoid

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164glare. Similarly with the CD player in the back of the room, it is difficult to adjust thevolume properly, and many students complain about their inability to hear the music.During several of the spring observations, the air conditioner in the room constantlyturned on and off, adding to student difficulties. While Mr. Robbins appreciates having alarge classroom where he can display current event newspapers and student work, he alsounderstands the difficulties of using audio and video in this environment. Figure 6-1. Mr. Robbins fourth-block classroomBecause the Paradise lesson was contained inside his classroom, the other barriersaround Alexander did not play a significant role in the execution of this lesson. Heconsidered having students go to the machines in the room to find information tosupplement what they heard in class. But because only two computers were easilyavailable for student research, he decided against having them pursue this method of

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165investigation. It is unclear what impact, if any, the room arrangement had on the studentsability to hear the song Paradise as Mr. Robbins played it on his CD player, but it islikely that a number at the front or far side of the room did not hear the song very well.Since all of the students had a copy of the lyrics, it was still possible for them to discernthe central meaning of the song. By confining this lesson to the classroom, Mr. Robbinswas able to avoid many of the barriers that would have faced him had he ventured toother parts of the school to conduct this lesson.Storyteller as Technology UserNarrative permeates many aspects of Mr. Robbins classroom instruction, andnearly every classroom observation for the present study contained some sort of storyrelated to that days lesson. Sometimes the story is as simple as a brief anecdote about theorigins of his Commonplace Book quotation, or it can be as complex as an analysis ofthe character of Andrew Jackson in the years before he was president. Even thenewspapers that hang from the ceiling portray the notion that history is an ongoing storythat has many fascinating and interconnected components. No matter the historical topic,a story is always at the center of instruction, and students are actively engaged in thesubject matter. From Sam Houston to Sequoyah to Peggy Eaton to Andrew Jackson, Mr.Robbins finds a way to bring historical figures alive for his eighth grade students.Technology does play a role in Mr. Robbins storytelling approach. When hespends 30 to 45 minutes in a class talking about a given historical figure, he uses theoverhead projector to provide a biographical outline of the person in question, as he fillsin the most significant parts of the story himself. One example of this approach comesfrom a lesson on Sequoyah, the Cherokee leader probably best known for creating hisown unique alphabet. In the case of someone like Sequoyah, he uses the overhead to list

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166facts such as years spent working on the alphabet or symbols needed toduplicate the Cherokee language (Robbins, Observation, 5/2/02), but what is mostinteresting to eighth graders is not these isolated facts, but the anecdote that Mr. Robbinstells about Sequoyahs wife. Tiring of his lack of attention, Sequoyahs wife becameextremely angry with him and burned much of his work so that he had to recreate most ofwhat he had worked on. Textbooks rarely present these types of stories to students, but inMr. Robbins opinion, they are what make history real. With a strong contentunderstanding, and a conception of what young adolescents find appealing, he is able tomake these stories of history come alive for his students.Video also provides a useful supplement to the narratives that Mr. Robbins shareswith his classes. He relies on biographies, documentaries, and other films to supplementthe stories he is telling in the classroom. In one observation, Mr. Robbins devoted muchof the class period to a video on Andrew Jackson and his enigmatic character. Eventhough the video would not be considered engaging by most students standards, thisvisual representation showed a side of Jackson that would have been difficult to portraywith handouts or notes. In discussing his use of The Alamo, he noted the ability of film toprovide students with something more than they could get through a written description.He adds:I would say that a lot of the stuff about the visual, being able to see John Waynesinterpretation of the Battle of the Alamo and relating it to previously learnedmaterial, is powerful for students. I think that technology certainly enhances it. Idont have to prompt them. I dont need to tell them before we start: Look at this,look at that, look at this, look at that. (Robbins, Interview, 5/23/02)The discussion that followed the clip from the movie showed that students paid closeattention to the film and were able to pick out which elements of the story were accurateand which ones the filmmakers added for dramatic effect. While many students of history

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167likely take what they see on the screen as fact, Mr. Robbins class was able to take thisdiscussion to a much higher level. The technology played an important part in thisprocess, although it was only one factor among many in the success of this lesson.Interestingly, while music and film played a large role in Mr. Robbins classroomnarratives, computer technology had a much smaller influence. He used the Internet tofind some facts about Paradise, Kentucky, and the battle of the Alamo, but he found mostof the information about these places from other sources. When asked in an interviewwhether or not technology enhanced or detracted from the narrative part of history, Mr.Robbins claimed that the visual elements, such as photographs or film, helped hisstudents relate better to previously learned material. In regard to computers, however, hereturned to the fact that he only had a limited number of machines in his classroom, andthat students would not able to spend enough time examining sources to make using themachines worthwhile. His previous work on the Civil War WebQuest supports his beliefthat computers have a supporting role in helping students make a personal connectionwith history, but with limited classroom access to them, he believes that the best story isthe one that he tells himself.

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168CHAPTER 7CROSS-CASE ANALYSISThis chapter compares and contrasts how the three exemplary social studiesteachers use technology in their classrooms. More specifically, it examines theirtechnology use through the major constructs described throughout the study and theteacher descriptions in Chapters 4, 5, and 6. The five guiding research questions directthe analysis of this chapter. Evidence from interviews, observations, lesson plans, andother documents is cited to develop generalizations regarding how well these questionswere answered.As a whole, the findings show that these exemplary social studies teachers usedtechnology in significant ways to engage students in learning. While there are somestrong similarities in such areas as the lack of professional development opportunities andthe emphasis of each school on using computer labs for standardized test preparation,significant differences emerge in such areas as beliefs about instruction and specificimplementations of technology. The metaphors developed in Chapters 4, 5, and 6Mr.Clayton the model citizen, Ms. Hart the connector, and Mr. Robbins thestorytellerhighlight the unique ways that these teachers approached technologyintegration in their social studies classrooms.How Do Exemplary Social Studies Teachers View Technology?The exemplary teachers in the present study have similar opinions of whatclassroom equipment can be considered technology. Mr. Clayton specifically mentionedlow-tech items such as the television and VCR as technology that played a large role in

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169his classroom. In addition to these devices, he relied heavily on computers and took hisclass to the lab several times during the present study. While Ms. Hart stated definitelycomputers (Hart, Interview, 5/9/02) as her first reaction to the question of whatconstituted technology, she later added the VCR, slide projector, and CD player, all ofwhich were available in her classroom. During the course of the present study, she usedcomputers, the VCR, slides, and music in her teaching. Mr. Robbins listed the VCR andCD player as key elements (Robbins, Interview, 4/26/02) of his classroom teaching. Heused both of these machines during several classroom observations to supplement hisAmerican history instruction.Chapter 2 of this dissertation presented three different conceptions of technology asit applies to classroom use. The first definition, from the National EducationalTechnology Standards for Students (1998), referred to technology exclusively ascomputers and related technologies. A second viewpoint, from Mehlinger and Powers(2002), expanded the definition somewhat to include video, but still concentratedprimarily on computers. A final definition presented in Chapter 2 was from the Office ofTechnology Assessment (1995), which listed the following items as part of classroomtechnology: computers, VCRs, televisions, telephones, video and still cameras, audiodevices, calculators and other hand-held devices, microcomputer-based lab equipment(such as sensor probes and measurement devices), videodiscs, CD-Rom, satellites,multimedia, and telecommunications networks. The views of the teachers in the presentstudy are best represented by the final definition from the Office of TechnologyAssessment. Computers, VCRs, televisions, video cameras, audio devices (CD andcassette players), and CD-Rom technology all were used in significant ways during

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170classroom observations. By using a broad lens to view their own use of technology, theseteachers were able to reach the learning styles of many of their students and takeadvantage of the wide range of resources available to them.Even though these teachers used a number of different elements of technology,there were similarities in how they felt it should be implemented most effectively in theclassroom. These teachers shared the belief that technology should not dominate theclassroom environment but should only be used when it can enhance student learning. InMr. Claytons final interview, he was asked to describe the impact that the Internet washaving on his classroom and on society as a whole. While he acknowledged itssignificance for providing information, he was critical of those who saw it as a solution toall problems in education. He clearly expressed this position:Again, it [technology] is only a tool. If you cant read, if you cant think critically,if you cant ask yourself key questions, then the Internet really does you no goodanyway. Its an access tool, but its not an automatic gateway to improving thequality of life for people. (Clayton, Interview, 10/30/02)All of these teachers saw technology, in whatever form or expression, as a significantfactor in their social studies instruction, but they also realized that it is just onecomponent of many that they could use to supplement their curriculum.What Do Exemplary Social Studies Teachers Believe about Instruction, about SocialStudies, and about Technology?Previous chapters have shed light on the beliefs of exemplary social studiesteachers and how these beliefs impact technology integration. The first series ofinterviews in the present study helped to confirm these teachers beliefs about instruction,about social studies, and about technology. Observations and other written documentshelped to confirm how these beliefs emerged in each of their classrooms. Whileunderstanding teacher beliefs is a complex endeavor and never can be done with

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171complete accuracy, this section attempts to compare and contrast the impact of thesebeliefs on classroom uses of technology.Beliefs about InstructionWhile beliefs about instruction are difficult to characterize in absolute terms, oneway to differentiate among various instructional techniques is through the categories oftraditional and non-traditional instruction. Traditional instruction is viewed as the moreconventional in its placing of the instructor in a position of authority and control over theclassroom. Lecture and whole-class instruction are frequently utilized methods in thisapproach, and still dominant in many schools across the country, particularly at the highschool level. Lortie (1975), Cuban (1993), and others have observed the tendency ofmany teachers to adhere to traditional instruction, and these practices have remainedfirmly in place in American classrooms. Non-traditional instruction emphasizes studentengagement with subject matter and active learning methods. In this approach, studentshave the opportunity to guide their own learning and as a result, are able to go into depthwith matters of personal interest. Many studies (Bray, Kramer, & LePage, 2000; Brophy& VanSledright, 1993; Onosko, 1992) have found that many teachers prefer a non-traditional approach, but that traditional methods still are the most widely utilized,especially in social studies classrooms. While it is difficult to characterize the beliefs ofthese three teachers in absolute terms, it is instructive to place them along a continuum,with Mr. Clayton being the most non-traditional, Mr. Robbins the most traditional, andMs. Hart somewhere in between.DifferencesWhile Mr. Clayton occasionally engaged in lecture or whole-class discussion, mostof his classroom activities were centered on student actions. He allowed students to

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172 Figure 7-1. Beliefs about instructionpursue individual interests in his civics course and helped them to discover their role inthe greater community. He stated his philosophy of teaching most directly with thecomment that kids learn best when learning is connected to their immediate lives or thelife they can see right in front of them (Clayton, Interview, 4/24/02). He believed that atthe high school level, learning is often separated into different subject areas, but that itdoes not have to be that way. Mr. Clayton applied this principle to his own subject area,adding, Social studies by itself is not that interesting (Clayton, Interview, 4/24/02) tomany students, but connecting it to other subject areas can lead to greater understandingand real world application. Rather than overwhelming students with an abundance of

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173details, he concentrated on a few relevant issues in depth. A number of researchers(Brophy, 1992; Onosko, 1992; VanSledright, 1997) have studied expert teachers andfound that they tend to emphasize depth over breadth in their instruction. Similarly, Mr.Clayton was able to focus on major goals and objectives and to keep his studentsinterested by limiting his content to key topics.Ms. Harts beliefs about instruction were the most eclectic among the threeteachers. On one hand, she believed that students should be allowed to explore on theirown and investigate subjects that are of particular personal interest; but she also felt thatbecause many of her students did not have enough background knowledge to understandhistorical topics, she needed to expose them to content through whole-class instruction.The exemplary elementary social studies teachers interviewed by Brophy andVanSledright (1993) expressed an attitude similar to that of Ms. Hart, in that theyembraced a wide variety of rich learning activities. To give her students theunderstanding of social studies that she thought was necessary, she tried to expose themto an assortment of activities and to provide them with a variety of assessments so thatshe could ascertain more accurately what learning had taken place. She saw herself asmuch more than a paper and pen assessment person (Hart, Interview, 5/6/02) andencouraged her students to demonstrate what they had learned through such methods aspresentations, demonstrations, and portfolios. In this manner, she was like the expertteacher presented by Bray, Kramer, and LePage (2000), who was constantly reflectiveand mindful of new strategies to meet her students needs. Ms. Hart argued that with thismixed approach to instruction, all of her students felt that they had a chance to succeedand to enjoy social studies.

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174Mr. Robbins approach to instruction was the most traditional among the three. Hisclassroom organization with desks arranged in ordered rows lent itself to lecture andwhole-class discussion. He prided himself on his presentation techniques, and with hisvast content knowledge, he was able to skillfully impart important details of Americanhistory to his students. Mr. Robbins ability to transform content knowledge topedagogical representations that connect prior knowledge and dispositions of thelearner (p. 409) clearly demonstrated the attribute that Shulman and Quinlan (1996)argued was indicative of exemplary teachers. Rather than seeing himself purely as adispenser of information that his students would mindlessly absorb, he attempted to helphis students become more critical consumers of the information that they were receiving.Because of all of the information that bombards young people on a daily basis, he wantedhis students to be able to discriminate between what is of value and what is worthless(Robbins, Interview, 5/8/02).SimilaritiesWhile these exemplary teachers used a variety of instructional approaches in theirclassrooms, what makes them similar is their ability to engage students using whatevermethod or activity they have deemed to be most appropriate. In the observed lessonsusing technology, in particular, students were actively involved in the learning processandIn the technology used in Mr. Claytons two key observations, the Children inAmericas Schools video and the Sim City 2000 simulation, students had an active roleand, through careful examination, were able to relate to the subject matter on a personallevel. In the follow-up interview to the video lesson, Mr. Clayton described the role thatstudents had in his classroom for guiding where their learning should go. He said that

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175rather than standing up in front of the students and telling them, You will learn this andthat and Im going to show you how to learn it, he believed that students should be ableto draw their own conclusions. Ultimately, he added, the objectives come out throughthem (Clayton, Interview, 5/16/02). Similarly, in the Sim City 2000 simulation, heallowed students to play the game on their own computers and come to individualconclusions about how they should develop their community. In other technology-relatedactivities, including videos, WebQuests, and Internet research, Mr. Clayton encouragedstudents to become intimately connected to the topics in question and to direct their ownlearning about civics.The two key observations in Ms. Harts classroom illuminate her range of thinkingabout instruction. In one of the key observations, she used slides and a student handout topresent information on the Holocaust and Americas role in World War II. Thetechnology, while low-tech in some regards, served to focus students attention onprimary source photographs from the Holocaust. Ms. Hart used a mixture of traditionaland non-traditional teaching strategies to lead them through these pictures. As she wentthrough the slides, she told the students to write down the key points from herpresentation, sometimes instructing them word-for-word what to copy. On the other hand,she strayed from this script to guide students through an inquiry process to help themgrapple with some of the more complex issues and themes associated with the Holocaust.In the second key observation, Ms. Hart directed her students through a web-basedactivity to expose them to both domestic and international issues on the Vietnam War.Some of the required elements in this activity were straightforward and traditional, suchas asking students to fill out a map and answer basic questions about reading selections.

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176But other activities, such as a letter to a Vietnam veteran and an interpretation of poetryand song, were student-centered and allowed numerous opportunities for exploration andcreativity. In describing the varied approaches to this lesson, Ms. Hart claimed that thiskind of lesson is like peaks and valleys, (Hart, Interview, 5/28/02) with a wide range ofopportunities for student engagement. She suggested that some of the assignmentsassociated with this lesson were more difficult than others, but that as a whole, all of herstudents were excited about the activity and often exceeded her performanceexpectations.In his key observations with technology, Mr. Robbins primarily chose applicationsthat were low-tech, and in them, he also provided his students with opportunities forparticipation. He used video extensively to show students significant people and eventsfrom nineteenth-century American history. Before the Alamo lesson, he gave students apacket with song lyrics, news articles, secondary accounts, and letters to providebackground information for them. With this background information in place, heincorporated the movie The Alamo into his narrative and provided students with a visualrepresentation of the battle. Based on the discussion that ensued from the video, heargued in his reflection from this lesson that students were able to identify thesediscrepancies and to rationalize why these inconsistencies exist (Robbins, Reflection,5/16/02). Without the background necessary to understand this event, Mr. Robbinsstudents would not have been able to investigate the contradictions between the movieand the prevailing historical beliefs about the conflict. Mr. Robbins also used musicalselections to help his students connect to class content. With wide-ranging topics fromthe Alamo to environmental destruction, he often found a way to bring music into his

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177lessons. In the Paradise observation lesson, music provided students with a link to anactual place and way of life. Mr. Robbins classroom narrative of the destruction of thisKentucky mining town was obviously teacher-directed in focus, and the music served toincrease student interest in the subject matter. In the follow-up interview to this lesson,Mr. Robbins described how his personal interest in music enabled him to use iteffectively in his instruction. He asserted that music is part of who we are (Robbins,Interview, 10/31/02), and that he would use it to supplement his instruction wheneverpossible.Beliefs about TechnologyA number of studies (Hadley & Sheingold, 1993; Ravitz, Becker, & Wong, 2000;Sandholtz, Ringstaff, & Dwyer, 1997) have claimed that technology pushes teachers tobecome more constructivist in their instructional beliefs and practices. Findings fromthese studies stressed that the very nature of technology, computers in particular,encouraged more student engagement and allowed teachers to relinquish some of theircontrol over the classroom. Despite assertions such as these, Cuban, Kirkpatrick, andPeck (2001) contended that even if teachers claimed to be using more constructiviststrategies, classrooms were often not as described.All of the teachers in the present study said that technology brought additionalresources and strategies to their classrooms, but none of the three attributed majorchanges in their pedagogy to technology. Cuban (1986) expressed a similar sentimentwhen he argued that technology may allow teachers to make slight changes in existingpractices, but that fundamental changes were unlikely. In describing technology, theexemplary teachers in this study referred to technology as a tool on numerous occasions,but the ways in which they viewed this term varied in some key regards. Even though

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178there were a number of differences in the manner in which these exemplary social studiesteachers approached technology use in their classrooms, they were united in theircriticism of technology as the primary means to prepare students for standardized tests. Figure 7-2. Beliefs about technologyDifferencesAnother view of technology shared by all three of the teachers is that it is a toolthat can be used in the classroom, along with many other teaching strategies andresources. Grabe and Grabe (2004) defined a tool as an object that allows the user toperform tasks with greater efficiency or quality (p. 84). The authors argued thatcomputers, in particular, have enabled students to manipulate large quantities of data and

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179create graphics and images that would have otherwise required enormous timecommitments. Many of the technology decisions made in schools today likely are moreconcerned with efficiency than with focusing on improvements that can be made inclassroom learning.As described by these teachers, however, their conception of technology as aclassroom tool goes well beyond its ability to save time and effort. They viewedtechnology as one method, among many, through which students can engage with socialstudies content in meaningful ways. In various interviews, Mr. Clayton used themetaphor of technology as a tool twelve times, with a variety of different connotations.At various points in the interview process, he referred to technology as a tool for each ofthe following areas: transmission, access, communication, creativity, simulation, andeducation. The first two descriptors (transmission and access) are more representative oftechnology as an efficiency tool to help students find large amounts of informationrapidly. Subsequent references, however, show that technology can be used in a varietyof ways to enhance learning and help students to reflect critically. Mr. Claytons desirefor his students to think in global terms represents this higher-order belief abouttechnology, and he stated, I see technology as a tool or a vehicle by which to bringthings to the classroom or to send things out of the classroom, to develop the skills andknowledge and dispositions that kids need to be successful in this world (Clayton,Interview, 4/24/02). He acknowledged that technology can be misused or overused, buthe believed that if it is used effectively, it can help students become informed and activecitizens.

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180Ms. Hart viewed technology as a tool that can help her students go beyond whatthey experience in the classroom and discover more on their own. During the Holocaustlesson several students had questions that Ms. Hart could not answer, and she encouragedthem to go find out (Hart, Observation, 5/15/02). In the interview after this lesson, shediscussed the World Wide Web as an important tool for enhancing what she could do inher classroom. She said that by the end of the course, students realized that they didnthave to rely on her for all of their information, but could go and learn and find theinformation using the Internet, using the web sites (Hart, Interview #2, 5/15/02)provided during class. Even though she recognized that not all of her students would (orcould) follow up on these web sites, those who did would find technology to be animportant tool for learning (Hart, Interview #2, 5/15/02) that would allow them toconnect to many of the ideas they were studying in class.While Mr. Clayton and Ms. Hart used the tool metaphor to describe some of thepositive attributes that technology could bring to their classrooms, Mr. Robbins qualifiedthe term, noting that technology is only a tool. In an early interview, he criticized thosetechnophiles (Robbins, Interview, 5/2/02) who believed that technology wouldradically transform education and make the teachers role in the classroom lesssignificant. In response to these ideas, Mr. Robbins described technology as a tool tomake our lives easier and asserted, Give me a picnic table and students any day(Robbins, Interview, 5/2/02), compared to a high-tech classroom. He felt that too oftentechnology is infused into lessons without a true instructional purpose, and he wanted toguarantee that when he does bring technology into a lesson, it would truly enhancestudent learning.

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181Before the observation on Paradise, Mr. Robbins was asked to respond to thefollowing question: What do you hope that students get out of this lesson (in regard totechnology and as a whole)? He first addressed the role of technology in the lesson,saying that its integration into this lesson should be seamless (Robbins, Pre-Observation Questions, 10/31/02), and he hoped that his use of transparencies, music, anda measuring scale would accomplish that objective. But he went further to address its useand added, Technology is a tool. It should enhance lessons. Use of technology solely forthe sake of using technology places emphasis on the wrong things in the classroom(Robbins, Pre-Observation Questions, 10/31/02). This particular belief seemed to governthe actions of all three of these exemplary teachers in their use of technology and allowedthem to integrate it into their instruction only after careful consideration of its meaning.SimilaritiesAt Granger, Chance, and Alexander, as with most Florida schools, state-issuedreport cards are very important on a number of levels, and administrators are concernedthat their schools rate at the highest possible level. In order for the school to performwell, all students must receive high scores on the FCAT, the test in reading andmathematics that contributes heavily to an institutions grade. Each of these teachersunderstood the necessity of assisting all students in the assessment process, but allbelieved that true learning should take place in the classroom, not just in a computer lab.One of the interventions that Granger has implemented is a remediation class forstudents who need basic help on the FCAT. Mr. Clayton argued that this class really wasmore about efficiency in assessment than about improving reading, writing, ormathematical skills. He contended, I dont think that technology should be used in a waywhere kids come to know computers as things that dont enhance their learning

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182(Clayton, Interview, 5/24/02), but simply as test-taking devices. With the interventionclasses firmly in place, it was difficult for Mr. Clayton to use the computer lab for civicsinstruction, and even if advanced preparations were made, a move to the lab could notalways be smoothly conducted.During one of the observations early in the study, Mr. Clayton wanted half of aclass period (approximately forty-five minutes) in the computer lab for his students tobegin research on their essential question from Savage Inequalities. Unfortunately,when the class moved to the computer room, the reading teacher had forgotten about thistransition and needed additional time to complete computerized testing with students.After ten minutes waiting outside, Mr. Claytons class was finally able to go in thecomputer lab, but had only twenty-five or thirty minutes to work once everyone wassettled. Even though Mr. Clayton had taken steps ahead of time to notify the teacher ofhis need for the lab, the teacher responded, Oh, I didnt know exactly what time youwere going to be coming (Clayton, Interview, 5/24/02). Mr. Clayton remarked thatepisodes like this one were discouraging but to be expected, as long as the computerlab was being used for remediation purposes.Ms. Hart perceived that the computer labs at Chance, too, were being excessivelyused for test preparation. In an early interview she noted one disadvantage for socialstudies teachers in particular, in that only language arts and mathematics are testedsubjects on the FCAT. Because of the weight put on this standardized test, teachers inthese areas tend to use the labs more for test preparation purposes than for instructionalobjectives. In describing her use of the eighth grade computer lab, Ms. Hart affirmed, Inever use it for FCAT preparation. I use it to enhance my lessons (Hart, Interview,

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1835/15/02). If social studies were to become a tested subject, she asserted, morestandardized test preparation software might become available, but she emphasized thatshe would stay away from such applications if at all possible.Even though Alexander is a magnet school for technology use, Mr. Robbinsperceived an inequity in the types of activities students encountered at the school. Hebelieved that lower level students received a higher percentage of practice in basic skillsin reading and writing, while upper level students, like the ones that he teaches, arechallenged with projects, problem solving, and critical thinking activities. A recent reportfrom the CEO Forum on Education and Technology (2001) acknowledged that majorinequities still exist with the experiences students are having with technology,particularly with computers. The authors of this report contended that teachers in manyschools rely on technology to reinforce basic skills, rather than to support higher-orderthinking and the full range of 21st century skills (p. 29).With technology, in particular, Mr. Robbins felt that students in his program areexposed to a number of activities that encourage higher-order thinking and engagement.He believed that many other students in the school do not have the same type of support.He argued that what the mainstream students experience at Alexander is electronicflashcards and drill and kill (Robbins, Interview, 5/2/02) software, rather than moremeaningful forms of technology use. As mentioned in Chapter 6, teachers signed up wellin advance to use the computer labs, and for teachers like Mr. Robbins, who would like touse the facilities for enhancing social studies instruction, it is extremely difficult to do so.In addition, he noted that before the FCAT, which took place during the middle of thisdissertation study, the computer labs were pretty much off limits (Robbins, Interview,

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1845/23/02) to any classes other than language arts and mathematics. As a result of thesecircumstances, Mr. Robbins did not use the lab facilities for the duration of the presentstudy.Beliefs about Social StudiesOne of the most significant areas of examination in the beliefs of Mr. Clayton, Ms.Hart, and Mr. Robbins is their perception of the nature of the social studies. Theseexpressed beliefs were apparent in their classroom instruction, in particular through thoseactivities using technology. Although studies examining the beliefs of practicing socialstudies teachers are limited, the exemplary teachers in the present study provide someuseful information in this area and help to fill the gap that Armento (1986) and othershave criticized in the social studies literature.DifferencesMr. Clayton believed that, compared to teachers in other subject areas, socialstudies teachers have one of the easiest jobs in making content relevant for their students.He felt that social studies teachers have ample opportunity to show students how whatthey are learning connects to their daily lives. He mentioned specific activities in hisclassroom, such as a local action unit, a mentor program with elementary students, andthe development of a classroom grading system, as examples of how his students havethe chance to become more cooperative and more effective citizens (Clayton,Interview, 4/24/02). He believed that by framing a few key issues for his students, hecould equip them with the necessary knowledge and skills to help them become vitalcommunity members.The technology that Mr. Clayton used in his classroom clearly showed his desire toengage students in activities that have an immediate connection to the world around

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185 Figure 7-3. Beliefs about social studiesthem. He found that video was one of the most powerful methods he could use toillustrate key points of his classroom civics curriculum. Its effectiveness was clearlyevident in the Children in Americas Schools video that he used to supplement hisinvestigation of the state of education across the United States. In his lesson plan forcomparing American schools, he discussed his choice of video as a means ofsupplementing what students are reading in Savage Inequalities, pointing out the videosability to provide the chance to see real kids and real people who live with the issues andtry to address them (Clayton, Lesson Plan, 5/16/02).

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186Similarly, in his use of simulations, such as Sim City 2000, he tried to help hisstudents experience relevant subject matter. He believed that this game was the mostauthentic learning experience (Clayton, Interview, 5/24/02) he had found to introducehis students to the association between citizens and the community. In his lesson plan forcarrying out this simulation, he again emphasized his goal of helping students see theinterconnectedness of the community and the larger world. In this plan, he stated as oneof his primary student objectives the understanding of the symbiotic relationshipbetween individuals and the community in which they live (Clayton, Lesson Plan,5/22/02). In his reflection on these goals, he indicated that students generally met hisobjectives, but that without the video, this understanding would not have been possible.In contrast to the global view of social studies that Mr. Clayton supported, Ms. Hartpreferred to take a more personal approach in her instruction. Her beliefs were similar tothose of teacher John Price in Wineburg and Wilsons (1991) study of the subject matterknowledge of history teachers. Price used an inquiry-based approach to help his studentsrelate better to the characters of the past and take an active role in the learning process.Moreover, Ms. Hart wanted her students to see beyond their own little world (Hart,Interview, 5/6/02) and to explore the connections between past and present. She reliedheavily on primary source documents, particularly letters and diaries, to bring the wordsand actions of people in the past to her students and help them to see that they are part ofhistory and not just passive observers. She believed that this awareness of the past wouldhelp her students become better prepared for the future (Hart, Interview, 5/6/02) and torealize that their actions, no matter how small, will have an impact on the lives of others.

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187Furthermore, in the Holocaust lesson, and in other classes in which she usedHistory Alive materials, she intentionally raised questions that would provoke certainfeelings and reactions in her students. When asked in an interview about this emotionalapproach to showing historical slides, she acknowledged that it was her desire to stressthe human-interest side of history that brought about this emphasis in her instruction.While she still thought it was important to mention battles and statistics, she recognizedthat it was more essential for her students to be able to ask, What was the impact onindividual lives (Hart, Interview #2, 5/15/02)?Similarly, in her Vietnam lesson, Ms. Hart directed her students to carefullyexamine comments from various groups who had differing perspectives on the conflict.She realized that this assignment would be difficult for some of her students and allowedthem to work with a partner to discuss some of the more challenging passages. Indescribing this arrangement in the follow-up interview, she hoped that her students wouldreally talk with a partner to understand first what the group felt about the war andhow they were affected by it (Hart, Interview, 5/28/02). While the technology in thiscase provided students with the access to primary source documents, it was secondary tothe comparisons that students were able to make in working with their partners.Mr. Robbins evidenced a passion for his subject that grew out of personalexperiences visiting historical sites and the wisdom of several influential social studiesteachers. This interest has intensified during his teaching career, and he consistentlyattempted to share his enthusiasm with students. His unique ability to shape historicalevents into engaging stories also enabled him to capture the attention of his eighth gradestudents. Similar to Mary Lake, the fifth grade teacher Brophy (1992) profiled in his

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188year-long study, Mr. Robbins was an accomplished storyteller who viewed socialeducation as crucial for his students. He provided students with a steady supply of bothprimary and secondary source material to help them interpret the history they wereexperiencing. He felt that students should view history as more than just a collection ofdates and tried to elevate [his teaching] beyond typical middle school U.S. Historylessons (Robbins, Interview, 4/26/02).This passion for history was evident in his lesson on the Alamo. Time spent inTexas allowed him to relate personal experiences to his classroom presentation andprovided him with a unique perspective on the battles role in the movement for Texasindependence. He told the class about key figures including Davy Crockett, SamHouston, and Santa Anna and used the song The Battle of the Alamo to attract evenmore students to this story. After playing this music and analyzing the songs lyrics, hebrought The Alamo into his presentation. He allowed his students to see the inaccuraciesin the story and discuss why the film version of the story is exaggerated. While somemight criticize his use of such a biased film to teach about the Alamo, the ensuingdiscussion helped to show Mr. Robbins belief that students can develop significanthistorical understandings if given the opportunity.Mr. Robbins wide-ranging and complex understanding of American historyenabled him to present subject matter to his students in an interesting way. Other studiesof social studies teachers pedagogical content knowledge (Gudmundsdottir & Shulman,1987; VanSledright, 1997; Wineburg & Wilson, 1991) have similarly described theability of experienced teachers to relate their content in meaningful ways for theirstudents. Mr. Robbins ability to grasp the larger picture of history allowed him to engage

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189his students on higher levels of historical thinking and to connect seemingly divergentcontent. After the Paradise lesson, he presented students with an article and map of aredesigned United States, and he concluded the class with a student investigation of theNorthern colonies in the early 18th century. On the surface, these three assignmentsseemed unrelated, but looking at them with a broader lens, Mr. Robbins wove the themeof progress throughout these activities.In the follow-up interview for this lesson, he was asked about his students capacityto comprehend these different activities and grasp the big picture of history. Based onhis years of experience and understanding of adolescents, Mr. Robbins claimed that hisstudents were able to follow his approach and were able to make some extraordinaryconnections on their own. Even though the Paradise lesson took place towards thebeginning of the school year, students were already able to see the theme of progress inhistory, critiquing both the advantages and disadvantages associated with it. Mr. Robbinsargued that his understanding of themes allowed students to see that social studies ismore than just U.S. history (Robbins, Interview, 10/31/02) and to make it moreapplicable to their daily lives. While video and music facilitated this study of themes, Mr.Robbins argued that they were merely instruments by which to further student interest inhistory.SimilaritiesWhile these teachers beliefs about social studies were distinct from each other insome ways, they were more similar in their attitudes towards textbooks. Critics of thesocial studies have noted that teacher-directed instruction and responding to textbookpassages continue to dominate the subject, and in this process, many students have beenturned off by the subject. Thornton (1991) contended that many social studies teachers

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190have allowed the textbook to control all aspects of instruction, but that in their role asgatekeepers, teachers actually have a great deal of freedom over how to best presentsubject matter in their classrooms. Schug, Western and Enochs (1997) also noted thetendency of social studies teachers to allow textbooks to dictate their instruction. Theauthors referred to class meetings as recitation sessions in which teachers go over longtextbook passages and use the supplementary worksheets, quizzes and tests to assessstudent learning. They emphasized that even with numerous alternatives to textbooks, thepossibilities for technologically enhanced instruction are more various and accessiblethan ever before (p. 97).While textbooks were available at all three schools and often visible in theclassroom, they only emerged in one observation in Mr. Robbins classroom, and thatwas only for a ten to fifteen minute period at the end of a class. Each of these teachersbelieved that textbooks, like other supplementary materials available to them, can provideuseful information for their students, but should not drive their instruction. Since Mr.Claytons civics course is a program unique to Granger, it does not have a state-adoptedtext from which to draw information. Instead of a textbook, Mr. Clayton used books suchas Jonathan Kozols Savage Inequalities and Patricia Herschs A Tribe Apart, along withnumerous readings, videos, and other materials to guide classroom content.Ms. Hart had textbooks for both her sixth grade World History and eighth gradeAmerican History classes, but students did not use them during any of the classroomobservations in the present study. In any early interview on her use of technology, shedescribed some of the ways that technology had changed her teaching. She detailedactivities that her sixth grade class had done on a Japan unit that included slides, a

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191WebQuest, and a classroom exchange with a Japanese middle school. She argued thatthese kinds of experiences would not have been possible with a textbook approach, whichwould have turned out to be very flat and very boring (Hart, Interview #1, 5/15/02).In her new sixth grade position, which she assumed in the second year of the presentstudy, she taught an integrated social studies and science class with no textbookavailable. She relied on the Internet and National Geographic and Time magazines forstudent readings and curricular materials.The topic of textbooks emerged in several of Mr. Robbins interviews. He placed aclassroom set of the 1992 edition of The Story of America under student desks and keptseveral older sets of American history texts on a bookshelf at the front of the class forvarious class projects. When asked in an interview towards the end of the study why hehad not used the textbooks available to him, he listed a number of difficulties that theycreated for his students, other teachers, and his own instruction. He remarked:This particular textbook makes a number of assumptions. Number one, it assumesthat students have a stronger background in U.S. History than they do and can buildupon what they have already learned. The feeder schools [for Alexander], so manyof them totally ignore social studies and science because of the pressure they feelon the FCAT.... Plus I enjoy the challenge of developing my own lessons andbringing in a variety of sources. I am appalled waiting in line to use the copymachine, [to see] how many teachers find everything they do right out of thesupplementary workbook from the textbook. And it seems so mind-numbing to me.Part of the joy of teaching is developing lessons that will somehow engage thestudents in the material, that there will be some aspect of it that they willremember. (Robbins, Interview, 5/23/02)He recognized that teachers must compete with the various interests that students haveoutside the classroom, and argued that textbook-driven instruction does not go very far tomaintain student interest or encourage them to develop an excitement for social studies.The other issue with social studies textbooks that concerned Mr. Robbins is theassumptions that many students, including his own, have about the information presented

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192in them. Many students presume that whatever the textbook says must be factual andaccept that information without any critical examination. While Mr. Robbins found someof the primary source materials and maps in the textbook to be useful, he worried thatsome of his students were too easily manipulated by the material presented in thetextbook. He argued that in regard to student understanding, the textbook doesnt makethem think. They read it and treat it as an absolute (Robbins, Interview, 10/31/02).Because of this concern, Mr. Robbins presented students with multiple perspectives onhistorical figures and events and did not rely on the textbook. By presenting history witha narrative approach and using the textbook on a limited basis, Mr. Robbins wanted toprovide his students with a much deeper appreciation and understanding of history thancould be gleaned from a traditional textbook account.How Do Exemplary Social Studies Teachers Learn to Integrate Technology intotheir Instruction?Because these exemplary teachers all taught in the same district and had beenexposed to many of the same opportunities to learn about technology, one might assumethat they had similar training experiences and used comparable technology applicationsin their classrooms. While parallels did exist in their learning experiences, thesesimilarities are the most evident in the areas to which they had not been exposed,especially in regard to formal professional development.Learning through Professional Development and Collegial ActivitiesMr. Claytons comment that school systems dont do a very good job withprofessional development, and they do an even crummier job as a whole with technologyprofessional development (Clayton, Interview, 4/24/02) described the trainingopportunities he believed had been provided for these teachers at the district level. The

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193 Figure 7-4. Teacher learningfew available offerings seemed much closer to the one-time dissemination activitiesdescribed by Feiman-Nemser (2001) than to the sustained efforts based in teachersclassrooms advocated by Darling-Hammond (1997). While there were a few offerings inbasic computer applications, e-mail communication, and other technical skills, nonefocused on instructional uses of technology. At the school level, a similar situationexisted; there were no real opportunities for learning about technology in a classroomsetting, particularly in relation to social studies. Results from the Apple Classrooms ofTomorrow project (Dwyer, 1994; Ringstaff, Yocam, & Marsh, 1996; Sandholtz et al.,1997) determined that for technology training to be effective, it needs to be carried out inactual classroom settings and extend beyond the duration of the workshop.

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194For the three exemplary teachers, the professional development opportunities withtechnology offered to them were not in classroom settings, nor were they sustained. Mr.Clayton remarked that at Granger a few workshops for beginning teachers were available,but these opportunities concentrated on isolated technology skills and had littleconnection to his teaching. At Chance, Ms. Hart attended training sessions onMicrograde, a software program to facilitate the grading process, but again, despite adesire to have training that could assist her instruction, none was available at either theschool or the district level. Mr. Robbins had a brief overview of technology at Alexanderin a workshop focused on teaching in a block schedule, but like the other teachers, he didnot see any value in attending workshops on skills with which he was already familiar. Inall three cases, these teachers conveyed an interest in receiving training for instructionalpurposes, but they did not see an emphasis on this area at their schools or at the districtlevel. Unless spending in technology support increased significantly, as suggested by thePresidents Commission of Advisors on Science and Technology (1997), they did notforesee any significant changes in opportunities for technology training within the schooldistrict. Without formal training opportunities available, colleagues become a morevaluable resource for learning about technology. One of the greatest similarities among these exemplary teachers was evident in thewide range of contacts that each had, both within the school and outside of the schoolenvironment. These were highly connected individuals who were receptive to gleaninginstructional ideas from as many different outlets as possible. Since they taught in thesame district, they were familiar with each others reputations and often asked ininterviews and observations about how the others were doing. In relation to learning

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195about technology, however, it is difficult to describe the nature of these interactions.While these teachers were part of social networks of people who discussed teachingideas, it was hard to determine if these networks were as formal as those described byWillis (1993) and Becker (1994) in regard to technology. Some of their experiences wereperipherally related to technology use, while other connections had a direct influence onthe incorporation of technology into their classes.Participation in conferences and professional organizations was significant in theseteachers efforts to learn about technology. Each of the three teachers belonged to anumber of professional organizations, including the National Council for the SocialStudies, the largest organization in the country for social studies educators. But other thanone reference by Ms. Hart to an article she had used from Social Education, the primaryjournal of NCSS, these organizations played only a small role in their understanding oftechnology. They all had gone to workshops with a technology theme at professionalconferences, but none could think of a session that had a profound impact on theirinstruction.Another area of learning about technology that surprisingly had only a limitedinfluence was the importance of colleagues at the schools. Duck (2000) found that suchsupport groups in individual schools helped to promote teacher growth and heighten asense of community. Each teacher had been at his or her respective school for at least fiveyears and had developed some close relationships with other teachers there. For Ms. Hartand Mr. Robbins, these associations were closest at the team level, while for Mr. Claytonthey were most significant with fellow social studies teachers. All three describeddiscussions about curriculum, discipline, school affairs, and individual students but

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196nothing substantial about technology integration in the classroom. Even though othertechnology-using teachers were in place at each school, the opportunities for exploringrelated issues seemed limited.Both Mr. Clayton and Mr. Robbins demonstrated their willingness to learn abouttechnology through collaborations with a university doctoral student. In thesecollaborations, one examining historical understanding and the other knowledge ofcurrent issues, a WebQuest was used to guide student inquiry and allowed the teachers todelve more deeply into subjects that had previously received limited attention. For Ms.Hart, a class in her doctoral program resulted in a close relationship with a technologyprofessor, who not only provided guidance on the Vietnam web activity, but also workedclosely with Ms. Hart to film and edit a digital video project undertaken by her sixthgrade students. Each teacher recognized that the technology available at the universitywas more advanced than at any of the schools and sought to take advantage of universityconnections when possible. These types of collaborations are often difficult to negotiatewith competing agendas and time demands, but Christenson, Johnston, and Norris (2001)argued that these differences can be overcome. The authors contended that suchrelationships offered a richer experience for participants and students alike (p. 6) andprovided new ideas for social studies educators at all levels.A final similarity in the experiences of these teachers was the availability ofanother person at the school to supply assistance with technology, although the nature ofthese associations was different for each teacher. At Granger, Mr. Clayton oftenconsulted Mr. Peters, the technical support person, for assistance with technologyactivities. In the Sim City 2000 lesson, Mr. Peters support in installing the simulation on

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197all of the lab computers saved Mr. Clayton a great deal of time and effort. As Mr. Claytonacknowledged, however, this support was primarily technical and did not extend toteaching ideas. For Ms. Hart, the assistance from Ms. Cameron was for both technicalsupport and classroom advice. Ms. Hart realized that this type of cooperation was unusualin many respects, but because so few teachers at Chance made an effort to use technologyin their classrooms, Ms. Cameron was more than willing to help those teachers who weretrying to integrate it into their instruction. Mr. Robbins association with Mr. Knoxprovided some important enhancements for his students. As a minor example, the scaleused to weigh cookies at the beginning of the Paradise lesson was a direct result of thiscollaboration. To a much larger extent, the collaboration was evident through the guestpresentation given by the father of one of the students on such issues as file sharing,copyright law, and communication. Both Mr. Robbins and Mr. Knox realized thatstudents would be interested in learning more about the future of technology, and thathaving a parent as a resource in this area would be useful. While these schoolcollaborations were limited, ranging from basic technical advice to dedicated assistancewith guiding students through simulations, each of these teachers appreciated theopportunity to share technology ideas with people at their school.Learning IndividuallyUnderstanding the nature of collaborative relationships with technology is adifficult endeavor, but understanding how these exemplary teachers came to experiencetechnology on their own is an even more challenging enterprise. As shown in a recentreport issued by the National Center for Education Statistics (Smerdon et al., 2000),independent learning plays a large role in how teachers learn about technology. Thisreport found that, more than learning from colleagues or through professional

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198development activities, independent learning had the greatest influence on preparingteachers to use computers or the Internet in the classroom. What this report did not detail,however, was the nature of this learning and where it takes place.Mr. Clayton, Ms. Hart, and Mr. Robbins all indicated that much of their preparationwith technology resulted from individual efforts. All three had a large number ofadministrative duties, which Mr. Robbins referred to as administrivia (Robbins,Interview, 4/26/02), that required using the computer for word processing, filling outspreadsheets, and other tedious functions. None of the teachers was particularly positiveabout these responsibilities, but all understood that it was part of their obligation asteachers. Even though much of these teachers time with technology was spent onadministrative efforts, however, they still attempted to look for opportunities toincorporate it into their classroom for instructional purposes. In terms of non-computertechnologies, Mr. Clayton tried to watch television to look for programs relevant to hisstudents and to listen to music that could connect to his classroom curriculum. Ms. Hartrelied on History Alive resources, such as slides and cassette tapes, for much of herhistory instruction, but she also moved to more video content to present history to herstudents. Mr. Robbins often relied on his own music collection to add to his Americanhistory curriculum and scanned bargain movies to find clips that might fit into histeaching. In all three of these cases, the acquisition of new materials was not alwaysintentional, but if given the opportunity, these teachers would typically gather whateverresources they could to improve their instruction.While these teachers use of non-computer technologies was not always planned,they were more deliberate when it came to computers, particularly in their use of the

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199Internet. Each teacher searched specific websites for resources to supplement classroomlessons, mostly looking for primary source materials. During the course of the presentstudy, Mr. Clayton used the Internet to assist students with their essential questionrelated to Savage Inequalities, Ms. Hart found resources for students to examine aboutthe Vietnam War, and Mr. Robbins investigated Paradise, Kentucky, and presentedphotographs to his class from the now-extinct town.In attempting to understand how these exemplary teachers have learned to usetechnology, Rogers (1995) Diffusion of Innovations provides a useful framework.Rogers contended that individuals adopt innovations at different rates, with innovatorsthe fastest and laggards the slowest. The teachers in the present study would not beconsidered innovators in classroom technology use, but they could not be seen aslaggards either. Each teacher critically examined available technology and carefullydetermined if these social studies resources met their curricular needs. While some criticsmay argue that these social studies teachers are to receive individual blame (p. 114) fornot adapting more readily to classroom innovations, Rogers and others would contendthat they are simply finding strategies that match their instructional style and using whatwill significantly improve their classroom.What Factors Facilitate or Restrict Exemplary Social Studies Teachers Use ofTechnology?FacilitatorsThese three teachers all worked in schools where conditions were somewhatfavorable to technology use in the social studies classroom. Among the secondary factorsmentioned by these teachers as facilitating technology use were administrative support,the presence of student aides, grant money, parental influence, and access to community

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200resources. While these factors played a moderate role in permitting technology use, thetwo most powerful facilitators revealed by the three exemplary teachers are access andsupport. These facilitators are also the ones most frequently mentioned in the researchliterature from this area (e.g. Johnson, Schwab, & Foa, 1999; Ronnkvist, Dexter, &Anderson, 2000; Zammit, 1992).In terms of access, these teachers were clearly aware of the equipment available tothem at their individual schools. At Granger, a technology building, wireless network,and other telecommunications tools made the school one of the best in the area formodern equipment. Three computer labs, two LCD projection units, and a TV/VCRcombination for each classroom provided teachers at Chance with a wide range ofpossibilities for technology use. Similarly, at Alexander three computer labs and a state-of-the-art media center offered several avenues for student exploration outside of theclassroom. These teachers also had technology available to them in their own classrooms.Each of the two rooms Mr. Clayton taught in had at least eight networked computers anda television and VCR available. Ms. Hart had a slide projector and CD player in her roomand a computer available (when it was operational). In addition to a TV/ VCRcombination, Mr. Robbins had a CD player and three new iMac computers. Each of theseschools continued to try to improve access for its students, and new technology purchaseswere made throughout the study.A second area that facilitated the technology use among these three exemplaryteachers was the support provided for these teachers at the individual schools. As alreadydescribed in the section on professional development and collegial activities, theseteachers had particular individuals who encouraged them in their technology integration.

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201For Mr. Clayton, this support was primarily technical; Mr. Peters assisted him on severalclassroom activities in the computer lab and installed Sim City 2000 on all of thecomputers there. In Ms. Harts case, the support was both technical and instructional, andshe looked to Ms. Cameron for assistance in lab difficulties and with support in teaching.Mr. Robbins relied on a team member, Mr. Knox, to discuss various technological issues,and together they brought the guest speaker to the school. Obviously, the depth of thissupport varied from situation to situation, but each of the teachers indicated that planningand implementing lessons using technology would have been much more difficultwithout this sort of assistance.BarriersWhile Mr. Clayton, Ms. Hart, and Mr. Robbins had similar responses to factors thatfacilitated their use of technology, they listed many more distinct factors that restrictedtheir use of technology. This situation is also reflected in the research literature in thisarea (Hadley & Sheingold, 1993; Smerdon et al., 2000; Zammit, 1992), where muchmore data characterizes barriers facing teachers attempting to use technology, rather thanfacilitators. Among the barriers listed by these teachers were a lack of funding, spaceissues at the school, a general distrust of students computer use, and technical difficultieswith individual programs. The three types of barriers that these teachers agreed were themost significant were time, access, and support.Mr. Clayton, Ms. Hart and Mr. Robbins were all involved in numerous activitiesboth within and outside of their respective schools, and finding additional time to workwith technology was challenging. Mr. Clayton mockingly noted in his initial interviewthat no one had approached him during his career and told him, Id like to train youtoday (Clayton, Interview, 4/24/02). He indicated that he would like to learn more about

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202 Figure 7-5. Facilitators and barriersa number of application programs, but time kept him from becoming more involved. Ms.Hart mentioned time as an issue more with her numerous administrative duties than withplanning for individual lessons. She suggested that she would like to have more time towork with technology, particularly with the Internet. When asked about his vision fortechnology use, Mr. Robbins considered time to be an issue for all teachers, and believedthat to see modeling of effective technology integration, they needed to be provided with

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203adequate release time. But he argued that as long as schools are strapped for money andteachers have limited planning time, this vision was not likely to become a reality.However, even though time was listed as the greatest perceived barrier for teachersin several studies (Hadley & Sheingold, 1993; Smerdon et al., 2000), in this dissertationstudy, it did not receive as much attention as other obstacles. As described in the previoussection on facilitators of technology use, Granger, Chance, and Alexander had anadequate number of machines available for teachers and students, but in these locales,access did not always guarantee utilization. Many supporters of technology have simplyfocused on new machinery and low student-to-computer ratios to determine sufficientaccess, but other studies (e.g. Milman, 2000; Zammit, 1992) have emphasized differencesbetween access in a lab setting and that in the classroom. Mr. Clayton faced a number ofproblems trying to incorporate technology into his classes at Granger. He had severalcomputers in both of the classrooms in which he taught, but because of their location,tightly squeezed into one corner of the room, he was not able to use them regularly. Evenwith a large computer lab and enough machines for all of his students, negotiating time inthe lab was difficult because other classes held their regular class meetings there. AtChance, separate computer labs for each grade level were generally accessible, but with awide variety of models in them, it was often problematic to bring an entire class to thesefacilities. According to Ms. Hart, the age of some of the computers, along with some ofthe damage that middle school students can inflict, made using these labs difficult at best.Mr. Robbins schools constant use of computer labs for test preparation confined histechnology use to his individual classroom, but with the delivery of only three of the six

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204new computers promised to him months earlier, trying to conduct whole-class activitiesin the classroom was problematic for him.The final barrier faced by these teachers was a general lack of technology supportstructures. While previous sections of this dissertation have highlighted the teacherspositive relationships with technology support staff, this assistance was often limited inboth time and scope. Ronnkvist, Dexter, and Anderson (2000) described the importanceof schools having in place a technology coordinator who can aid teachers in instructionalmatters and not just support them with technical problems. In describing the lack ofsupport for technology at Granger, Mr. Clayton noted that the school used to have ateacher with a lighter workload who could help fellow faculty members with theirtechnology integration. Since Mr. Peters started working at the school, no other teachershad taken up that position, and support remained of a technical nature. At Chance, Ms.Hart realized that she was fortunate to have someone like Ms. Cameron available to her,but she wanted even more support for instructional strategies with technology and moreadvice on building web pages or finding sources on the Internet (Hart, Interview,5/9/02). However, with budgets tight at Chance and across the district and state, she didnot foresee this additional assistance arriving any time soon. As a technology magnet,Alexander focused a great deal on acquiring more technology, particularly computers, butassistance was still limited for most teachers. One support person worked full time, butMr. Robbins noted that most of his energy was spent keeping the labs operational orhelping teachers troubleshoot problems with classroom computers. Without supportavailable at their schools or at the district level, all three teachers have had to look to

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205others around the school for encouragement or, in many cases, simply to managetechnology issues on their own.In What Compelling Ways Are Exemplary Social Studies Teachers UsingTechnology?Researchers in the area of social studies and technology (e.g., Berson, 1996; Ehman& Glenn, 1991) have recognized some positive contributions to the field, but as a whole,little evidence has been found that legitimizes technologys classroom implementation.More recently, Whitworth and Berson (2003) noted a slight emergence of new andinnovative uses of technology in the social studies (p. 10), but they also concluded thatmore studies were needed to justify its use. Diem (2000) argued that providing moretechnology for social studies classrooms is fairly simple, but that getting teachers to use itin meaningful ways is a much greater challenge. He added, The promise of technologyis not so much its cutting-edge advances as its innovative and imaginative applications(p. 494). Without adequate training and support, Diem contended, social studies teacherswill continue to lag behind those in other subject areas who are already integratingtechnology into their instruction in significant ways.In the limited time in which the present study took place, and despite the manybarriers placed in front of them, Mr. Clayton, Ms. Hart, and Mr. Robbins were able tointegrate technology into their instruction in many compelling ways. The vignettesdescribed in Chapters 4, 5, and 6 detail of many of these activities and show that theseteachers were able to use technology to enhance their instruction. While individualteachers integrated such divergent elements as music, digital video, and CD-Roms intotheir teaching, they all used many of the same four areas: photographs, video,simulations, and web-based activities. Even though the level of technological depth

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206 Figure 7-6. Compelling ways to use technologydiffered from activity to activity, the common thread that linked all of these activities, nomatter the level of technology involved, was that the teachers and students were the focusof these classrooms, not the technology itself. Using photographs, video, simulations, andweb-based activities, in their view, helped their students learn to ask the importantquestions (Hart, Interview #2, 5/15/02) and come to a deeper understanding of thehistorical content. Also, their application of film and video went far beyond the imagethat many critics have of social studies teachers who simply put in a movie and let it playwithout any feedback or contextual interpretation. The students critical analysis

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207(Robbins, Reflection, 5/13/02) of the media and their messages would not have beenpossible without the use of technology.In describing the use of simulations in the social studies classroom, Ehman andGlenn (1991) found that this was one of the few activities where computers seemed to behaving a positive impact on the classroom. They noted that even though many of thesestudies were impressionistic (p. 517), students were generally interested in simulationsand enjoyed having a sense of control during the activities. In their desire to connectstudent learning to the real world, all three of the exemplary teachers used simulations intheir classroom. Outside the parameters of the present study, both Ms. Hart and Mr.Robbins used simulations in their history classes. Ms. Hart undertook Oregon Trail in herAmerican history class with the help of Ms. Cameron. Mr. Robbins participated in astock market simulation in which his students did research on selected companies andfollowed their companies stocks over several months. During the parameters of thepresent study, Mr. Clayton used Sim City 2000 to show students the different levels atwhich decisions are made and the wide-ranging impact these decisions have on citizens.Mr. Clayton also argued that the game is a strong motivator (Clayton, Lesson Plan,5/22/02) for students of all ability levels and engaged them in a way that traditionalclassroom methods could not.The final compelling way that these teachers used technology was through web-based activities. Keiper, Harwood and Larson (2000) surveyed preservice social studiesteachers and found that data collection was the greatest perceived benefit they found fromcomputer technology. Most of the future teachers in their study commented on the abilityof the Internet to provide large amounts of information and facilitate student research.

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208This idea of the Internet as a vast clearinghouse for social studies resources has carriedover to more experienced teachers as well, and, as Whitworth and Berson (2003) noted,much of the content in social studies journals has been dedicated to highlightingsignificant web sites and general lesson ideas. The authors contended, however, thatteachers needed to go beyond simply accessing the Internet for content if significantchanges were to transform the social studies classroom.Many educators have taken advantage of online resources to engage in inquiry-based technology activities, including Mr. Clayton, Ms. Hart and Mr. Robbins.Whitworth and Berson (2003) saw a growing trend in such inquiry-based activities,primarily through the use of WebQuests in the social studies classroom. As supporters ofthis approach (Dodge, 1995; Milson, 2002; Milson & Downey, 2001; Molebash &Dodge, 2003) have argued, WebQuests engage students in collaborative activities andmotivate them with challenging tasks. Both Mr. Clayton and Mr. Robbins usedWebQuests in their classrooms before this dissertation study and were interested inincorporating similar activities in the future. During the course of study, the clearestexample of this approach was in Ms. Harts Vietnam web-based activity that incorporatedinterview, song analysis, position paper, video interpretation, and other activities toappeal to a wide range of student interests and abilities.What Is It about the Social Studies that Calls for a Unique Approach to IntegratingTechnology into the Discipline?In his seminal article in the twenty-fifth anniversary edition of Theory andResearch in Social Education, Martorella (1997) noted the tremendous changes that hadtaken place in the technology available to social studies educators. In the early 1970s,such technology included television, films, textbooks, records, and overhead and slide

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209projectors (p. 511). By the late 1990s, Martorella said, CD-ROMs, DVDs, and othercomputer-based applications were rapidly displacing earlier forms of technology inmany classrooms. But even though these more recent technologies were available toteachers, he argued that by all reports, technology issues appear to have a low priorityfor social studies educators (p. 512). He concluded this brief article by urging socialstudies educators to focus more on the consequences that technology is having for alllevels of society rather than to be caught up in issues of hardware and software. Figure 7-7. Uniqueness (tied to metaphors)

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210Mr. Clayton, Ms. Hart, and Mr. Robbins struggled with the concerns that mostsocial studies educators encounter on a daily basis, particularly with their decisions aboutwhether or not to use technology in their classrooms. On one level, these decisions are nodifferent from those made by language arts, mathematics, or science teachers. Eachdiscipline has a unique set of standards to cover in a fairly tight time frame, and sincemost technology applications are time consuming to master and implement, teachers maystick to established methods of instruction. Furthermore, with little technical orinstructional support and limited access, teachers may be unable to apply technology,even if they find it to be beneficial for student learning.On another level, however, teachers in other disciplines are finding ways to usetechnology, and social studies educators are often seen, as Mr. Robbins noted, asdinosaurs (Robbins, Interview, 5/8/02) by those who have jumped on the technologybandwagon. A number of researchers (Becker & Ravitz, 2001; Berson, 1996; Diem,2000) have highlighted this state of affairs and have advocated taking a criticalperspective on the use of technology in the social studies classroom. The teachers in thepresent study all applied technology to their instruction, but to different degrees and fordifferent purposes. While it is difficult to characterize exactly what makes these socialstudies teachers approaches to technology unique, one useful way to analyze them is byexamining the metaphors for each teacher developed in the previous three chaptersMr.Clayton the model citizen, Ms. Hart the connector, and Mr. Robbins the storyteller.Mr. Clayton viewed his task in his civics course as providing his students withauthentic experiences that help them to understand the community in which they live andrealize their role within it. Along the way, Mr. Clayton served as a guide, modeling for

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211his students the importance of such ideas as civic knowledge, volunteerism, tolerance,and environmental activism. Technology did play a role in this process, but as herepeated throughout several interviews and observations, it was only one tool.During an early classroom observation in which he was showing a video to hisclass, he led the discussion to the use of technology in the public schools. In thisdialogue, he made a profound statement that characterized his approach to technology,and to teaching in general. He claimed, Using the technology is not going to do us anygood unless we have had time to think about it (Clayton, Observation, 5/2/02). In hisnumerous applications of technology including video, Internet research, and simulation,Mr. Clayton had his students engage in authentic experiences that gave them theopportunity to reflect on their learning and then present it in a formal manner to theirclassmates. Mr. Clayton noted in an early interview that teachers in other subject areas donot often have the same opportunity to engage students that social studies teachers do,and that the chance to model all of the things I believe in (Clayton, Interview, 4/24/02)made him an effective teacher. The desire to create more effective citizens is an espousedgoal of many social studies teachers; Mr. Claytons example powerfully illustrates thisgoal in practice.Ms. Hart saw her responsibility as a social studies educator to foster in her studentsan understanding of history and to show them that they have a significant place in it.Because she used a variety of instructional strategies in the classroom, it does not seemappropriate to over-generalize about her teaching style, but no matter the topic, she wasable to make it relevant for her eighth grade students. Whether it was the study of ancientcivilizations in world history or modern culture in American history, Ms. Hart effectively

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212connected the content to the lives of her students. Technology, particularly computers,played a significant role in her diverse classroom setting. Ms. Hart had integratedtechnology into her curriculum to the point that it was seamlessly positioned in all of herdaily activities. Whether slides from the History Alive program, digital video for aclassroom dramatization, or the Internet for a web-based activity, she used technologythat would appeal to a variety of learners and help students connect on a personal level tothe content. When asked to describe her goals for integrating technology into herclassroom, she asserted that be it visual, audio, or computer (Hart, Interview, 5/28/02)applications, she would incorporate technology into her classes as frequently as possible.In describing the impact of these experiences, she added that the more exposure thatkids can get to this sort of stimulus (Hart, Interview, 5/28/02), the more ways theywould have to relate to the subject matter. Ms. Hart recognized that she was not alwayssuccessful in making history meaningful for her eighth graders, but with a tireless workethic, she continued to look for methods that would be successful.Mr. Robbins view of social studies, and history in particular, is the most difficultto characterize of the three exemplary teachers. On one hand, he focused on the enormousamount of information that social studies teachers and students encounter and pushed hisown students to be critical consumers of this information. But rather than presenting anenormous amount of content to students in a flat, informational format, he used storiesand an overall narrative approach to make the material accessible to young adolescents.Mr. Robbins engaged his students with stories of fascinating figures in American historyand used a variety of resources to help them critically examine subject matter. Eventhough he had a solid background with technology and reasonable access in his

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213classroom and school as a whole, he used it only if he felt it would strongly enhance hisinstruction.Among the three teachers, Mr. Robbins used the most low-tech of the availabletechnologies. Even though he searched the Internet on his own to provide students withinformation, the primary elements of technology he used directly with students weremusic and video. Yet even with these less advanced technologies, he was able to hold hisstudents attention and help them to critically examine a variety of subjects in history. ForMr. Robbins, the focus should not be on the technology itself, but should be about theability of the teacher to make the content meaningful for students, and he emphasized thattechnology integration should be as seamless as possible so that students dont lose theirfocus on what is really important about the content (Robbins, Interview, 5/23/02).Clearly, the key characteristics shared by all three teachers are their focus on richand engaging content, the importance of meaning and significance in the content, andtheir conception of technology as more than simply the equipment involved in teaching.While they described the importance of having access to televisions, computers, andother machinery, they were more concerned about how these accessories could be used toimprove instruction and engage their students in the learning process. They remarked thatit is easy to be swayed by the latest technological innovations for the classroom, but thatit is much harder to examine this technology critically to see how it fits into onesphilosophy of education and beliefs about teaching. In the social studies, some teachershave either accepted or rejected technology unconditionally, but far fewer likely havecritically reflected on its impact beyond application in the classroom. Mr. Clayton, Ms.Hart, and Mr. Robbins have taken this important look at their own use of technology, and

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214thus have adapted the technology to fit their own instructional styles and their goals fortheir students meaningful engagement in social studies.

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215CHAPTER 8CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONSThe primary purpose of the present study was to examine the technology use ofexemplary social studies teachers in typical classroom settings. These teachers werechosen not for their expertise with technological applications, but for their ability asoutstanding social studies teachers. This chapter summarizes the major findings from thestudy and suggests recommendations for both research and practice.SummaryThe three exemplary teachers generally had a similar understanding of technologyas it pertained to classroom instruction. This conception was most closely matched to thatproposed by the Office of Technology Assessment (1995), which included such elementsas computers, video and audio devices, CD-Roms, televisions, and VCRs as aspects oftechnology that could be used in the classroom. While the teachers used thesecomponents to varying degrees and for different purposes, they still found technology tobe an important factor in their instruction and a powerful motivator for their students.This conceptual understanding is significant in examining how these teachers usedtechnology in their classrooms and provides insight into the five guiding questions posedin this dissertation study:What Do Exemplary Social Studies Teachers Believe about Instruction, about SocialStudies, and about Technology?Beliefs about instruction, about technology, and about social studies, whiledifferent in a number of significant ways, played an important role in determining how

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216the teachers in the present study used technology in their classrooms. Mr. Clayton wasthe most non-traditional of the three teachers in his beliefs about instruction, and his usesof technology, such as simulations or student-directed Internet searches, reflected theseideas. Ms. Hart, who had the most eclectic set of beliefs about instruction, used a mixtureof instructional strategies. Technology applications such as slide presentations andWebQuests demonstrated the wide range of methods she used to connect with students.Mr. Robbins viewed his role as a teacher primarily as a presenter of information, and heoften used narrative to make history more engaging for his students. Technologicalaspects of his teaching, such as video clips and musical selections, complemented thisnarrative approach to history instruction and allowed students to wrestle with significanthistorical questions.While these exemplary teachers attitudes about instruction were somewhatdiverse, their beliefs about technology were more consistent. One observation shared byall three teachers was that technology was being used at their schools as a means topractice for standardized testing and not for instructional goals or objectives. While theteachers recognized the need to assess student learning, they argued that excessive testpreparation was not the most productive use of technology at their schools. The teachersalso argued, Mr. Robbins most forcefully, that technology was just a tool to supplementlearning and should not be regarded as a substitute for the presence of an effectiveteacher. In their application of technology, these teachers went well beyond using it forefficiency or management purposes and took great care to integrate it meaningfully intotheir curriculum.

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217Perhaps the most significant differences in teacher beliefs emerged in discussionsabout the nature of the social studies. As a civics instructor, Mr. Clayton viewed hisresponsibility in terms of the development of effective citizens. This belief came across inhis attention to technology that would help his students see connections to theircommunity and the world around them. Ms. Hart focused on making history morepersonal for her students and allowing them to see the links between past and present. Intechnology-related activities, she was able to portray individuals and groups from history,whether through photographs, letters, or other primary sources, in a manner to whichstudents could relate. Mr. Robbins had a complex view of social studies, particularlyAmerican history, and was able to facilitate his students understanding of the subject bypresenting it in a unique manner, often through a narrative approach. His uses oftechnology, while not as advanced as those of the other teachers in the study, enabled himto complement his curricular content and engage students in a narrative of Americanhistory. Most important, the common threads that connected these teachers in their beliefsabout social studies were their disdain for textbook-driven instruction and their relianceon supplementary materials, including technology resources, to enhance their teaching.How Do Exemplary Social Studies Teachers Learn to Integrate Technology intotheir Instruction?While the participants in the present study taught in the same school district andwere exposed to many of the same opportunities for technology training, these teachersexposure to and engagement in such opportunities were different in many respects. Onearea in which these teachers had comparable experiences was in their formal professionaldevelopment activities. Each teacher had occasion to learn about basic technologyapplications. However, opportunities to acquire skills that would enhance their instruction

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218were typically unavailable at the school or district level. Without such trainingopportunities, the role of professional development in the preparation of the observedlessons with technology was minimal.Of greater significance in the learning process was the presence of colleagues orconcerned individuals who assisted these teachers in their classroom application oftechnology. Connections with professional organizations allowed for a limited degree ofcollegiality and provided opportunities for presenting research and teaching ideas. Allthree teachers took advantage of their connections to the local university for materials,classroom ideas, and research collaborations related to technology. Most importantly,colleagues at the individual schools supplied assistance in a number of technologyventures. For Mr. Clayton, the assistance was of a technical nature, for Ms. Hart it wassupport for classroom activities, and for Mr. Robbins it was the connection needed tobring a technology expert to speak to his students. While the level and extent of theserelationships differed, each played an important role in the ability of these teachers to usevarious technologies in their classrooms.A final, and more complex, area of teacher learning is individual effort withtechnology. As a report from the National Center for Education Statistics (Smerdon et al.,2000) indicated, independent learning plays a large role in how teachers come toexperience technology, and the actions of these three teachers substantiate this assertion.All three of them spent a large amount of time performing administrative duties, but stillmanaged to find opportunities to search for other resources that would enhance theirclassroom instruction. They all looked for relevant music, tapes, and videos that couldengage students in the subject matter, particularly Ms. Hart and Mr. Robbins. While the

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219present study did not specifically ask teachers to log all of the time they spent onindividual efforts with technology, they indicated that searching the World Wide Web forrelevant sources was their most significant time commitment with regard to technology.All mentioned acquiring primary source photographs and documents online, and whilethey also indicated that the staggering amount of information available made findingresources highly time-consuming, they all seemed willing to invest their time in thisendeavor.What Factors Facilitate or Restrict Exemplary Social Studies Teachers Use ofTechnology?The major factors that supported these exemplary teachers in their use oftechnology were access and support. Each teacher had a personal computer foradministrative responsibilities, and a television and VCR combination. In addition, Mr.Clayton and Mr. Robbins had several computers available to students in their classroomsfor individual student research. All three schools had computer labs with enoughnetworked machines for entire classes to use. Technical support was available at thedistrict level, and full-time staff technology coordinators dealt with teachers needs at theindividual schools. The assistance Mr. Clayton and Mr. Robbins required was usually ofa technical nature to provide help in the computer labs and troubleshooting problems withclassroom machines. Ms. Harts support from the media specialist was multifaceted; shenot only provided technical support, but she also offered advice on instructionalstrategies.While access and support would seem sufficient for technology implementation, anumber of barriers made using this technology difficult for all three of the exemplaryteachers. With a multitude of outside interests and obligations, these teachers faced a lack

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220of time to learn about the technology available to them and to explore classroominnovations. Time was also a factor within the classrooms themselves, as the teachersfaced difficulties covering their curriculum in the time allotted them. While access wasadequate in their schools, they found it difficult to actually use the technology,particularly outside of the classroom. Computer labs were often monopolized for testpreparation, and the coordination of classroom changes was challenging. While supportwas available at each school, it was usually of a technical nature and did not facilitate anymeaningful connection to classroom instruction. All three teachers struggled to negotiatemany of these barriers in the course of the present study and, in several instances, theywere not able to use technology that they would have preferred.In What Compelling Ways Are Exemplary Social Studies Teachers UsingTechnology?The vignettes in Chapters 4, 5, and 6 of this dissertation described some of thecompelling ways in which these exemplary teachers used technology in their socialstudies classrooms. For Mr. Clayton, a powerful discussion of a video on Americasschools and a simulation of building a community helped to stimulate interest in theworld outside the classroom. In Ms. Harts classroom, an examination of photographsfrom the Holocaust and a web-based activity on the Vietnam War allowed her students torelate personally to people who lived through difficult conditions. Mr. Robbinsincorporated video and music into his narratives to explore historical inaccuracies in TheAlamo and to debate the merits of progress in Paradise, Kentucky. In each of these cases,the technology played an integral role in helping the teachers to accomplish theirobjectives, but it did not control or dominate the classroom settings.

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221What Is It about the Social Studies that Calls for a Unique Approach to IntegratingTechnology into the Discipline? To distinguish social studies teachers use of technology from that of educators inother subject areas, metaphors were employed to embody the unique approaches thateach of these teachers took toward classroom instruction: Mr. Clayton the model citizen,Ms. Hart the connector, and Mr. Robbins the storyteller. These metaphors are closelyconnected to these teachers beliefs about social studies and overall objectives for theirclassrooms. Mr. Clayton used technology when it helped him to provide more authenticexperiences for his students. He constructed technology applications that would help hisstudents see their role in the community and modeled the skills and values they needed tobecome effective citizens. Ms. Hart attempted to connect past and present through a widevariety of technology applications. She wanted her students to feel a part of history and,thus, she designed a wide range of activities that would appeal to a diverse group oflearners. Mr. Robbins narrative approach made history understandable for his students,and technology often played a key role in helping to bring the stories to life. Even thoughthese metaphors are limited to the teachers in question, in them one can grasp the intricatenature of social studies instruction and the significant role that technology can have in theprocess of teaching and learning.Implications and Recommendations for PracticeThis dissertation study has examined a number of ways that exemplary socialstudies teachers use technology in their classroom teaching. While the literature hasprovided numerous examples of how preservice social studies teachers come to learnabout technology or subject matter, equal attention has not been paid to practicingclassroom teachers, particularly those with significant experience in the classroom. Based

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222on the findings from the present study, this section provides suggestions that may bebeneficial for all who are interested in the integration of technology into the social studiesclassroom. Because of the integrated nature of many of the concepts addressed in thisdissertation, these implications are discussed holistically rather than in a particular order.Broaden the Definition of What Is Considered to Be TechnologyEach of these three exemplary social studies teachers took a broad view of whatelements could be considered within the realm of technology. Most of the literature thatcurrently exists on technology refers primarily to computers, along with emergingtechnologies such personal digital assistants or telecommunications equipment. What hasbeen forgotten in this research, however, is the impact that such items as televisions, slideprojectors, CD players, and other low-tech elements can have in the classroom. Whilethese items were included in the definition put forth by the Office of TechnologyAssessment (1995), they are rarely included in any current discussions of technologyimprovement or implementation, including how to train teachers in technology use.Social studies teachers, particularly those just starting out in the field, wouldbenefit from some general training and experience using such technologies in theirclassrooms. It is relatively simple to put a movie into a VCR and play it for an entiresocial studies class, but it is much more difficult to use it in the engaging, active waysthat Mr. Clayton and Mr. Robbins did in their instruction. Both of these teachersinterspersed short video clips with in-depth questioning to pique student interest and thento help them access prior knowledge to answer significant questions about the topic inquestion. Similarly, it is possible for a teacher to incorporate music and slides into aclassroom without pause, but in order for students to better understand and engage withthe content, the material must be placed in its proper context. Furthermore, the most

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223effective way that novice teachers can learn how to integrate such technologies into theirteaching is through seeing them modeled by talented practitioners. The powerful ways inwhich Mr. Clayton, Ms. Hart, and Mr. Robbins integrated technology into their teachingprovide an excellent example for novice teachers to follow.Avoid the Bells and WhistlesOne of the major pitfalls of technology use, no matter the type or level ofsophistication, is that both teachers and students too often judge technology based on itsappearance rather than its substance. As the latest innovations become available for theclassroom, companies specializing in such technologies claim that their products willtransform the classroom environment or even raise test scores. For social studies teachers,the opportunity to acquire the latest innovation may be tempting, but these types of itemsare often obtained for the wrong reasons. Preservice teachers are perhaps even moresusceptible to these enticements and often spend more time on the sound effects andanimations involved with a PowerPoint presentation than on the content behind it.All three of these teachers were adamant that technology should be used to improveor enhance instruction, not to overwhelm students with bells and whistles. Because allof these teachers have worked with student interns, they have repeatedly observed thisattraction to style over substance and have tried to steer their interns away from suchattitudes toward technology. In one of his interviews, Mr. Robbins described theresponsibility he felt to help future social studies teachers examine their use oftechnology. He acknowledged that many of them came in with a far greatertechnological background than he did, but added that they are so enamored of the bellsand whistles that the goals and objectives of the lesson are lost on students (RobbinsInterview, 10/31/02). In addition, because of the time involved to plan such lessons and

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224the uncertainty involved if the technology malfunctions, all three of these teachers tried tohelp their interns develop alternative means to cover the material.Redesign Professional DevelopmentMuch of the professional development that has been designed to supporttechnology integration has not been successful in helping teachers to implement it in theirinstruction. Numerous reports (e.g. Becker, Ravitz, & Wong, 1999; Hasselbring et al.,2000; Smerdon et al., 2000) have indicated that teachers are apprehensive about usingtechnology in their classroom and ill prepared to employ it for instructional purposes. Astechnology training currently exists in most schools and school districts, teachersparticipate in one-time workshops to hear about new programs to facilitate administrativeresponsibilities or to master basic word processing or spreadsheet applications. Once thistraining is complete, teachers are left on their own to master these programs and put themto use in their classrooms.The primary reason that none of the three teachers had attended any professionaldevelopment sessions on technology was that nothing was offered to directly supportthem in their social studies classrooms. Social studies teachers have contentandpedagogy-specific needs with regard to technology, such as learning how to evaluateprimary sources or how to best incorporate simulations in the classroom; thus,professional development opportunities should be designed to better match theirclassroom needs. These opportunities could be provided by university personnel or byteachers experienced with technology, but the main objective of this training should be tomeet the unique needs of the social studies classroom.Such a professional development opportunities for the social studies classroomwould benefit from a three-tiered approach. The first step would be for districts to

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225identify skilled teachers using technology in compelling ways, such as those described inthe present study, and provide necessary resources for these teachers to meet theirinstructional goals. This support could be with high-tech equipment such as computers ordigital cameras or low-tech devices such as the television set or slide projector. Thesecond stage in this process would be for interested teachers to receive release time tovisit the skilled teachers classrooms and observe some of the ways that teachers areusing technology to engage their students. Finally, these skilled teachers would also bereleased to assist the interested teachers attempting to use technology in their ownclassrooms. Once this process became more refined, interested teachers could be matchedwith skilled teachers with similar levels of technology use and methods of instruction.This type of professional development would benefit both experienced and novice socialstudies teachers and could easily be adapted to meet the needs of those in other subjectareas as well. But as Cooper and Bull (1997) noted, integrating technology intoindividual subject areas will require patience (p. 101), and it will take time to seesignificant changes in social studies classrooms.Provide Adequate Support for TeachersFor teacher training in the use of technology to be successful, it must be groundedin the daily practices of teachers and must be accompanied by adequate support.Ronnkvist, Dexter, and Anderson (2000) concluded that if teachers were to receive theinstructional support that they needed, a well-trained technology coordinator would be inplace in every school. Such a coordinator would be able to assist not only with technicalhelp, but also with issues of integrating technology into the classroom. The authors arguethat teachers must have access to educational technology resources and unfailingsupport for their use (p. 26). Without professional development opportunities and a

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226coordinator unencumbered by other responsibilities, the authors assert, teachers willcontinue to struggle with technology integration.For the teachers in the present study, instructional support for technology use waslacking in many regards. Ms. Cameron provided Ms. Hart with both technical andinstructional support, but her primary duties in Chances media center made sustainedassistance difficult. Both Mr. Clayton and Mr. Robbins had full-time technical aidavailable to them, but neither had assistance with classroom technology integration. Asstated above, for technology implementation to be successful, teachers must be offeredprofessional development opportunities that have direct relevance to the classrooms inwhich they are teaching. Social studies teachers, in particular, have unique needs, andtraining in the integration of video, music, simulations, WebQuests, or the Internet intoinstruction would be useful, even for experienced teachers. In addition, positioning asupport person at the school for instructional, and technical, assistance would allowteachers to expand on what they have learned through professional development and givethem the opportunity to apply new technologies in the classroom setting. This type oftraining and support would obviously be costly for schools and school districts, but ifefforts to use technology effectively are sincere and substantial, the investment would beworthwhile for all involved.Rethink the Distribution of EquipmentWhile the exemplary teachers all had computer labs available at their schools, nonewas particularly satisfied with the arrangements. The labs were constantly in use, andplanning a time to take classes there was a complicated process. At all of the schools,language arts and mathematics teachers were the primary occupants of these labs, withtest preparation activities receiving a majority of attention. At Granger, space limitations

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227forced regular classes to meet in the lab, and Mr. Claytons efforts to coordinateclassroom exchanges were not always realized. Even if these teachers were able to getinto the computer lab, the equipment there sometimes malfunctioned. At both Grangerand Chance, the master projection units did not work, and Mr. Clayton and Ms. Hart hadto huddle students around a single computer to give directions for lab activities. Inaddition, some of the computers were not operational when these teachers entered the lab,and other machines malfunctioned during the course of various activities.All three of these teachers suggested that computers should be taken from thecomputer labs and put back into classrooms. They noted that with so many classes goingin and out of the labs, it is difficult for one person to observe students actions and tokeep track of what has been loaded onto machines. With seven or eight machines spreadout around a classroom, students could rotate through computers throughout a classperiod working in small. Assignments such as web-based activities or simulations canjust as easily be undertaken in a social studies classroom as they can in a computer lab.These teachers indicated that if computers were available in their classrooms, and notcrammed into a corner, as they were in Mr. Claytons room, they would be much morelikely to use technology in their daily instruction.Implications and Recommendations for ResearchAs a number of prominent social studies educators (Berson, 1996; Diem, 2000;Martorella, 1997; Mason et al., 2000) have stressed, much still needs to be learned aboutthe ways that technology can be best integrated in the social studies classroom. Thisdissertation study provides insight into a number of issues related to social studies andtechnology, but other areas of interest deserve further study.

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228Examine More Typical SituationsOne of the major goals of the present study was to examine teachers in settings thatwould be considered less than ideal for technology implementation. While the technologyavailable at Granger, Chance, and Alexander was better than in many schools aroundFlorida and the nation as a whole, the three exemplary teachers still had to negotiate anumbers of barriers to use it in their classrooms. Studies of classrooms using laptops,graphic calculators, and personal digital assistants can be instructive for social studiesteachers, but at this point, most schools do not have these types of technologies available.As the Presidents Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology (1997)recommended, more research needs to be conducted in real schools (p. 95) that lack thesupport of large grants or outside assistance. Studies of teachers in one-computerclassrooms or of those with no technology support available may be more applicable topracticing social studies teachers.Investigate the Role of Independent Learning with TechnologyWhile the research contains numerous examples of systematic efforts to trainteachers with technology, very little exists to describe the ways that they come toexperience technology on their own. Data from the National Center for EducationalStatistics (Smerdon et al., 2000) reported that independent learning had the biggestimpact on teachers technology implementation, but researchers have yet to investigatehow this learning takes place. With the growth of the Internet, teachers now have accessto a plethora of classroom resources, and many teachers claim to spend significantamounts of time online for a variety of reasons. The three teachers in the present studyused the Internet for information to supplement classroom instruction, but the nature ofthese investigations was not within the scope of the present study.

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229If researchers were able to characterize the ways that social studies teachers learnindividually about technology, educators at all levels could have guidance to supportthem in similar endeavors. The Internet, in particular, would provide a fertile ground forpotential research. Investigating how social studies teachers access information would beuseful to a point, but investigating how the Internet is actually being used in theclassroom would provide even more significant findings. In addition to computertechnologies, it would also be instructive to explore how teachers learn about lower endtechnologies such as video, music, and primary source photographs. The examplespresented in the present study by these exemplary teachers provide excellent models forbeginning to investigate individual efforts with technology, but continued exploration ofthis area would be beneficial for social studies educators.Continue to Emphasize Wise PracticeStudies of exemplary social studies teachers (Brophy, 1992; VanSledright, 1997;Wineburg & Wilson, 1991) have presented outstanding models of instruction from theelementary to high school levels. Research has shown the importance of characteristicssuch as passion for subject matter, emphasis on in-depth content coverage, and subjectmatter knowledge in outstanding social studies teachers, and all of these characteristicscould be discerned in the teachers over the course of this dissertation study. While alleducators, particularly those just starting out in their teaching careers, would benefit fromthe examples presented in the present study, more portrayals of exemplary social studiesteachers would enrich the knowledge base for the field. In this research, it is important tonote that there is not one correct way to teach or to integrate technology into the socialstudies classroom, but that different approaches are better suited for different teachingand learning styles. Since technology use in the social studies is a relatively new area of

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230research, much remains to be discovered about how teachers learn what they know abouttechnology and how they use it in their classrooms.Study the Impact on Student LearningToo often in studies involving technology, researchers assume that technology isinherently beneficial for students. While motivation is an important factor for studentsinterest and engagement in technology, other factors should also be examined whenanalyzing technology integration. Whitworth and Berson (2003) contend that while theInternet and other related technologies have had a strong influence on social studiesclassrooms, more studies needed to be undertaken to understand the impact of computerson academic achievement and learning outcomes. Most of the research to this point hasfocused on individual learning applications, but little evidence exists that computers orother technologies actually improve student learning in the social studies.In the present study, all of the evidence that claims that technology enhancesstudent learning in the social studies is anecdotal and comes from the exemplary teachersin interviews and reflections from observed lessons. The teachers describe technology asa strong motivator, a means to reach more students through different learning styles, anda vital source of information. But other than informal classroom assessment fromdiscussion or student reflections, these teachers have little evidence of the difference thattechnology has made with their students. While this type of anecdotal evidence providessome insight into student learning, more quantitative and qualitative evidence is neededto support these ideas.ConclusionIn his conclusion to Oversold and Underused: Computers in the Classroom, Cuban(2001) reflects on the lack of change that technology has actually brought to the

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231classroom. Despite the enormous investment that school districts and individual schoolshave made in technology, particularly computers, he finds that most teachers havemaintained traditional practices. He argues that much of the consideration given totechnology integration has been too narrowly focused and warns, Without attention tothe workplace conditions in which teachers labor, and without respect for the expertisethey bring to the task, there is little hope that new technologies will have more than aminimal impact on teaching and learning (p. 197). The present study has attempted tobring these issues into focus by showing how exemplary teachers use technology in theirclassrooms. The context in which these teachers attempt to use technology is shaped by amultitude of factorsindividual beliefs, learning opportunities, prior knowledge, access,support, time, student population, etc.and any attempt to characterize how they usecomputers, video, audio, and other technologies is challenging. Nonetheless, this type ofinquiry is essential if social studies teachers are to use technology to make a substantiveimpact on student learning and engagement with subject matter. As more technologycontinues to enter the social studies classroom, attention must be given to the context inwhich teachers are attempting to implement learning activities, and exemplary teacherscan provide an excellent example of how such a process should take place.

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232APPENDIX AINFORMED CONSENT FORM(Please read this document carefully before you decide to participate in this study)Protocol TitleExemplary Social Studies Teachers Use of Technology in the ClassroomPurpose of the Research StudyThe purpose of this research project is to investigate exemplary social studies teachersexperiences using technology in their classrooms. I hope that by studying theseoutstanding teachers, I can provide insight that will assist others interested in integratingtechnology in the social studies.What You Will Be Asked to Do in the StudyI will ask you to participate in several interviews during the course of this study. I willalso be sitting in on some of your classes, particularly those in which you will be usingtechnology. When feasible, I would also like to examine lesson plans and other materialsrelevant to your instruction.Time RequiredTwo to three months at the end of the school year (AprilMay) with possible follow upinterviews in the fall.Risks and BenefitsI do not anticipate that you will benefit directly by participating in this study other thanhaving the opportunity to reflect further on your teaching practices. There are no knownrisks for participating in this study.

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233CompensationThere will be no compensation for participating in this study.ConfidentialityYour identity will be kept confidential to the extent provided by law. All of your workwill be coded and a list connecting names with code numbers will be kept in a locked filein my office. When the study is completed, the list will be discarded. Your names will notappear anywhere in the final report.Voluntary ParticipationYour participation in the study is completely voluntary. There is no penalty for notparticipating.Right to Withdraw from the StudyYou may withdraw from the study at any time.Whom to Contact If You Have Questions about the studyGeorge Lipscomb, Doctoral StudentSchool of Teaching and Learning343-A Norman HallGainesville, FL 32611(352)392-9191 (ext. 297)Email: glipscom@ufl.eduFax: 392-9193OrDr. Elizabeth Yeager, Associate ProfessorSchool of Teaching and Learning2403 Norman HallGainesville, FL 32611(352) 392-9191 (ext. 242)Email: eyeager@coe.ufl.eduFax: 392-9193

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234Whom to Contact about Your Rights as a Research Participant in the StudyUFIRB Office,P. O. Box 112250Gainesville, FL 32611-2250Telephone: (352) 392-0433Email: IRB2@ufl.eduAgreementI have read the procedure described above. I voluntarily agree to participate in theprocedure and I have received a copy of this description.Participant ________________________ Date________________________Principal Investigator ___________________ Date ________________________

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235APPENDIX BIMPORTANT DATES FOR DISSERTATION2002JanuaryInitial inquiries with teachers about participation in the studyFebruaryreceived permission from university IRB to conduct the studyMarchreceived authorization from schools to conduct researchApril 15Arranged initial visits with Ms. Hart, Mr. Robbins, Mr. ClaytonApril 24General interview with Mr. ClaytonApril 25Observation with Ms. HartApril 26General interview with Mr. Robbins/ Observation with Mr. RobbinsApril 29Observation with Mr. ClaytonMay 2Interview with Mr. Robbins/ Observation with Mr. Clayton/ Observation withMr. RobbinsMay 6General interview with Ms. Hart/ Observation with Ms. HartMay 7Observation with Mr. RobbinsMay 8Interview with Mr. Robbins/ Observation with Mr. RobbinsMay 9Interview with Ms. Hart/ Observation with Mr. Clayton/ Observation with Ms.HartMay 13Key observation #1 with Mr. RobbinsMay 14Observation with Ms. HartMay 15Key observation #1 with Ms. Hart/ Interviews with Ms. Hart (background andkey observation)/ Observation with Mr. Clayton

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236May 16Key observation #1with Mr. Clayton /Interview with Mr. Clayton (k.o.)/Observation with Mr. RobbinsMay 22Key observation #2 with Mr. ClaytonMay 23Interview with Mr. Robbins (k.o.)May 24Interview with Mr. Clayton (k.o.)/ Observation with Ms. HartMay 28Key observation #2 with Ms. Hart/ Interview with Ms. Hart (k.o.)May 29Observation with Mr. ClaytonOct. 30Interview with Mr. Clayton, Interview with Ms. HartOct. 31Key observation #2 with Mr. Robbins; Interview with Mr. Robbins2003AprilSent e-mail to three teachers with questions from chapter (member checks)April 21Received feedback from Ms. Hart on her chapterApril 29Talked to Mr. Clayton about chapterApril 30Talked to Mr. Robbins about chapter

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237APPENDIX CPATHWISE INSTRUCTION PLANTeacher:Grade:Subject:Learning Objectives:! What are your objectives for student learning in this lesson? That is, what do you intend students to learn?! Why have you chosen these objectives? Student Grouping:! How will you group students for instruction? Why have you chosen this grouping? Methods:! What teaching method(s) will you use for this lesson ? Why have you chosen this method or these methods ? Activities:What activities have you planned?Activities Time Allowed Opening: Main activity or activities: Closing: Important questions to ask: Materials:! What instructional materials will you use, if any? Why have you chosen these materials?

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238Evaluation:! How and when do you plan to evaluate student learning on the content of this lesson?! Why have you chosen this approach to evaluation ? Adapted for University of Florida Pathwise Instruction and Reflection Form by Vicki Wilson for Salt Fork(Region 10) RPDC and Muskingum Valley Educational Service Center/Muskingum College Goals 2000

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239APPENDIX DSAMPLE NARRATIVE FROM FIELD NOTESMr. Robbins/ Key Observation/13/02(o.c.)= observers commentsThe next part of class moved to a discussion of the song The Yellow Rose ofTexas, which came out of the Battle of San Jacinto. Mr. Robbins told the story of EmilyMorgan and Santa Ana. Santa Ana brought his girlfriend to the battle and fell in lustwith Morgan. He said that Morgan was a mulatto and technically a slave. Santa Anaand Morgan were getting it on when the battle was going on and Sam Houston won.Santa Ana was recognized by his privates (officers) and struck a deal to go back home.Mr. Robbins then talked about Santa Anas political career in which (like Lazarus fromthe Bible) kept coming up from the dead. Texas won independence and today the battlemonument at San Jacinto is larger than the Washington Monument.(o.c.)The phrase everything is bigger in Texas keeps coming to mind here andthis perspective is shared at a number of points in this lesson. The main reason I includedall of the aspects of the above description is to show the narrative (story-telling) aspectsof Mr. Robbins teaching As in his interview, he sees social studies as a big story andattempts to make the people who lived 150 years ago come alive. I guess thats why hetalks about these peoples sexual urges, physical features, etc. I think video goes alongwith this story-telling mentality and allows him to add visuals to what he is talking about.He then reads some of the original lyrics from The Yellow Rose of Texas.Students have a copy of the lyrics and follow along. He said that in the 1840s that it was

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240okay to use the word darkie to refer to a person of color. He then makes a comparison(and some students pipe in too) to Stephen Fosters Old Folks at Home in which Fosterwrote the song to be in a slave dialect and sound like a slave was singing.(o.c.) It seems like at least a few of these students have been to the Stephen FosterCultural Center and know about the song. They seem to be on the same wavelength as theteacher.He then goes back to the Yellow Rose of Texas and puts it in personal contextsaying that it came out when he was in first grade.(o.c.) Again, a personal story to make it more realistic for the students It was the 2nd#1 song of the rock era after Bill Haleys Rock Around the Clock.He then said he would show a clip from the movie Giant with Rock Hudson, LizTaylor, James Dean, and others, which contained his favorite fight scene. He said heremembered seeing this as a 6 year old at the drive-in theater in his pajamas. He showedthis five seven minute clip while standing in the back of the room this time.During this scene Rock Hudson comes into a greasy spoon kind of restaurant with aHispanic family and is given service, but not real willingly by the owner. When theowner refuses to serve another Hispanic family, Hudson confronts the owner andeventually this huge fight breaks out. During the clip, The Yellow Rose of Texas isplaying in the background. Mr. Robbins ends the clip with the sign We reserve the rightto refuse service to anyone, which the owner put on Rock Hudsons chest.(o.c.) Compared to the last clip in which historical inaccuracies were discussed,there was not a whole lot of discussion of this clip. On the agenda, it said something

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241about a group activity, but I dont know if he was heading in that direction with the clipor not.

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242APPENDIX EINTERVIEW QUESTIONSInterview QuestionsGeneral1. Please tell me a little bit about each of the following parts of your personal andprofessional background:! School experiences Subject Matter Preparation Years teaching Interest in Social Studies/ what is it? Interest in Teaching/ Students Outside Interests Motivation for Entering/ Staying in Teaching Future Plans 2. What do you think makes you a good teacher?3. What do you think makes you a good social studies teacher?Interview QuestionsTechnology4. Please tell me a little bit about any background information about your use oftechnology:! Training First use in classroom Use at home How would you rate your overall proficiency with technology? Current use in the classroom 5. How would you define technology?6. How important do you think it is for social studies teachers to use technology?7. How do you keep updated (learn) about ways to use technology in your classroom?On your own? With colleagues? In staff development8. How has technology impacted the way that you teach? (if at all)9. What (or who) makes your use of technology in the classroom easier?

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24310. What (or who) makes your use of technology in the classroom more difficult?11. What is your vision for technology use in your classroom?

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244APPENDIX FINTERVIEW QUESTIONSOBSERVATIONS Pre Observation1. Why have you chosen to use technology in this lesson?2. Could you do the same lesson without technology?3. What modifications for students do you need to make because of this technology?4. What about the classroom environment facilitates technology use for this lesson?5. What about the classroom environment detracts from technology use for thislesson?6. What do you hope students will get out of this lesson in regard to technology use?Post Observation7. What worked well in this lesson with technology?8. What did not work well in this lesson with technology?9. What about the classroom environment impacted the way this lesson was carriedout?10. What do you think students got out of this lesson in regard to technology use?11. How could you have done the same lesson without technology?12. How do you think the knowledge/ skills gained from this lesson will carry over tofuture learning activities?

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245APPENDIX GSAMPLE JOURNAL ENTRY (AUDIT TRAIL)8/14/02Return to the big pictureIn reality, Ive done very little written work this week on the dissertation as I ampreparing for the upcoming school year. I did get a chance, however, to glance over theApple Classrooms of Tomorrow book that I just bought, Teaching with Technology:Creating Student-Centered Classrooms. While I know that my study will not meshexactly with the results of the ACOT study, one thing in the foreword caught myattention. In this introduction written by Larry Cuban, he wrote that too often withtechnology we can get caught up in the hardware and software issues, and we need toreframe the problem in the point of view of the teacher looking at such things as beliefs,criterion for judging technology, and other basic questions. I know a lot of thegroundwork for this study was done a while back, but I do think, especially as I get intothe minds of these three teachers, to keep some of these fundamental questions in mind.Here are three big picture items that I need to focus on as I continue with this study.First of all, these are social studies teachers, not technology teachers. I cant expectthem, nor do I want them to, use technology all of the time. I hope that they takeadvantage of what is available to them, but I dont necessarily want them to do somethingjust for the sake of doing it. I am trying to figure out a day when I can come in lateSeptember or early October to interview/ observe these folks again, and I hope that I cansee some technology in action. But I also think that I have a lot to learn from why theydont use technology as well as why they do use it.

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246Second, technology is just a tool. While I have mentioned before my belief thattechnology can enhance the classroom, I also have to recognize that it is a tool forlearning. It needs to be more like some of the other tools that these teachers use such asthe textbook, cooperative learning, worksheet, etc. In the interviews I transcribed, theyused this analogy a great deal.Finally, these teachers are busy. I also recognized this in the spring as I tried toschedule my interviews and observations, but the beginning of the year is often not muchbetter. I hope that I can get into my data soon so that I can unearth some things that needto come out later in follow-ups. I also must be aware that technology fundamentally takesa lot of time to learn and master and that these teachers still have a lot on their plate andcant be expected to devote all of their free time to technology.

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PAGE 270

257BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHGeorge B. Lipscomb was born in Abingdon, Virginia and spent most of his earlylife in Lynchburg, Virginia. He attended Davidson College and was an Honors graduatein History in 1990. He received his masters in education from Wake Forest University in1992 with a concentration in social studies education. He spent 7 years as a public schoolteacher in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and Lake City, Florida where he taught at boththe middle and high school level. In 1999 he began full-time doctoral study at theUniversity of Florida and specialized in social studies education and technology.Currently, he is living in Greenville, South Carolina where he is a member of theEducation Department at Furman University. He teaches elementary and secondary socialstudies methods, introduction to education, and geography among other courses.


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EXEMPLARY SOCIAL STUDIES TEACHERS' USE OF TECHNOLOGY IN THE
CLASSROOM


















By

GEORGE B. LIPSCOMB


A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


2003

































Copyright 2003

by

George B. Lipscomb
































This dissertation is dedicated to Laura, Burke, and Josh.















ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I would like to thank the members of my supervisory committee, Drs. Kara M.

Dawson, Paul S. George, James L. McLeskey, Diane Y. Silva, and Elizabeth A. Yeager

for their valuable advice and support with this dissertation. I would also like to especially

thank Dr. Yeager for her assistance, motivation, and encouragement in this process. In

addition, Stephanie Van Hover and Frans Doppen, fellow social studies doctoral students,

deserve a great deal of credit for providing much-needed guidance and motivation.

At Furman University, I would like to thank Drs. Nelly Hecker, Scott Henderson,

Denise Crockett and all of the other members of the Education Department who provided

feedback on this dissertation and supported me in this process. Special appreciation also

goes to Dr. Paul Thomas, who graciously read and commented on drafts of each of the

chapters and remarked that he actually enjoyed doing it.

I am extremely grateful for my parents, Lloyd and Elizabeth Lipscomb, who have

given so much of themselves to their sons and sacrificed so much for our benefit. I would

especially like to thank my mother for the countless hours she spent proofreading this text

and providing valuable comments along the way.

I am forever indebted to my wife, Laura, for supporting me along this arduous path

and never doubting that I could get all of this done. I am most thankful for having

weekends to write in Greenville and the time during the summer to put the finishing

touches on the dissertation. For my sons, Burke and Josh, I am sorry that I have been so

busy during the year, but this too shall pass!









And finally, I would like to thank the exemplary teachers in this study-Mr.

Clayton, Ms. Hart, and Mr. Robbins-for graciously allowing me to enter the world of

their classrooms. Through their unique abilities and talents, I have learned an enormous

amount and hope that I can pass these pearls of wisdom along to the future teachers I am

working with in South Carolina. They taught me a great deal about teaching, about

technology, and most importantly, what it means to engage students in the social studies.

They are to be commended for their efforts!
















TABLE OF CONTENTS

Page

A C K N O W L E D G M E N T S .............................................................................................. iv

L IST O F FIG U R E S ................................................................................................xi

ABSTRACT .............. ......... ... ....................................... xii

CHAPTER

1 IN T R O D U C T IO N ...................................... ............................... ..............

Statem ent of the Problem ....................................................................... .. 1
Purpose of the Study ............................................................................ .... 3
R research Q questions ....................................................... .................... 6
Prim ary Research Question ................................. ........................... ........ ... 6
Guiding Research Questions (Subquestions) .................................................. 6
D description of C hapters .......................................................................... 6

2 REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE............................................ .............. 8

Research Questions Addressed in the Literature Review......................................... 8
Prim ary Research Question ................................. ........................... ........ .... 8
Guiding Research Questions (Subquestions) .................................................... 8
Exem plary Social Studies Teachers .................................. ..................................... 9
T technology ............................................................... .. ...... ........ 13
T each er B beliefs ...................................................................................................... 16
Beliefs about Instruction...................... ...... ........................... 17
B eliefs about Technology ........................................................ ........... ... .... 19
B beliefs about Social Studies .................................... ............................ ....... 23
T each er L earning ....................................................................... 2 6
Professional D evelopm ent....................................................... ....... ...... 27
Collegial Activities....................................................... 30
Individual Learning ................................... .................. .......... ....... 32
Facilitators and B barriers ......................................................................... 35
Facilitators ............................................................... .. .... ........ 35
Barriers .................................. ............................................ 38
Key Research that Addresses Both Factors ................................................... 40









Social Studies and T technology ....................................................................... ... 4 1
Research in Social Studies and Technology .................................................. 42
Teacher Education ............................................... .. ............. 44
Studies of Practicing Social Studies Teachers.............................................. 45
A reas of Prom ise ............................................................... .......... 47
Summary......................................... 48

3 METHODS AND METHODOLOGY .......................................................50

Qualitative Research ........................................................................... 50
C a se S tu d y ................................................................. .................................... 5 2
Investigator Bias ......................................................... .................. 54
Access............................................. .............. 56
P a rtic ip a n ts ................................................................ .................................... 5 7
M r. C layton ....................................................................... 58
M s H a rt .......................................................................................... 5 9
M r. R obbins ................................................................................................ 6 1
S e ttin g s ....................................................................................................... 6 2
G ra n g e r .............................................................................................. 6 2
C h a n c e ............................................................................................... 6 3
A lexander........................................................................................ 64
Data Collection ...................................................................... ... ......... .......... ........ 65
Documents ................ ......... ....................... 65
Observations ................ ......... ......... ......... 66
Interviews ...... ....................... .................. 67
D ata A n aly sis.............. ............................................................................................. 6 8
M e ta p h o r ........................................................................................................... 7 1
C re d ib ility ................................................................................................. 7 2
Limitations ....................... ........................ 74
Exemplary Teachers ..................... ................................. 75
Typical Settings........................................... .............. 76
Summary ......................................... 79

4 THE MODEL CITIZEN ............................................. 81

V ig n ette O n e .......................................................................................................... 8 1
Defining Technology... ....................................................... ....... .............. 85
Teacher Beliefs ........................................................................... .......... .................. 87
Beliefs about Instruction...................... ....... ........ .............. 88
Beliefs about Technology ....................... ...... ....... 89
Beliefs about Social Studies .... ................................. 91
V ig n ette T w o ......................................................................................................... 9 2
Using the Simulation ......... ................ ................................ 96
Teacher Learning about Technology .................... ............ ........... ............. 98
Learning through Professional Development and Collegial Activities........... 98
Learning Individually ....... ........ .......................... 102









Facilitators and Barriers to U sing Technology ..................................... ............... 103
Facilitators ................................... .......................... ............ 103
B barriers ............... ........ .... ...................... .. ....... ... ....... 104
Model Citizen as Technology User................................. ............. 107

5 TH E CO N N ECTO R .................. ............................................ ..................... .... 111

V ignette T three ........................................................................ ........... 111
Defining Technology... ....................................... 116
T teacher B beliefs ............................................................................................... 118
Beliefs about Instruction ................................... 119
B eliefs about Technology ....................................................... ..... ... .. 121
B eliefs about Social Studies .................................. ............................... 123
V ignette Four ..................................................................... ......... 125
The V ietnam A activity ........................................................... .......... ..... 128
Teacher Learning about Technology.............. ............ .................... 129
Learning through Professional Development and Collegial Activities............ 129
L earning Individually ........................................................... ........... .. ..... 132
Vignette Five.................................... ................... .......... 133
Facilitators and Barriers to U sing Technology ..................................... ............... 134
Facilitators .................................... ........................... ............ 134
B barriers .................. .............................................................. 136
Connector as Technology U ser............................................ ............. 138

6 THE STORY TELLER ..................................................................... ..... 140

V ignette Six ...................................................................... ......... 140
Defining Technology... ....................................... 144
T each er B beliefs ............................................................................ 14 5
B eliefs about Instruction ......................................................... .. ................ 146
B eliefs about Technology ....................................................... ..... ... .. 149
B eliefs about Social Studies .................................... .............................. 152
V ig n ette S ev en ................ ........................................................... 154
Teacher Learning about Technology.............. ............ .................... 157
Learning through Professional Development and Collegial Activities............ 157
L earning Individually ........................................................... ........... .. ..... 160
Facilitators and Barriers to U sing Technology ..................................... ............... 161
Facilitators .................................... ........................... ............ 161
B barriers ................................................................ .. ..... ......... 162
Storyteller as Technology User................................... ............. 165

7 CRO SS-CA SE AN ALY SIS ......................................................... ............. 168

How Do Exemplary Social Studies Teachers View Technology?......................... 168
What Do Exemplary Social Studies Teachers Believe about Instruction, about Social
Studies, and about Technology?............. ................. ................................. 170



viii









B eliefs about Instruction ....................................................... ... ................ 17 1
D differences ............................................................................... 171
Sim ilarities ............................................................................... 174
B eliefs about T technology ................................................................ ........ 177
D differences ............................................................................... 178
Sim ilarities .............................................................................. 18 1
B eliefs about Social Studies ................................... .................................... 184
D differences ............................................................................... 184
Sim ilarities .................. ... ... ........................ .. .... .. ........... 189
How Do Exemplary Social Studies Teachers Learn to Integrate Technology into their
Instruction? ......................... ... ........ .................... ... ................. 192
Learning through Professional Development and Collegial Activities............ 192
L earning Individually ............................................................... ............... ... 197
What Factors Facilitate or Restrict Exemplary Social Studies Teachers' Use of
T technology? ................................................. .................................. 199
Facilitators .................................... .......................... ..... ....... 199
B barriers ................ ..... ...... ........ ...... .................... ............ 201
In What Compelling Ways Are Exemplary Social Studies Teachers Using
Technology? ................ ............................. ... ..... .............. ........... .... 205
What Is It about the Social Studies that Calls for a Unique Approach to Integrating
Technology into the Discipline?............................ .............. 208

8 CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS ............................................... 215

S u m m ary ............................................ .......... .. .. .................... 2 1 5
What Do Exemplary Social Studies Teachers Believe about Instruction, about
Social Studies, and about Technology? ................................................. 215
How Do Exemplary Social Studies Teachers Learn to Integrate Technology into
their Instruction? ................................ ..................... ....... ........... 217
What Factors Facilitate or Restrict Exemplary Social Studies Teachers' Use of
T echn ology ? ............ ..... .. ............ ... .............. .. ..... ................ 2 19
In What Compelling Ways Are Exemplary Social Studies Teachers Using
Technology? ........................................ ............ ............. 220
What Is It about the Social Studies that Calls for a Unique Approach to
Integrating Technology into the Discipline? .............................................. 221
Implications and Recommendations for Practice ............................................... 221
Broaden the Definition of What Is Considered to Be Technology ................ 222
Avoid the Bells and W histles................................. .............. 223
Redesign Professional Development............. .................... 224
Provide Adequate Support for Teachers................................................... 225
Rethink the D distribution of Equipm ent ......................................................... 226
Implications and Recommendations for Research.............................................. 227
Examine M ore Typical Situations...................................................... 228
Investigate the Role of Independent Learning with Technology..................... 228
Continue to Emphasize Wise Practice..................... ...... .............. 229
Study the Im pact on Student Learning .......................................................... 230
Conclusion ....................................................................... .............. 230











APPENDIX

A INFORMED CONSENT FORM ........................... 232

B IMPORTANT DATES FOR DISSERTATION............. ... ................ 235

C PATHWISE INSTRUCTION PLAN............................................. .............. 237

D SAMPLE NARRATIVE FROM FIELD NOTES .............. .............. 239

E IN TER V IEW Q U E STIO N S ................................................................................. 242

F INTERVIEW QUESTIONS-OBSERVATIONS............................................... 244

G SAMPLE JOURNAL ENTRY (AUDIT TRAIL) .............................................. 245

L IST O F R E FE R E N C E S ............................................................................................ 247

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ........................................................... ........... ..... 257
















LIST OF FIGURES

Figure page

4-1 M r. Clayton's second-period classroom ........................ ............................... 82

4-2 Mr. Clayton's class in Granger's computer lab.............................................. 94

5-1 M s. Hart's third-block classroom ............... ...................... ............... 112

5-2 Ms. Hart's class in Chance's eighth-grade computer lab .............. .............. 126

6-1 M r. Robbins' fourth-block classroom ............................................. ............. 164

7-1 B beliefs about instruction.................................................... ........................ 172

7-2 Beliefs about technology .......... ....... .. ............... ................. ............. 178

7-3 Beliefs about social studies ...................................... ............. 185

7-4 Teacher learning.................. .... ......... ......... ......... 193

7-5 Facilitators and barriers ......... ..... .. .. ................ .................. .............. 202

7-6 Compelling ways to use technology .............. ..... ....................................... 206

7-7 Uniqueness (tied to metaphors) ............................... 209





















Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

EXEMPLARY SOCIAL STUDIES TEACHERS' USE OF TECHNOLOGY IN THE
CLASSROOM

By

George B. Lipscomb

August 2003

Chair: Elizabeth A. Yeager
Major Department: School of Teaching and Learning

This study investigated three exemplary social studies teachers and their use of

technology in the classroom. Literature on teacher beliefs, teacher learning, facilitators

and barriers to technology use, and social studies and technology helped to frame the

study and clarify research questions. A case study methodology was used to gain insight

into these teachers' classrooms and describe the process in which they integrated

technology into their instruction. Extensive classroom observations, interviews, and

teacher materials provided the data to complete this investigation.

This study suggests that it is instructive to focus on social studies teachers in

common classroom situations where they have had to manage with limited technological

resources. Two middle schools and one K-12 school in Florida served as the typical

settings in this study and provided each exemplary teacher with a unique set of









circumstances in which to use technology. Despite numerous barriers, these teachers

engaged their students in a number of compelling activities using technology.

Findings from this study suggest that social studies teachers use a broad definition

of technology, not limiting their applications to computers, but expanding the definition

to include low-tech devices such as the VCR, CD player, and slide projector. They also

show that educators should not be distracted by the image that technological applications

can present; but they should use technology that will truly enhance their teaching. In

addition, schools and school districts should rethink the professional development

available for social studies teachers and make more effort to match this training to

instructional needs. Finally, schools need to evaluate the necessity of the computer lab

and consider placing more computers in individual classrooms.

Suggestions for further study include a continued examination of typical classroom

settings, further investigation into the role of independent learning, additional exploration

of the practices of exemplary teachers, and a renewed focus on the overall role that

technology is having to improve teaching and learning in the social studies classroom.














CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION

Statement of the Problem

The question of how, and how much, to integrate technology into the social studies

classroom is one of persistent debate among social studies educators. Martorella (1997)

viewed the use of technology in the social studies as a "sleeping giant" that had the

potential to revolutionize the discipline. However, he also argued that while other subject

areas have embraced technology, the social studies have been slow to respond to

innovations, often remaining on the sidelines surrounded by radical transformation. He

specifically recommended that the social studies research community engage in more

"research, reflection, and developmental efforts" (p. 512) if meaningful change was to

take place in the field.

Since Martorella's assertions, research in the area of social studies and technology

has grown. Many studies have focused on preservice teachers and how they are using

technology in their teacher education programs (Keiper, Harwood, & Larson, 2000;

Mason & Berson, 2000; Willis, 1997). These studies highlight a wide range of issues

such as digital resources, computer-mediated discussion, and Internet use. Despite

differences in focus, these studies feature a common theme: that technology does have an

important role to play in social studies classrooms.

At the same time that research on preservice teachers' technology use has

increased, additional emphasis has been placed on social studies teacher educators'

integration of technology into their methods classrooms. A number of leaders in the









social studies (Mason et al., 2000) issued "Guidelines for Using Technology to Prepare

Social Studies Teachers" to provide direction for methods teachers attempting to model

"best practices" in their technology use. Mason and colleagues presented five principles

that should guide technology infusion into teacher education programs:

*Extend learning beyond what could be done without technology.

*Introduce technology in context.

*Include opportunities for students to study relationships among science,
technology, and society.

*Foster the development of the skills, knowledge, and participation needed by
citizens in a democratic society.

*Contribute to the research and evaluation of social studies and technology.

They concluded that following these five principles is the "minimal platform for the use

of technology in the social studies" (p. 114), but that it is ultimately up to the individual

instructor to make substantial reforms in social studies classrooms.

Molebash (2002) put these guidelines into practice in his investigation of an

elementary social studies methods instructor. In particular, he sought to determine how

this professor's constructivist beliefs influenced how she integrated technology into her

methods course. But rather than viewing these five principles as rigid steps that social

studies educators must follow, Molebash viewed their implementation as a "first step"

that should "grow and evolve over time" (p. 451) as more social studies teachers begin to

follow them in their classrooms.

While research into preservice teachers and social studies educators has increased,

studies of practicing teachers' use of technology has been limited. Most of the recent

research has used surveys and questionnaires to gain insight into technology in the social

studies classroom. Most of the data indicate that social studies teachers are often the









slowest in their schools to adapt to new technologies. Becker, Ravitz, and Wong (1999)

found, that despite numerous claims that technology can be a powerful tool in the

classroom, social studies teachers appeared to adhere to traditional teaching practices and

to resist technology.

While the survey data are informative, more qualitative studies are needed to paint

a clearer picture of social studies teachers' technology integration. Milson (2002) and

others investigated social studies classrooms in which new technologies are explored, but

the focus in most of these studies has been on the students, not on the teachers. Given the

role that Thornton (1991) and others have ascribed to social studies instructors as

"curricular-instructional gatekeepers," the classroom teacher has a tremendous influence

on what is covered in class, particularly with technology use. Surveys and questionnaires

are useful for providing snapshots of technology use, but qualitative data can be even

more instructive for anyone interested in social studies education. Understanding the

many instructional factors involved in deciding whether or not to use technology is a

difficult endeavor at best, but this understanding is essential if social studies research is to

make the strides that Martorella advocated in 1997.

Purpose of the Study

In an era when public school teachers are pulled in many directions by standardized

tests, parent demands, curricular concerns, student discipline, and numerous other

competing interests, finding ways to bring technology into the classroom is challenging.

While some teachers have the latest computer equipment, most American classrooms

have had to survive with outdated machines and software. Researchers have tended to

focus on the more progressive classrooms and technology-savvy teachers; but seeing how









teachers in common settings use technology may prove to be even more informative,

especially for teachers entering the profession.

The present study suggests that it is instructive to focus on teachers who have had

to cope with the kinds of struggles that many teachers face, and who have had to manage

with limited technological resources. It also suggests that a focus on excellent teaching is

appropriate. Berliner (1986) argued that while no teacher is perfect, all educators can

benefit from "exemplary performances from which we can learn" (p. 6). Even the best

educators can continue to learn and improve their instruction, and a study of these

teachers and their classrooms may prove beneficial in many respects.

In their investigation of subject-matter knowledge among history teachers,

Wineburg and Wilson (1991) pointed out that their study was just a beginning in

understanding what is known about expert teachers' content knowledge. Even though

many of the teachers they interviewed had an expert knowledge of history, a number

were not able to translate this content knowledge into meaningful learning for their

students. By painting rich, realistic portraits of two exemplary American history teachers,

Wineburg and Wilson were able to make a significant case for the importance of

historical content and effective teaching.

The present study follows along the same lines as Wineburg and Wilson, in that it

offers a starting place for studying the impact of technology in the social studies

classroom. It paints a picture of what wise teachers do to make the social studies more

meaningful for their students by exploring the beliefs, concerns, and opinions of

exemplary teachers as they attempt to use technology. The most effective method for

investigating these issues is through a qualitative approach to research.









Marshall and Rossman (1999) cite three traditional explanations regarding the

purposes of a qualitative research study. Despite wide differences in approach and

methodology, most qualitative studies contain a combination of exploratory, descriptive,

and explanatory aims. This investigation incorporates elements of each of these aims to

illuminate the primary research question: How do exemplary social studies teachers use

technology in the classroom?

The present study's primary objective was to investigate three exemplary social

studies teachers' use of technology in their classrooms. To better understand their

classroom practices, I examined these teachers' beliefs about instruction, social studies,

and technology in general. I also explored the ways that these teachers learned to

integrate technology through individual efforts, work with colleagues, and formal staff

development. The context in which these teachers operated was also significant, and I

looked at both the facilitators and barriers facing these teachers as they attempted to

integrate technology into their classes. Finally, I considered the influence that the

discipline of social studies had on these teachers' technology decisions and explored

some of the effective ways that they used technology in their instruction.

A second purpose of this inquiry was to construct a narrative for the technology

integration of each of these exemplary social studies teachers, situated within the

particular settings in which they taught. These settings were chosen not because they

were ideal for technology integration, but because they were typical in terms of access

and technical support. Through the vignettes in Chapters 4, 5, and 6, I attempted to

document specific lessons that demonstrated each teacher's use of technology and to

provide a detailed description of these classrooms.









A final purpose of this case study was to analyze patterns related to these teachers'

use of technology and attempt to make sense of them. Multiple sources of data were used

to create distinct categories of inquiry, which followed closely with the major concepts

explored in the study. Once these categories were determined, patterns emerged from the

data that helped to emphasize the characteristics the participants had in common and to

clarify the distinctive aspects of technology use that these teachers chose to employ. The

final, and most difficult, phase of any qualitative study is interpreting the patterns, once

they have emerged. Finding meaning from the observations, interviews, and other data is

essential to the study.

Research Questions

Primary Research Question

How do exemplary social studies teachers use technology in the classroom?

Guiding Research Questions (Subquestions)

*What do exemplary social studies teachers believe about instruction, about social
studies, and about technology?

*How do exemplary social studies teachers learn to integrate technology into their
instruction?

*What factors facilitate or restrict exemplary social studies teachers' use of
technology?

*What is it about the social studies that calls for a unique approach to integrating
technology into the discipline?

*In what compelling ways are exemplary social studies teachers using technology?

Description of Chapters

The remainder of the dissertation is organized as follows: Chapter 2 provides a

conceptual framework for the study by developing a working definition of technology

and examining the research on exemplary social studies teachers. This chapter also









contains a literature review of the study's major constructs: teacher beliefs, teacher

learning, facilitators to and barriers of technology use, and social studies and technology.

Chapter 3 details the methodology of the study and briefly describes the participants and

settings. Chapters 4, 5, and 6 present narratives of each of the participants' use of

technology and explore the issues accompanying these practices. Chapter 7 looks at these

exemplary teachers together and presents a cross-case analysis of their technology

integration. Chapter 8 features conclusions and recommendations emerging from the

study.














CHAPTER 2
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE

The review of the literature addresses four major areas of research related to the use

of technology by exemplary social studies teachers: teacher beliefs, teacher learning,

facilitators of and barriers to technology use, and the integration of technology into the

social studies classroom. While there is considerable overlap in these areas, particularly

between teacher beliefs and teacher learning, each is addressed separately to focus the

study and extract some of the differences that appear in the literature. Each literature

category corresponds to one of the guiding research questions, with the exception that the

final two questions are addressed together in the section on social studies and technology.

Before these areas of research are addressed, however, two concepts at the heart of the

study need additional explanation: exemplary social studies teachers and technology.

Research Questions Addressed in the Literature Review

Primary Research Question

How do exemplary social studies teachers use technology in the classroom?

(Exemplary social studies teachers, technology)

Guiding Research Questions (Subquestions)

*What do exemplary social studies teachers believe about instruction, about social
studies, and about technology? (Teacher beliefs)

*How do exemplary social studies teachers learn to integrate technology into their
instruction? (Teacher learning)

*What factors facilitate or restrict exemplary social studies teachers' use of
technology? (Facilitators and barriers)









*In what compelling ways are exemplary social studies teachers using technology?
What is it about the social studies that calls for a unique approach to integrating
technology into the discipline? (Social Studies and technology)

Exemplary Social Studies Teachers

With the passage of the No Child Left Behind Act in 2002, the debate about what

constitutes a "highly qualified" teacher has emerged as a critical issue in public

education. While supporters of this act (Mathews, 2003; Paige, 2002) argue that content

knowledge is all that is necessary to become an effective teacher, detractors (Bracey,

2003; Darling-Hammond, 2003) contend that being able to teach this content is what is

most important. This debate is especially pointed in the social studies field, where

teaching strategies can range from traditional lecture to inquiry-based problem solving.

Given the wide range of instructional approaches in the social studies, differing

conceptions of how to characterize exemplary teaching have emerged in the literature.

Stanley (1991) focused on three conceptions of teacher competence that have

emerged in the social studies literature: teacher effectiveness, teacher knowledge, and

critical thinking and critical pedagogy. In the teacher effectiveness model, also known as

the process-product model, teaching can be viewed as a process in which a number of

behaviors can be observed and quantitatively measured. Adherents of this approach

(Good & Brophy, 1994; Porter & Brophy, 1988) argued that, based on years of classroom

observations, a strong enough research base existed to describe many characteristics of an

expert teacher. A number of researchers have criticized this approach, finding it too

narrowly focused and limited to only a few areas of social studies instruction. Among

these critics, Armento (1986) found that the teacher effectiveness model was flawed

because it did not account for more complex instructional issues. Furthermore, she noted

that teacher education programs showed few changes as a result of this line of research.









A second area of teacher competence that Stanley (1991) examined is knowledge of

subject matter. Largely because of the influence of Lee Shulman and associates at

Stanford University, a great deal of attention has been paid to what good teachers know

about their subject. Noting a lack of content testing for teachers, Shulman (1986)

proposed a new type of knowledge-pedagogical content knowledge-that would

combine pure content expertise with instructional competence in the classroom.

According to Shulman, pedagogical content knowledge "goes beyond knowledge of

subject matter per se to the dimension of subject matter knowledgefor teaching" (p. 9).

While knowledge of one's subject is important for Shulman, what is more important is

how this understanding is transferred to students. In general, studies concerning

pedagogical content knowledge have found that more experienced teachers are able to

transmit subject matter knowledge in a way that makes it more accessible to their

students. In assessing the overall impact of this line of research, Shulman and Quinlan

(1996) held that "excellent teachers transform their own content knowledge into

pedagogical representations that connect the prior knowledge and dispositions of the

learner" (p. 409). While there is some dispute as to how this process takes place, the

major thrust of this line of research is that experienced teachers develop more complex

methods of reconstructing content knowledge as they gain experience.

A significant element of Shulman's research applied directly to studying the subject

matter knowledge of social studies teachers. Gudmundsdottir and Shulman (1987) first

applied this concept in a comparison of an experienced and a novice social studies

teacher. They concluded that while both teachers had strong content backgrounds, the

experienced teacher's ability to grasp "the larger picture" (p. 69) enabled him to relate it









to his students more clearly than the novice. After extensive interviews with eleven

experienced history teachers, Wineburg and Wilson (1991) settled on two

teachers-Elizabeth Jensen and John Price-to show their beliefs about how content

knowledge impacts instruction. They called Jensen the "invisible" teacher who acted

more as a choreographer shaping the movements of her students as they conducted a

debate on the Revolutionary War. John Price was more of an actor and performer and

was able to capture his classes' attention primarily through his actions. Despite

differences in teaching styles and approaches, the authors argued that both of these

teachers were able to express their subject matter knowledge in a way that was

understandable to a wide range of students.

Stanley's (1991) final area of teacher competence focused on critical thinking and

critical pedagogy. In the critical thinking domain, Stanley stressed Newmann's (1990)

work concerning characteristics of teachers who used higher-order questioning in their

social studies instruction. In this longitudinal study, Newmann selected five high schools

with diverse populations in which social studies departments emphasized higher-order

thinking and engaged in problem-solving activities. By observing a wide range of social

studies lessons, Newmann developed seventeen dimensions of thoughtfulness and sought

to determine how well teachers addressed each of these criteria. Other major goals of

Newmann's work were to identify characteristics of higher-order thinking for social

studies teachers and to determine if students in classes with teachers who emphasized

critical thinking showed more thoughtfulness. Newmann's findings were inconclusive on

this matter.









Stanley (1991) addressed critical pedagogy as a final feature of teacher

competence, choosing to focus on teachers who challenge the status quo and encourage

their students to take action on injustices in the world. Research in this area has focused

on a wide range of issues ranging from confrontation of racism and sexism in individual

classrooms to questioning the dominant views portrayed in most social studies textbooks.

Stanley argued that the competent teacher would stress "active student participation" (p.

257) over most of the traditional methods used in the social studies classroom.

In assessing these areas of teacher competence, Stanley argued that each of these

areas provided an important component for understanding what makes an effective social

studies teacher. He stated that it was up to the individual teacher to decide how much of

each of these areas to bring into his or her instruction. He concluded his article with the

following assessment:

Consequently, teacher competence for the social studies is not merely a matter of
eclecticism. Instead, practical judgment must be used to determine the ends of
social studies as a field of study and then to select the best means to achieve these
ends in particular classroom situations. (p. 259)

Since Stanley's review, the debate over what characteristics make an effective social

studies teacher has continued. In her review of the research on history teaching, Wilson

(2001) highlighted the rift between the work of Brophy, VanSledright and others with the

teacher effectiveness model and the work of Shulman focusing on teacher knowledge and

beliefs. She argued that both "camps of explanation" (p. 537) clearly explained how the

teachers in their studies taught, but that they did pay not enough attention to the factors

that made the teachers effective in the first place. Too often, she contended, researchers

in this area have become so engrossed in the lives of the teachers they are studying that

they lose sight of the original question of effectiveness. Because of this lack of focus,









Wilson recommended that future research connect exemplary teaching more directly to

student learning. While many studies describe what students know or do not know about

history, the link to the role of the teacher in the learning progress remains unexplored.

Wilson concluded that this proposal would require a new way of thinking about subject

matter knowledge and a new approach to studying classroom life; but that in order to

remove this "black hole in our research landscape" (p. 540), a renewed approach to

studying exemplary history teaching was necessary.

Technology

The term "technology" comes from the Greek word techne meaning an art, craft, or

skill. This definition often runs against the conventional thinking about technology in

education that emphasizes the machines and hardware rather than the knowledge that can

be gained from their use. The Association for Educational Communications and

Technology (1996) emphasized the procedure involved in using educational technology

and defined it as "a complex, integrated process involving people, procedures, ideas, and

devices for analyzing problems, and devising, implementing, evaluating, and managing

solutions to these problems, in situations in which learning is purposive and controlled"

(p. 4). But the process involved in using technology is usually ignored in educational

circles; and schools boast about numbers of computer labs and wired classrooms rather

than focusing on the learning that students have gained through these technologies.

Over the history of American public education, technology has experienced a

dramatic change-from the abacus and the chalkboard, as major innovations of the

1800s; to radio and television in the 1900s. During this same time period, the overhead

projector, record player, tape recorder, videocassette recorder, and compact disc player

entered many classrooms across the country. As each of these innovations was









introduced, teachers were told that these new technologies would radically impact how

they would lead instruction; but for the most part, these changes brought only minimal

alteration to the classroom (Cuban, 1986; Kerr, 1996). What remained constant

throughout this transformation, however, was the emphasis on the machinery introduced

to schools and not on the learning that followed.

Today, most of the reports and studies that focus on technology in education refer

directly to computers. The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), one

of the largest organizations devoted to promoting technology in the classroom, has

published technology standards for teachers, students, and teacher educators. In the

National Educational Technology Standards (NETS) for Students (1998), ISTE defined

technology-based instruction as "instructional applications that involve some aspect of

computers or related technology" (p. 372). Accordingly, many of the guidelines for using

technology in the classroom involve computer skills such as operating a computer,

searching the Internet, creating databases, or producing PowerPoint presentations.

In their book Technology and Teacher Education, Mehlinger and Powers (2002)

explored various conceptions of what technology is. One common view is that it is "the

application of science to industry" (p. 10), but for these authors, this definition provided

little connection to education. They also dismissed the definition of technology as a

process, because, again, very few educators choose to see technology apart from the

machinery involved in it. They saw technology as "relatively new electronic media, such

as computers and video and the associated hardware, networks, and software that enable

them to function" (p. 10). Their conception of technology, while including video, focused

primarily on computers and the major impact they were already having on schools. But









while some educational technology focuses on computer tools that improve efficiency for

teachers (e.g. electronic grade books, attendance reports), Mehlinger and Powers were

concerned primarily with how teachers in the classroom have used computers and how

they can be used in the future.

A broader definition of technology was provided by the Office of Technology

Assessment (OTA) in their 1995 report, "Teachers and Technology: Making the

Connection." In establishing a standard for educational technology, they used the

following statement to qualify their assertions:

Although many people view educational technology as synonymous with
computers, for the purposes of this report, the Office of Technology Assessment
adopts a broader definition of educational technology that includes computers,
VCRs, televisions, telephones, video and still cameras, audio devices, calculators
and other hand-held devices, microcomputer-based lab equipment (such as sensor
probes and measurement devices), videodiscs, CD-Rom, satellites, multimedia, and
telecommunications networks. (p. 50)

While definitions provided by most technology proponents such as ISTE (1998) and

Mehlinger and Powers (2002) focused mostly on computers, the OTA's description of

technology encompasses a wide range of items that can be used in the classroom. Some

of these items, such as satellites or sensor probes, are not practical for social studies

teachers, many of the other devices are commonly used in classrooms around the country.

The present study uses a broad lens, such as the one used by the Office of

Technology Assessment, to examine the use of technology by exemplary social studies

teachers. It focuses not only on these teachers' use of computers, but also on other forms

of technology that they employed to enhance their instruction. While computers remained

the focus for several of the observed technology lessons, televisions, VCRs, CDs, slides,

and other forms of technology also played a large part in the classrooms of these

exemplary teachers. While much of the research cited in this chapter relates to computers,









a broader conception of technology helped to illuminate the innovative approaches the

teachers used in their classes.

Teacher Beliefs

In recent years, many researchers have acknowledged the great influence that

teacher beliefs have on instructional practices. Richardson (1996) explained that although

research into the related area of teacher attitudes has been prevalent for decades, studies

of teacher beliefs are fairly recent and concentrate on a wide range of topics. Despite the

relatively recent body of research in this area, scholars have found a strong connection

between teacher beliefs and classroom practice. Many researchers hold that a better

understanding of how teachers apply their beliefs will benefit current educators and play

a larger role in teacher preparation.

This concept, however, is complex and overlaps a number of associated areas.

Pajares (1992), in a widely cited review of the research, drew a number of conclusions

about the nature of teacher beliefs. First, he argued that beliefs are formed early in life

and tend to self-perpetuate throughout a teacher's career. Even if change does occur, it is

often temporary, and teachers can easily revert to previous ideas and routines. Second, he

claimed that beliefs were "inextricably intertwined" (p. 325) to knowledge. A number of

researchers have also noted the connection between knowledge and beliefs

(Feiman-Nemser & Floden, 1986; Munby, Russell, & Martin, 2001; Richardson, 1994)

and in some cases have used the terms interchangeably. In addition, Pajares (1992)

contended that belief change in adulthood is a rare happening; and usually takes place

only with a change in authority. Overall, the issue of teacher beliefs is multifaceted, and

therefore makes any kind of analysis difficult. To clarify the concept of teacher beliefs,

three areas of teacher beliefs that influence the use of technology by exemplary social









studies teachers were examined: beliefs about instruction, beliefs about technology, and

beliefs about social studies.

Beliefs about Instruction

Since the beginnings of the American school movement, vigorous debate has

continued over the role of the teacher in providing the best possible environment for

student learning. In his pioneering work on the teaching profession, Schoolteacher: A

sociological study, Lortie (1975) argued that despite efforts from teacher education

programs, outside organizations, and many teachers, traditional practices have remained

the norm in American schools. Lortie maintained that with so much time devoted to

non-instructional responsibilities, teachers were unlikely to change their classroom

routines. He suggested that while many teachers wanted to change their instruction, they

"are like practitioners in other fields-they are reluctant to try new approaches unless

they feel sure they can make them work and avoid damaging their reputations" (p. 234).

As long as this reluctance to take risks remains in place, Lortie concluded that the

teaching profession would see little change in the foreseeable future.

Cuban (1993) similarly viewed teaching as an inherently conservative profession

and argued that classrooms have changed very little in the past 40 to 50 years. He

stressed that if any changes did take place, they were more likely to be incremental than

fundamental. New technologies such as computers have changed the physical appearance

of classrooms, he argued, but the traditional methods that teachers have used in

instruction have remained the same. Among the characteristics that Cuban ascribed to

these traditional classrooms were a heavy reliance on textbooks, whole-class instruction,

and "teacher talk" over "student talk" (p. 7). Cuban supposed that without substantial

reform efforts, the nature of the instruction would remain constant for years to come.









Despite this tendency for teachers to adhere to traditional practices, a number of

studies have documented how non-traditional instructional methods have been successful.

Among the characteristics that Cuban (1993) attributed to this approach were small-group

learning, more "student talk" than "teacher talk," and "varied instructional materials" (p.

7) that the teacher can use in a variety of situations. Based on a collection of case studies,

Bray, Kramer, and LePage (2000) characterized their view of the expert teacher. They

held that this teacher was constantly reflective on his or her practice and embraced the

opportunity for improvement. The authors went so far as to say the expert teacher is

"thrilled at the prospect of trying something original and different, thriving on

opportunities to learn about current educational trends and social issues" (p. 79). For

Bray, Kramer, and LePage, the effort to improve instruction comes with the recognition

that students have diverse learning styles and may not benefit from traditional methods.

Several studies have explored exemplary social studies teachers' beliefs about

instruction. From a pool of twenty teachers, Onosko (1992) identified ten as outstanding

and ten as less than outstanding; and then described characteristics shared among the

more accomplished practitioners. One of the major similarities among the outstanding

teachers concerned the issue of depth versus breadth of content coverage. Nearly all of

these teachers felt that trying to cover too much material actually impeded student efforts

to learn, and they advocated a concentrated approach to various subjects to encourage

higher-order thinking among students. Also, Brophy and VanSledright (1993)

interviewed seven exemplary elementary teachers and found that they preferred a variety

of learning activities compared to the traditional, worksheet-driven social studies

curriculum. These teachers, as a whole, found textbooks to be ineffective tools for student









learning and much preferred "engaging students in a variety of forms of teacher-student

and student-student discourse" (p. 5). Even though studies such as these show the

preference of many social studies teachers a wide array of teaching methods, social

studies classrooms as a whole remain among the most traditional of the major academic

disciplines.

What is important about this area, however, is that the debate surrounding

instructional methods still continues. While some researchers try to support a particular

pedagogical stance through their studies, it should be recognized that different situations

call for different pedagogies. While looking at instructional approaches as absolutes can

be useful, most teachers use a mix of methods and are hard to characterize.

Beliefs about Technology

While the literature in the area of teacher beliefs about instruction is a fairly recent

phenomenon, the literature pertaining to beliefs about technology is an even newer, and

thus a more unexplored, area of research. Cuban (1986) applied his ideas about the

conservative nature of teachers and their reluctance to change classroom practice to their

caution in using new technologies. He found that if the technology supported existing

practices (i.e., multiple choice test construction or drill and practice software), teachers

were much more likely to embrace it than they would if it involved modifying or

radically changing their instruction. In a more recent study, Cuban, Kirkpatrick, and Peck

(2001) interviewed twenty-one secondary teachers and found that thirteen of them said

that technology had changed their instructional practices. Upon closer examination,

however, these changes were primarily of an institutional nature (e.g. grade tabulation,

record keeping, test construction) rather than revisions in instruction. Even though a few









of these teachers reported that technology had made them more student-centered,

observations showed little change in traditional practice.

Studies of teacher beliefs in regard to technology are fairly evenly split between

analyses of survey data and case study research. In their landmark study of six hundred

technology-using teachers, Hadley and Sheingold (1993) used a lengthy questionnaire to

explore what teachers believed about technology use in their classrooms. Of the

technology-using teachers questioned by Hadley and Sheingold, eighty-eight percent

indicated that computers made a difference in their teaching. Among the teachers who

said that computers had made a difference in their teaching, a majority also indicated that

they were able to spend more time with individual students, to lecture less, and to expect

better work from students.

In another large-scale study, Niederhauser and Stoddart (2001) surveyed over one

thousand elementary teachers about their uses of educational software. The authors

discovered a significant relationship between the type of pedagogy preferred by these

teachers and the types of software used in the classroom. They categorized the software

using three descriptors-open-ended, skill-based, and combined-and generally found

that teachers used the types of software that fit best with their pedagogical stance. For

example, if a teacher was interested in more teacher-directed software, drill and practice

programs such as Reader Rabbit or Math Blasters would be desirable. For teachers

engaging in more student-centered teaching practices, an open-ended piece of software

such as Where in the World is Carmen San Diego? or Oregon Trail would be preferred.

In their conclusion, the authors contended that if instructional change was to take place,

teacher beliefs about technology should not be ignored. They added that professional









development could assist teachers in choosing the right type of software for their beliefs,

and it was "ultimately teachers who determine" (p. 29) how effectively technology is

used in the classroom.

The Teaching, Learning, and Computing Survey of 1998 undertaken by the Center

for Research on Information Technology and Organizations addressed beliefs about

technology on an even larger scale. This study of over 4,000 teachers, administrators and

technology coordinators yielded a number of reports related to technology use and school

contexts. In one of these reports, "Constructivist-Compatible Beliefs and Practices among

U.S. Teachers" (Ravitz, Becker, & Wong, 2000), the authors sought to determine the

relationship between teachers' stated beliefs about technology use and whether or not this

was apparent in their classroom practices. The report showed that across almost every

subject area, teacher beliefs were a strong indicator of the type of instruction used. As the

title of the report showed, the authors argued that teachers who held more constructivist

views used activities in the classroom (i.e., projects, group work, problem-solving tasks)

consistent with these beliefs.

A number of qualitative studies have also explored the relationship between teacher

beliefs and technology use. In one such study, Windschitl and Sahl (2002) examined

three teachers at a private school in Seattle that had recently initiated a laptop computer

program. These middle school teachers had varying beliefs about the technology at the

beginning of this initiative. One teacher believed that technology could provide a "hook"

to bring more students into the learning process, one was dubious about the effect laptops

could have in his classroom, and the third was new to technology, but excited about the

possibilities it could bring to her classroom. After two years of using laptops, only one of









these three teachers was using technology on a regular basis; the others returned to

traditional practices used before the introduction of these machines. Overall, the authors

found that understanding teachers' decisions on whether or not to use technology was a

complex enterprise, and more research was needed to better comprehend the role of

beliefs in this process.

In contrast to the previous study, findings from the Apple Classrooms of Tomorrow

(ACOT) project (Sandholtz, Ringstaff, & Dwyer, 1997) held that teacher beliefs changed

as a direct result of having an extensive amount of technology introduced into their

classroom. According to the authors, participants in this project became more

constructivist in their teaching approaches and attempted more collaborative and inquiry-

based activities over time. They argued that "the introduction of technology to

classrooms does not radically change teaching; instead, technology can serve as a symbol

of change, granting teachers a license for experimentation" (p. 171). But they also

recognized that change cannot happen without support from a number of sources,

including, but not limited to, administrators, colleagues, parents, technology consultants,

and the community.

This area of the literature would benefit from more studies connecting teacher

beliefs to classroom technology use in a more typical classroom environment. Most of the

studies described in this section, such as the ACOT project, involved grants or

investments from large corporations. In addition to the many institutional pressures

teachers face on a daily basis from parents, administrators, and other stakeholders in

education, participants in such studies would also feel obliged to use the technology

supplied for them, even if it meant teaching in ways that were not comfortable to them.









Because of the forced nature of much of this computer implementation and expectations

from the technology providers for positive results, many of these analyses should be

regarded with a critical perspective. Studies of teacher beliefs in more typical settings in

which the technology has not been thrust upon teachers have the potential to impact

practice more than those in selective environments.

Beliefs about Social Studies

One of the biggest problems with judging teacher beliefs about the social studies is

a debate over how to define this field of study. Even with this uncertainty, recent

inquiries have found that beliefs about the discipline, however one defines it, have had a

great influence on how teachers approach the subject in their classroom. These beliefs are

often grounded before teachers have even started their teacher education programs, and

tend to be perpetuated once teachers enter the classroom.

Case studies of preservice teachers (Angell, 1998; Goodman & Adler, 1985;

Johnston, 1990) have discovered that while some young teachers grow in their

understanding of the discipline, others remain content to rely on previous attitudes and

experiences. Goodman and Adler (1985) analyzed the perspectives of sixteen preservice

elementary teachers towards the social studies with interviews throughout an entire year,

and sought to determine the influence of various factors on their belief systems. This

study found that while student teaching did play a significant role in shaping the belief

systems of these students, childhood conceptions of the social studies along with other

factors were equally important in affecting instruction. In a case study of two preservice

teachers, Angell (1998) described how one grew in her understanding of social studies

and teaching, while the other remained satisfied with her previous beliefs. What is

perhaps most significant about this study is the change that one student was able to









achieve. In contrast to those who argued that teacher beliefs were fairly rigid, Angell

contended that given the right social interactions, change in beliefs could occur. These

studies also highlight the disconnect between teacher education programs that emphasize

a constructivist approach to social studies, and classrooms that continue to use

memorization and teacher-directed learning as their focus.

At the same time that case studies of preservice teachers have emphasized the

importance of beliefs about social studies, inquiries into the perspectives of practicing

teachers have also emerged. In one such study, Brophy (1992) profiled Mary Lake, a fifth

grade teacher who was able to make history "come alive" (p. 152) for her students. This

teacher used storytelling to capture student imagination, and, through an in-depth

examination of topics, was able to bring her students into history. She took a personal

approach to the subject, beginning the year with students' autobiographies and timelines

as a means to explain their place in history. Brophy argued that the visible worth she

placed on social studies and the time she devoted to its instruction made the subject more

meaningful for her students, and by limiting the content she covered, she was able to

provide a significant depth of coverage for her students.

The question of depth versus breadth in coverage is significant for social studies

teachers. VanSledright (1997) profiled two eighth grade American history teachers,

Nancy Kerwin and Bob Jansen, and compared the ways in which they approached

instruction. Kerwin was concerned about presenting students with a chronological

account of history and used the textbook to guide them through a steady array of facts

and concepts. Jansen, on the other hand, chose to concentrate on a few significant

historical themes and relied on his own background and content expertise to lead students









through this unit. Despite going into more depth, Jansen was able to complete his unit in

only twenty days compared to the thirty-eight that Kerwin used. While he believes that

"pursuing depth in historical study appears to be a worthwhile goal" (p. 41),

VanSledright acknowledged that it had its limitations with the omission of important

historical details

Beliefs about subject matter have also received a good deal of attention at the

secondary level. Wineburg and Wilson (1991) explored the subject matter knowledge of

two high school American history teachers and found that despite different classroom

approaches, both of these teachers saw the importance of having their students actively

participate in historical inquiry, and not have their students become "little historians."

John Price, one of the participants in this study, noted in describing his approach to

teaching, "My mission is to really get them excited about some of the characters along

the way so that they have some interest in the past" (p. 329). Through experience and

constant reflection, both of these teachers conceptualized social studies in a way that

suited their personal beliefs, and more importantly, enhanced student learning in the

process.

In looking at the importance of social studies teachers' beliefs as a whole,

Thornton's (1991) description of instructors as "curricular-instructional gatekeepers" (p.

237) deserves attention. In this capacity, Thornton argued, teachers have a great deal of

control over how the subject is presented in their classrooms. Social studies teachers have

traditionally allowed textbooks to dictate how their classrooms are managed and have

reduced the subject to an exercise of memorization and regurgitation of facts. In this

process, many students have grown to dislike social studies. Thornton stated that while









research has heightened an understanding of social studies teachers' practices, he

believed that there needed to be more case studies of exemplary practice if meaningful

change was ever going to take place.

This area of the literature has grown dramatically in the time since Armento (1986)

surveyed the research in the social studies over fifteen years ago and noted a lack of

qualitative studies. Inquiries like many of those detailed in this section have become

much more common in the literature and have provided needed insight into the beliefs of

both preservice and inservice teachers about social studies. But the pendulum may have

swung too far toward the qualitative paradigm, and Seixas (2001) and others have

advocated additional quantitative studies to present a more balanced picture of the

influence of teacher beliefs on social studies teaching and learning. But even without the

benefit of such data, recent studies have significantly increased the understanding of the

effects of beliefs on both current and future social studies teachers.

Teacher Learning

A concept closely related to teacher beliefs is that of teacher learning. It is

presumed in this area of the literature that teachers continue to learn from the time they

enter the profession until the time they leave the classroom, although how and to what

degree varies. In commenting about possible changes in the future of schooling, Lortie

(1975) remarked that inservice training necessary to promote teacher learning rarely

"rises above the superficial level" (p. 234). If school districts had serious concerns about

the future of their teachers, Lortie claimed, staff development would receive much greater

attention. In the nearly three decades since Lortie's landmark study, there has been a

steady increase in the area of teacher learning. Richardson and Placier (2001) regarded

teacher learning as the most significant factor for enacting changes that might actually









improve education. In reviewing the research in this area, the authors found that teacher

learning is much more likely to be meaningful where there is an environment

encouraging "commitment, collaboration, and empowerment" (p. 929). In an effort to

attract and retain qualified teachers, more attention is being paid to the lifelong

development of teachers (Steffy, Wolfe, Pasch, & Enz, 2000) and the support that is

needed along the way.

With the arrival of personal computers in the school environment, teachers have

been strongly encouraged to make use of new technologies in their classrooms. Because

of the numerous demands placed on teachers, taking the time to learn about new

innovations and implementing them in the classroom is a daunting task, but many

teachers have found ways to make this happen. Many of the articles focused on learning

about technology have come from the traditional professional development perspective,

in which outside agencies have come into schools to train teachers on various

applications. Fewer studies have been written about the influences of colleagues, both

inside and outside the school, for enhancing one's technological expertise. Even less has

been published concerning how teachers explore technology through personal endeavors.

Understanding the importance of each of these three areas in regard to learning about

technology is crucial if one is to arrive at a deeper understanding of technology

implementation.

Professional Development

Feiman-Nemser (2001) maintained that staff development traditionally has been a

"dissemination activity" (p. 1041) in which teachers passively receive information on any

number of topics. Teachers sit in a crowded cafeteria, auditorium, or media center and

listen to an expert tell them what they need to know about some area deemed important









by administrators at the school or district level. The problem with this approach, as many

critics have noted, is that these one-time-only training events usually have little bearing

on how teachers improve their instruction. Prominent educators, including Linda

Darling-Hammond (1997; Darling-Hammond & McLaughlin, 1996), have proposed

alternative models of staff development that are sustained (more than just one-time-only

events) and directly connected to teachers' daily experiences. Darling-Hammond

acknowledged that these activities would likely involve more time than was currently

being spent by teachers in staff development, but in the long run they would relate more

directly to what teachers were doing on a daily basis.

The traditional staff development approach for technology training has produced

limited results in helping teachers become more proficient in their technology use. Even

as schools acquire more and more machines and construct additional computer labs, little

support has been given to teachers in using this technology. One report (Quality

Education Data, 1998) stated that only five percent of federal expenditures on educational

technology was spent on professional development. The President's Commission of

Advisors on Science and Technology (1997) recommended a significant increase in

teacher training from five percent of federal expenditures in the technology budget to

thirty percent. At the present time, this increase has not been realized. More hardware has

been added in many districts, but the support provided for teachers has not followed.

Hasselbring et al. (2000) powerfully showed the importance of professional

development for teachers in their review of the literature on technology and teacher

development. The authors contended that many teachers were not ready to use

technology in their classrooms and argued:









In sum, a school can have the best hardware and software available, yet it is
unlikely that they will be used well, or even used at all, if teachers are not trained.
Training teachers on the integration and use of technology appears to have a
significant impact on whether they feel comfortable in using technology. Training
also increases the likelihood that they will use software and web sites for
instruction. Thus, as schools continue to purchase more and better technology, the
benefit to students will increasingly depend on how well teachers are prepared to
use these new tools. (p. 5)

Even though professional development opportunities have increased in many states,

many teachers have not taken advantage of these offerings and remain ill equipped to use

technology in their classrooms.

Despite the limited attention paid to professional development activities, several

studies have been published in recent years that show positive results from technology

training. Several of these studies claim that after such training teachers displayed more

confidence with technology integration and became more student-centered in their

approach to teaching. The Southwest Educational Development Laboratory (Burns, 2002)

undertook a project with 150 teachers at six schools to "create learner-centered,

technology-rich learning environments" (p. 36). Teachers in this project received

thirty-six hours of professional development over the course of two summers and, in

addition, received on-site support from consultants. Results from this venture showed that

teachers learned valuable technology skills and strategies and became more constructivist

in their approach to teaching.

Similar results came from the ten-year Apple Classrooms of Tomorrow (ACOT)

Project. While the initial thrust of the project was to observe the impact that providing

hardware and software would make in the classroom, professional development later

became an integral part of the study. Project coordinators established the ACOT

Development Center, whose efforts had three major components: a weeklong practicum









with instructional tools and practices demonstrated, a four-week summer leadership

institute, and continued follow-up support by ACOT coordinators. In a report assessing

the impact of the professional development initiative, the authors (Ringstaff, Yocam, &

Marsh, 1996) reported seeing three major changes in the teachers who participated in the

study. First of all, the teachers' classroom organization changed, with teachers spending

less time in front of students and more time assisting collaborative learning. Second, the

teachers indicated that they used more technology in their instruction, and students were

more motivated as a result. Third, and most significantly, the participants in this study

underwent an attitudinal change and felt more excited about using technology in their

classrooms and towards teaching as a whole. According to the authors, the teachers in the

study took this enthusiastic attitude back to their schools, and their eagerness positively

influenced other teachers.

While these two models for professional development provide some useful data

showing how teachers can learn about technology and impact student learning in the

process, they are not representative of the state of affairs in most schools today. What is

missing in the research is how staff development takes place in more typical settings

without the assistance of substantial external funding. Success stories from individual

schools or districts may prove more valuable to the educational community as a whole

than these more intensive studies of well-funded institutions.

Collegial Activities

Many educators have participated in collegial activities that enable them to learn

and grow within the profession. Collaboration allows teachers to share ideas and build

relationships that can sustain them in their professional growth. Duck (2000) described

the importance of support groups in promoting the growth of teachers, particularly those









new to the profession. He elaborated on several mentor programs that pair novice

teachers to experienced ones as particularly effective for building a collegial environment

in individual schools. Feiman-Nemser (2001) also emphasized the importance of

collegial interaction, but argued that educators needed to rethink the entire idea of

professional development. She advocated establishing "communities of practice" in

which teachers would "rethink their pedagogy, their conceptions of subject matter, and

their role in curriculum development" (p. 1043).

Willis (1993) undertook a review of the literature analyzing barriers to technology

use in the classroom and found that isolation was a major obstacle to teachers' learning

more about technology. One finding that came out of a number of these studies was that

"small, school-based groups, supported by consultants, seem to be an effective way of

providing on-going support and encouragement" (p. 28). Another important finding was

that the precise structure or makeup of the group did not matter as long as there was

consistent sharing of ideas. A second, and perhaps more revealing, study on the

importance of collegial activities, came from Becker (1994), who surveyed forty-five

teachers labeled as exemplary users of technology. One of the common characteristics

that Becker found among these teachers was that they had created social networks at their

schools through which to share ideas about computers. In schools with exemplary

technology-using teachers, Becker found that nearly twice as many teachers used

computers as in schools without such teachers in place. None of the schools in Becker's

study had special technology initiatives in place, but he contended that the impact of

these networks of teachers interested in technology was more significant than formal staff

development on technology.









Both of the projects mentioned above in the Professional Development section

allowed participants to work among colleagues to discuss various aspects of technology

integration. In the SEDL project (Burs, 2002), teachers worked for much of the time

during summer sessions in small groups to complete a portion of a larger technology

project. According to the author, this dialogue continued among colleagues even when

the sessions were completed. As part of the ACOT project (Ringstaff, Yocam & Marsh,

1996), project coordinators established e-mail accounts for teachers and facilitated

communication among project participants. Based on teachers' suggestions, coordinators

also worked on developing an online bulletin board for teachers to continue their

conversations begun at the ACOT Development Center.

Individual Learning

This area of teacher learning is probably the most significant, but it is also the area

that is addressed least in the literature. Lortie (1975) conducted one of the most thorough

studies of teachers to date and made some keen observations about how instructors

learned on the job. He argued that most people who go into teaching enjoy learning and

enjoy being in classes, but when they encounter students who do not share the same

sentiment, it is often frustrating for them. Because of this dissatisfaction, many teachers

often become more inwardly focused and isolated, rather than looking to colleagues for

support and guidance.

Even though many teachers learn a great deal about technology on their own, little

has been written about how they go about this task. In a recent report issued by the

National Center for Education Statistics (Smerdon et al., 2000), researchers asked over

two thousand full-time teachers about their technology use, including questions about

their preparation and training. When asked about various sources that prepared them to









use technology in their classroom, ninety-three percent of the respondents indicated that

independent learning was the most important factor in their training. In this response,

teachers also expressed the extent to which independent learning, professional

development, and colleagues impacted their preparation with technology. Of those that

indicated that their preparation was supported by individual learning, thirty-nine percent

said that independent learning played a "large" role in their training, over twenty

percentage points greater than learning from professional development activities and

colleagues (p. 79). Other factors, such as college and graduate work and student

assistance, were mentioned as well, but they had a much less significant role than the

other three areas of development.

Individual learning about technology remains an area relatively untouched by

researchers. Several factors account for this lack of understanding. Single-subject

research is time consuming, and it may not lead to any conclusive findings about how

these teachers learn about technology. In addition, many advocates of technology feel

that instruction is more effective in group settings than on an individual basis and do not

even want to encourage this type of learning. A third factor may be closer to the heart of

this issue-the fact that teachers learn about technology at much different rates at

different times. In his landmark book Diffusion of Innovations, Rogers (1995) showed

that individuals take to new technology in different ways. He identified five groups in

terms of their adoption rates from fastest to slowest: Innovators, Early Adopters, Early

Majority, Late Majority, and Laggards. Rogers claimed that these categories held fairly

firm for the adoption of any innovation and roughly followed an S-curve in their

distribution.









Understanding of these five groups is essential to anyone trying to convince

teachers to integrate technology in their teaching, especially those in the social studies.

As research has shown (Becker, Ravitz, & Prenovost, 1998; Berson, 1996), social studies

teachers are among the slowest of the core subject area instructors to use technology in

their classrooms. Many proponents of technology have taken the stance that Rogers

(1995) identified as "individual blame" (p. 114), in which teachers who do not use

technology are criticized for not adapting the latest innovations in their instruction.

Knowledge of diffusion theory reveals that the late majority and especially the laggards

do not respond well to having technology forced upon them and are more likely to

integrate technology into their teaching if they are given the time to see it used in ways

that match their teaching style. Many technology supporters in the social studies claim

that as new teachers trained in technology enter the social studies classroom, the curve

will begin to swing upward, and more teachers will incorporate it into their teaching.

In the NCES report (Smerdon et al., 2000) cited above, a large number of teachers

indicated that they did not feel prepared to use technology in their classroom. Only ten

percent felt "very well prepared" to use technology in their teaching, and just

twenty-three percent indicated that they were "well prepared" (p. 75) to use it. While

examples of successful professional development programs have added somewhat to

what is known about training teachers to use technology, much more can be done to

strengthen this area of research. The NCES report also suggested that professional

development activities could encourage teachers to spend more time learning about

various technology applications. If this assumption is correct, studies of the types of

opportunities created through professional development would also be appropriate. New









innovations in technology make planning professional development difficult, but if

teachers are to keep pace with these changes and support student learning, more

opportunities to learn about technology need to become available for future educators.

Facilitators and Barriers

While the previous section described various means by which teachers learn how to

use technology, this section examines facilitators and barriers facing teachers as they

apply what they have learned to actually implementing technology in their classrooms.

Facilitators and barriers are often interconnected concepts. Researchers interested in how

teachers learn about technology tend to focus on factors that facilitate technology use,

and studies of teachers not using technology will often concentrate on barriers to

classroom implementation. Most of the research in this area consists of quantitative

studies taken from surveys or self-reports. Many of the studies explore facilitators and

barriers simultaneously, but this section addresses facilitators and barriers to technology

use as separate concepts before linking them to recent studies focusing on both factors.

Facilitators

The literature related to facilitators of classroom technology integration consists of

both self-reports and case studies to determine what or who supports teachers in their use

of technology. One facilitator for teachers' use of technology is their recognition of the

positive impact of technology on their students. Hadley and Sheingold (1993) surveyed

600 technology-using teachers and assessed a number of factors influencing their

technology use. When asked what incentives existed for incorporating technology into

their teaching, the top responses all involved "expanding students' learning, experience,

capacities, and productivity" (p. 281). While personal time invested and self-esteem were

also deemed important by many of these teachers, the impact on children's growth was









seen as the motivating factor for using technology. The authors also stated that the desire

for student growth with technology often paralleled the teacher's development in learning

the same sorts of ideas and skills.

Another factor that supports teachers in their use of technology is accessibility. If

teachers have access to computers, televisions, etc., then they will be more likely to use

them. In a study of secondary teachers in Australia, Zammit (1992) asked in a

questionnaire what encouraged them to use computers, and access was overwhelmingly

the top response. Many of the teachers in the study reported that access to technology was

adequate at their schools, but some were also concerned that accessibility would become

much more difficult if additional teachers began to use technology. Zammit discovered in

follow-up interviews that access was important for these teachers not only in the

classroom, but also in lab settings. Interviews with computer coordinators showed that

computer labs were fully booked over ninety percent of the time, and without additional

access in the classroom, many teachers chose not to take their students to these labs.

Through the Apple Classrooms of Tomorrow (ACOT) project, researchers

discovered that access to a computer lab was not always what teachers wanted. Johnson,

Schwab, and Foa (1999) observed that many of the teachers in their study would much

rather have a few computers in their classrooms than twenty-five in a remote lab setting.

In comparing computer use in the classroom to that in a lab setting, one teacher in the

study remarked, "Would business people use computers as tools if they could only use

them 25 minutes per week in a room down the hall" (p. 43)? The authors suggested that

teachers who had access to computers in their classrooms actually changed their









instructional styles to meet student needs, moving away from teacher-centered to more

student-centered teaching approaches.

While access to technology is the obvious first step to helping teachers use

technology, support must accompany this phase. In addition to professional development

activities, much attention has been paid to the role of technology coordinators in

individual schools. As part of the Teaching, Learning and Computing survey, Ronnkvist,

Dexter, and Anderson (2000) examined the influence of technology support at the school

level, reporting data from principals, technology coordinators, and teachers. The authors

first defined technology support as assistance with both technical content (such as

troubleshooting or equipment repair) and instructional content (with subject area software

and classroom strategies). According to the study, most teachers were aware of the

technology support that was available to them. On average, they found support available

for technical help 90% of the time and for instruction 80% (p. 13). While teachers in this

study deemed technical support important, most felt that they needed much more

guidance in instructional matters to use technology more confidently in their classrooms.

In addition to student motivation, access, and support, studies have looked at a

number of other factors to determine what facilitates teachers' use of technology. These

factors include, but are not limited to, parental support, supportive administrators, district

policies, and student interest. Most of these studies focus on teachers who have been

identified as exemplary technology users but do not examine the average teacher who

may use technology, but just not at the same level as those exemplary users. Studies of

factors that assist typical technology users would be a significant addition to the research.









Barriers

The research in this area relates more to barriers facing teachers in their use of

technology than to factors facilitating its use. Many of these studies derived their lists of

barriers from teacher surveys and questionnaires. Frequently cited barriers included

financial constraints, concerns about inappropriate material, teachers' weak knowledge

base about technology, and poor quality of available software. Among these barriers,

three were the most prevalent in the literature: limited access to technology, lack of

support, and inadequate time to learn about technology.

As a logical contrast to the importance of access showed earlier in the review, a

significant barrier facing teachers attempting to use technology is limited access. Zammit

(1992) asked teachers about encouragers to their technology use and also had teachers

report disincentives to classroom implementation. Software quality was important to

many of the teachers in this study, but access was a much greater concern. Respondents

indicated nearly equally that access was important for students in both the classroom and

in a lab setting. The NCES survey (Smerdon et al., 2000) also revealed that access was a

great concern for teachers trying to use technology. This lack of access was a greater

concern among teachers in some settings than in others. High school teachers were more

concerned about access than elementary teachers, larger schools had more problems with

access than smaller schools, and city schools had less access than suburban and rural

schools.

A second concern among teachers attempting to use technology is a lack of

support. The need for assistance is apparent at many levels. Teachers in Hadley and

Sheingold's study (1993) noted a lack of financial support from the district, inadequate

administrative support at the school, and not enough help supervising students using









computers in the classroom. Teachers from the NCES survey (Smerdon et al., 2000)

noted a number of support problems: inadequate training opportunities, lack of

administrative support, lack of support regarding ways to integrate telecommunications

into the curriculum, and a lack of technical support or advice (p. 91). The report

suggested that having a technology coordinator would help to reduce the barriers teachers

perceived in regard to their use of technology.

According to Ronnkvist, Dexter, and Anderson (2000), about ninety percent of the

schools surveyed had someone designated as a technology coordinator (p. 6), but in only

nineteen percent of these schools was it a full time position. In many cases, coordinators

were also classroom instructors, network coordinators, or media specialists. With

responsibilities well beyond helping teachers use technology for instruction, it was

extremely difficult for these coordinators to have a significant role in providing the

desired support. Therefore, technology coordinators were much more likely to supervise

classes or troubleshoot hardware problems than they were to assist and train teachers in

how to use technology in their classrooms. While individual technology coordinators

have shared success stories from their individual institutions, a more systematic study of

the impact of positive technology support would be beneficial for the research literature

in this area.

In a number of studies, lack of time was the factor that teachers most frequently

mentioned as the greatest barrier to their technology use. Data from the NCES report

(Smerdon et al., 2000) brought out major time concerns among respondents. Teachers

surveyed were given the choice of defining time as a small, moderate, or great barrier to

their use of computers and the Internet for instruction, and no matter the level of









experience, time was perceived as a great barrier. Teachers participating in Hadley and

Sheingold's (1993) questionnaire responded to thirty-five perceived barriers to using

technology. Of these responses, the top two both related to time: lack of time to develop

lessons that used computers, and scheduling enough time to integrate computers into

instruction.

Even though these studies identified a number of barriers, they generally agreed

that barriers could be overcome, given the right conditions and support. Access has

improved in many schools across the country, and many schools have pulled computers

out of labs and placed them in teachers' classrooms. Support is still a major issue in many

areas, but findings from such studies as the ACOT project have presented models for how

teachers can be assisted in their technology integration. Time is the issue for which none

of these studies attempted to provide a solution. Teachers have so many constraints on

their time that learning about technology and fitting it into classroom schedules is a

nearly impossible task, and research to this point provides few solutions.

Key Research that Addresses Both Factors

Cuban's recent work, Oversold and Underused. Computers in the Classroom

(2001), is of primary significance for understanding facilitators of and barriers to

technology use. Cuban focused on a number of San Francisco area educational

institutions, from pre-school through university, and claimed that despite assurances that

computers would revolutionize education, instruction has remained primarily unchanged

at all levels. Even in Silicon Valley, the heart of the technology industry, classrooms have

been only marginally altered by this influx of computers and associated software.

Cuban's analysis of technology use in two San Francisco area high schools

provides an interesting paradox in the examination of facilitators and barriers. Both









schools that Cuban and his colleagues studied had an abundance of technology available.

They were well above the national average in connectivity to the Internet, and all of the

teachers in both schools had their own e-mail accounts. Yet despite sufficient access,

many teachers still did not use computers in labs, the media center, or even in their own

classrooms. Cuban acknowledged that results from these schools may not be totally

representative of others around the country, but the reasons that teachers offered for not

using technology more were consistent with other studies presented in this section.

Time was a major concern for teachers for fitting computer use into their classroom

schedules and but for finding opportunities to try out new software or other products. A

second complaint heard often from teachers was the lack of relevant support for learning

about technology. Through in-depth interviews, Cuban found that most of the technology

training teachers received was related to basic computer skills and "irrelevant to their

specific and immediate needs" (p. 98). Teachers wanted to have specific ideas and

methods that would work for their subject area and their students, but this type of training

was unobtainable. In his final analysis, Cuban argued that while schools as a whole have

pushed for technology integration, little teacher training has accompanied the growth in

technology, and therefore little has actually changed in terms of daily classroom

practices. Given the nature of schools as institutions reluctant to change, Cuban saw little

possibility for the technological revolution to have a significant impact.

Social Studies and Technology

In his analysis of the history of teaching in the social studies, Cuban (1991)

concluded that instruction had changed little since the beginning of the twentieth century.

He noted a number of incremental changes that had been made in the use of textbooks,

films, videos, and other classroom activities, but he argued that the fundamental change









advocated by many social studies educators had not occurred. Although other changes

had influenced the structure of many social studies classrooms, teacher-centered

instruction and the use of textbooks still dominated the field.

This historical perspective is significant for analyzing the impact that technology is

currently having in the social studies. A number of studies (Becker, 2000; Becker et al.,

1998; Berson, 1996) have noted that social studies teachers have not brought new

technologies into their classroom teaching at the same pace as teachers in other

disciplines. Becker and Ravitz (2001) reported that twenty-four percent of English

teachers used computers more than twenty times during the year, compared to seventeen

percent of science teachers and only twelve percent of social studies teachers. While

recent studies have highlighted individual areas of success within the social studies, there

has been little fundamental change in the practice of classroom teachers. As Social

Education editor Michael Simpson (1999) asserted, "We are still at the early stages of

identifying and evaluating the best uses of current technology in the classroom, far from

the instructional and technical possibilities that will be realized in the 'cybercentury' to

come" (p. 133). This section summarizes research that has explored technology

integration in the social studies, examine some of the prominent areas of current research,

and consider possibilities that exist for social studies teachers wishing to use technology.

Research in Social Studies and Technology

Ehman and Glenn (1991) analyzed research in the field of social studies and

technology, most of which took place in the late 1980s with the introduction of

computers to social studies classrooms, and found little significant work at that time. The

existing research was scant at best, and many of the studies examined the impact of the

drill and practice software that accompanied the first classroom computers. The authors









did note, however, that research designs were improving and recognized a few promising

areas that could eventually lead to instructional improvement. With databases and

simulations, in particular, Ehman and Glenn recognized potential for technological

improvement and hoped that the research base would widen in this area.

Berson (1996) discerned similar results in his review of the literature on computer

use in the social studies just five years after Ehman and Glenn's analysis. He examined

different applications of computer technology, including drill and practice, tutorials,

games, simulations, problem solving, and word-processing. While studies of applications

such as these had increased the research base, Berson saw little evidence that would

validate the instructional necessity of computer use in the social studies classroom. But

he also maintained that the study of computer effectiveness in the social studies was "still

in its infancy and encompassed] a dynamic process" (p. 496) that would see significant

changes in the near future. He emphasized the impact that the World Wide Web and the

Internet were beginning to have in social studies classrooms and held that these areas

would necessitate examination.

In an issue of Theory and Research in Education devoted to technology in the

social studies, Diem (2000) noted continued problems related to social studies teachers'

attempts to use technology. Most of the research showing social studies teachers using

technology emerged from single studies unique to a particular population, which would

be difficult to replicate in many schools without the resources to provide for additional

hardware, training, and support. Diem argued that to make more meaningful

generalizations about technology use in the social studies, researchers needed to "go

beyond these singular social studies constructs" (p. 498) and take a more "holistic"









approach to describe what would benefit social studies teachers. Research on teachers

without advanced technology skills or without a classroom full of computers may prove

more effective at influencing instruction than descriptions of ideal situations.

More recently, Whitworth and Berson (2003) examined the literature from 1996-

2001 in the three major publications of the National Council for the Social Studies: Social

Education, Social Studies and the Young Learner, and Theory and Research in Social

Education, and articles from general education journals. The authors conducted a content

analysis to bring out major themes in these articles. While software reviews and

overviews continued from previous years, articles highlighting Internet resources were by

far the most prevalent in these journals. The authors held that the use of the Internet

advocated in many of these articles was not promoting significant improvement for the

social studies classroom, but continued[] to serve the primary function of facilitating

students' access to content and remained] somewhat relegated to being an appendage to

traditional classroom materials." If the goal of civic education is to be met in the social

studies classroom, Whitworth and Berson concluded that there needs to be more

innovation in the uses of classroom technology.

Teacher Education

Even though the social studies and technology literature is lacking in a number of

areas, one subject that has received well-deserved attention is that of preservice teacher

education. Social studies educators are becoming increasingly aware of the concerns

expressed in national reports that beginning teachers are ill prepared to use technology

upon entering the classroom. Many college methods professors have begun to write about

their experiences integrating technology into their courses (Mason & Berson, 2000;

White, 1997; Willis, 1997). Meyers (1999) added that social studies educators must









expose preservice teachers to technology "in as many different settings as possible, and

must provide connections from the methods classroom to the practical setting" (p. 117).

If schools of education increasingly expose their students to technology in realistic

settings, Meyers and others contend that the initial transition into teaching will be much

smoother.

Keiper, Harwood and Larson (2000) examined preservice teachers' perceptions of

benefits and obstacles facing them as they attempted to learn about integrating

technology into their instruction. Eighty-eight percent of the participants in this study

indicated that data collection was the most perceived benefit of technology use, followed

by students' acquisition of technology skills, the use of dynamic sounds and images, and

as a communication tool. Among the barriers expressed by these preservice teachers,

accessibility was the biggest concern, followed by dealing with students of differing

ability levels, dependability of machinery, and supervision of students. The authors

concluded that as these preservice teachers begin their professional careers, "they will

need to effectively weigh the benefits and obstacles of computer use" (p. 578) and decide

the best ways to integrate technology into their teaching.

Studies of Practicing Social Studies Teachers

Although many studies have emerged in recent years on preservice teacher

education, research describing how practicing social studies teachers are using

technology in their instruction is deficient. Much of what is known about social studies

teachers is through survey data, and even these studies are not representative of the

current state of instruction. Northrup and Rooze (1990) surveyed nearly 500 National

Council for the Social Studies members to ascertain computer availability and utilization.

While 84% of respondents had access to computers, the uses for classroom instruction









were limited. Word processing, simulations, and drill and practice software made up over

70% of the computer programs utilized. Teachers also showed a strong desire for more

technology training, especially in software related to the social studies. Since 1990, most

of the survey data on teachers has emerged from larger studies of technology users

(Becker, Ravitz, & Wong, 1999) and has not specifically focused on characteristics

unique to social studies teachers.

Descriptive studies of how social studies teachers are using technology in their

classrooms are limited and generally have focused on specific technology applications. In

their study of San Francisco area high schools, Cuban, Kirkpatrick, and Peck (2001)

described a novice social studies teacher who had used digital video to have students

debate the question: does democracy really exist? This teacher argued that while this

lesson could have been taught without technology, its use enabled more students to

participate in the classroom discussion. He added that for active learners, in particular,

this use of technology "brings them into the class, and allows their ideas to be viewed and

valued" (p. 824). Milson (2002) concentrated on a sixth grade teacher (Pam) in a typical

technology environment to investigate how she conducted inquiry through an approach

known as the WebQuest (see below). Although the findings from the study apply more to

students than teachers, Milson still emphasized the role that Pam had in directing students

through an Ancient Egypt WebQuest and in helping them gather information without

providing it for them. While studies such as these are useful for examining how social

studies teachers are currently using technology in their classrooms, they still provide only

a glimpse at what is currently taking place in the field, and more case studies focusing on

this issue would provide needed insight.









Areas of Promise

In an address to members of the National Council for the Social Studies, Becker,

Ravitz, and Prenovost (1998) discussed strategies that social studies teachers might use if

they wanted to become more constructivist in their approach to instruction. Some of the

approaches suggested by these presenters included simulations, databases, web authoring,

and PowerPoint presentations. While these types of activities are still relatively untested

by social studies teachers, some exciting new avenues for technology use in the field

have garnered attention in the literature.

As mentioned above, one powerful approach to using technology in the social

studies is an inquiry activity known as the WebQuest. Dodge (1995) described this

approach, which he helped to create at San Diego State University, as an inquiry-oriented

activity in which some or all of the information that learners interact with comes from

resources on the Internet. Students participating in WebQuests usually work

collaboratively to accomplish an authentic task and are challenged to extend their

thinking in the process. WebQuests usually have a specific content-area focus, and social

studies activities are well represented on Dodge's WebQuest page. Milson and Downey

(2001) described the implementation of a WebQuest on Ancient Egypt and suggested a

number of reasons why it was a valuable activity for the social studies classroom. The

authors contended that the WebQuest helped to structure data collection for students,

aided the teacher who had limited computer resources, and benefited students who

enjoyed working in small groups.

Another area of potential for social studies teachers wishing to use technology is

with handheld computers. Whitworth, Swan, and Berson (2002) discussed the promise

that Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) had in the classroom for writing, research,









organization, and assessment. More directly related to social studies, the authors pointed

out that with individual handheld computers, students could analyze primary sources such

as those available through the Smithsonian Institution, Virginia Center for Digital

History, or Holocaust Cybrary. While most of these handheld computers operate only

with text at this time, the authors believed that the technology will soon advance to the

point that it will be possible for digital images, maps, and movies to be readily available

for students, and that teachers needed to be ready to use this new technology.

Summary

This section has attempted to explore the literature related to exemplary social

studies teachers' technology use. To articulate the main terms within the primary research

question, this section began with an exploration of exemplary teaching and technology.

Stanley's (1991) analysis of teacher competence provided a strong framework from

which to view accomplished practice. Both the teacher effectiveness model (e.g. Good &

Brophy, 1994; Porter & Brophy, 1988) and the program of subject matter knowledge

(Shulman, 1986) have provided needed insight into exemplary teaching. While most of

the research on technology has dealt with computers, a broader definition of technology

helped to emphasize some of the innovative activities that the exemplary teachers in the

present study are incorporating in their classrooms.

After clarification of these terms, the first major area investigated was what

teachers believe about instruction, social studies, and technology. The research shows

that beliefs are a powerful indicator of classroom practice, and while most of the research

in this area has consisted of surveys and questionnaires, case studies (Brophy &

VanSledright, 1993; Windschitl & Sahl, 2002; Wineburg & Wilson, 1991) have added

much to the knowledge about how beliefs influence practice. The second area focused on









three components of teacher learning: structured staff development, learning from

colleagues, and independent learning. While most of the research indicates that teachers

would benefit from sustained training and collaboration with colleagues, the reality is that

much of what teachers learn about technology takes place on an individual basis

(Smerdon et al., 2000). The third area of the literature considered both facilitators and

barriers for teachers attempting to use technology in the classroom. Factors that

encouraged technology use included access in both classroom and lab settings, support in

implementing technology in the classroom, and belief in the positive impact technology

could have on student learning. Barriers to technology use also included access and

support, but time was of the utmost concern for teachers. Even though access and support

are improving for many teachers, Cuban (2001) showed that this improvement still does

not guarantee that teachers will actually use the technology available to them in

meaningful ways. The final section looked at the research related to social studies and

technology and some of the innovative ideas that social studies teachers are beginning to

implement in the classroom.














CHAPTER 3
METHODS AND METHODOLOGY

Qualitative Research

Because of a desire to investigate exemplary social studies teachers' use of

technology in a natural setting and explore the classroom culture surrounding its use, I

chose to undertake the present study using a qualitative research paradigm. According to

Sherman and Webb (1990), qualitative research describes experiences that are "lived,"

"felt," or "undergone" (p. 7). To portray these experiences in as thorough and real a

manner as possible, the qualitative researcher attempts to describe the entirety of the

situation in its natural setting. Context is essential in understanding the experiences of

participants and cannot be removed from analysis.

Whereas in quantitative research surveys, questionnaires, or other measurement

tools are used to discover findings, the qualitative researcher is the primary instrument of

data collection and analysis. S/he attempts to interact with participants in order to find

meaning in the data and becomes thoroughly involved in all aspects of the learning

environment. Bogdan and Biklen (1992) argue that this search for meaning is essential

for qualitative researchers, and that the process of interacting with study participants is

much more important than simply looking at outcomes.

Merriam (2001) states that while the human element of qualitative research can

lead to error, it also allows greater opportunity to interact with information in a way that

may be omitted otherwise. She notes that with the qualitative researcher, "mistakes are

made, opportunities missed, personal biases interfere," and that it takes a certain type of









individual to undertake this type of research. Merriam focuses on three characteristics

that she believes make an effective qualitative researcher. She holds that the investigator

needs to be open to encountering ambiguous situations, sensitive to all aspects of the

setting and context of the study, and able to communicate, both in asking probing

questions and in listening to participant responses. All of these characteristics played a

critical role in the investigation of these exemplary teachers.

I encountered a number of ambiguous situations that required me to be flexible

throughout the study. One of the challenges was to concentrate on these teachers in

settings that were not always conducive to technology use. Participants would sometimes

go to great lengths to use technology in their classes for one lesson, but not use it in other

situations that in my mind would have been ideal for its implementation.

I also had to remain perceptive of the setting and context in which each of these

teachers conducted their daily instruction. Familiarity with two of the three schools

provided some insight on the teachers' instruction, but I still learned a great deal on each

successive observation. Because most of the present study took place in the latter part of

the school year, more disruptions faced teachers than at other times of the year.

Preparation for the state's year-end assessment test took away from much of the

instructional time given to social studies, and computer labs were often unavailable for

purposes other than students training for this test. Therefore, the teachers felt pressure to

get through more material at the end of the school year.

Finally, communication played a much greater role than I anticipated in the study.

Interviews constituted a crucial part of the data collection process and illuminated what I

observed in the classrooms. Merriam (2001) emphasizes the importance of researchers









being good listeners and hearing not only what is expressed, but also "what is not

explicitly stated but only implied" (p. 23). As the study progressed, I developed a good

rapport with each of the teachers and was able to uncover deeper meaning in a number of

their comments. In addition to challenges faced in the interview process, it was

sometimes difficult coordinating observations with participants because of field trips,

jury duty, a house move, and generally hectic end-of-year schedules. E-mail

communication was not always sufficient, and visits to the schools were sometimes

necessary to confirm plans with participants. On several occasions, teachers would tell

me that they would be teaching about one subject, and when I arrived, students would be

working on a much different topic. Despite my frustration at the number of changes in

plans, the process reminded me of the flexibility needed to be a classroom teacher.

Merriam (2001) holds that these characteristics-openness to encountering

ambiguous situations, sensitivity to all aspects of the setting and context of the study, and

an ability to communicate-while important for qualitative researchers, are not skills that

can be learned easily or acquired by taking a university course. Certain personality traits

may be preferable, but the primary means by which qualitative researchers become more

skilled is through experience. I had some experience with qualitative research before this

inquiry, but still received a great deal of guidance in this process. While I could have

undertaken another type of study using a quantitative methodology, a desire to study

exemplary social studies teachers in a natural setting lead me to a qualitative case study

research design.

Case Study

Based on the questions posed, the desire to investigate the process that these

teachers underwent when using technology, and the unique role of the researcher in









qualitative studies, I concluded that a case study approach was the most appropriate

methodology to employ. One unique aspect of the case study approach is the type of

research questions that are asked. Yin (1994) asserts that "how" and "why" questions are

best suited for case study research, but that "what" (p. 6) questions that are exploratory in

nature are well suited to this approach as well. Both the main research question and the

guiding questions outlined in the present study are the types of questions that Yin and

others describe as best answered with a case study methodology. Since the present study

is situated in real classrooms, a case study approach provides the opportunity to describe

the practices of exemplary social studies teachers with technology and examine the

rationale behind many of their classroom decisions.

Merriam (2001) affirms that case study is the most suitable approach to use when

the study in question involves a process. The process that Merriam describes has two

important facets: First, it describes, monitors, and puts the study in its proper context;

second, it helps to analyze and interpret the issues in question. Chapters 4, 5, and 6 of this

dissertation provide the context that Merriam suggests, and Chapters 7 and 8 help bring

the relevant findings and issues to the surface.

In qualitative research, and with case studies in particular, the role of the researcher

is complex, and inextricably woven into the overall fabric of the case itself. Stake (1995)

emphasizes the unique roles that the researcher undertakes when conducting a case study:

researcher as teacher, advocate, evaluator, biographer, theorist, and interpreter. While the

case study researcher may feel pulled in many different directions by these distinctive

roles, this dynamic also allows the investigator to have a richer understanding of all

aspects of the case in question. Throughout the present study, I developed strong









relationships with each of these social studies teachers, and with this report have

attempted to shed greater understanding on their use of technology.

Investigator Bias

Stake (1995) emphasized the unique roles that the researcher undertakes when

conducting a case study. One of the roles is that of researcher as advocate; the

investigator describes the present situation and does his or her "dead level best to

convince the readers that they too should believe what the researchers have come to

believe" (p. 93). While some critics argue that researchers should attempt to remain

neutral, Stake argued that qualitative research necessitates a close relationship between

the investigator and his or her data, and neutrality is not possible or advisable. He

concluded that it is "better to give the reader a good look at the researcher" (p. 95) rather

than attempting to conceal beliefs and opinions.

In regard to technology, the debate over its implementation is rarely neutral and has

its strong supporters and ardent opponents. Among those who advocate the use of

technology, the belief that it is inherently positive, no matter what the situation, is a

frequently used argument. Rogers (1995) described this approach to technological

advancements as sometimes dangerous and warned of a pro-innovation bias. He

described this stance as the belief that "an innovation should be diffused and adopted by

all members of a social system" (p. 100). He argued that overlooking this bias in research

could lead the investigator to overlook potential shortcomings of the innovation in

question.

While I conducted the present study, I tried to be an advocate for technology use in

the social studies classroom, but at the same time, be aware of a possible pro-innovation

bias. I attempted to convey the idea that technology is only a tool that can support









teachers and not a panacea that will solve all of education's problems. This sentiment was

shared by each of the three teachers in the study. However, I also sought to acknowledge

my own beliefs about the positive results that can emerge from technology use in the

classroom. Through classroom teaching and university experiences, I believe that I am

qualified to discuss the benefits that technology can bring to the social studies classroom.

While by no means an expert technology user myself, I did make numerous

attempts to incorporate everything from video clips to virtual tours to e-mailing the South

Pole during my seven years of secondary teaching. With a specialization in technology in

my doctoral program, I have taken a number of classes and engaged in other research

studies that have explored the impact that technology can have on the social studies

classroom. My most meaningful experience with technology in my university education

was the opportunity to teach a masters' level class to future secondary social studies

teachers entitled "Integrating Technology into the Social Studies Classroom." In addition

to learning a number of technical skills and competencies, students critically examined a

number of technology applications and questioned their appropriateness for the social

studies classroom. This critical approach to studying technology helped me to examine

my own beliefs about technology and whether or not it is appropriate for the social

studies classroom.

Berson, Lee, and Stuckart (2001) contended that despite the promise that has been

put forth by proponents of technology, its impact on social studies education has been

limited. The authors assert:

Whether blame rests with the lack of teacher preparedness, failure to seamlessly
integrate technology into instruction, insufficient access to computers, or only
partial realization of the potential of the hardware and the software to enhance the









content, the efficacy of technology for transformation of schools remains
unrealized. (p. 222)

As I observed these teachers and examined their reactions to technology, I endeavored to

find a balance between the positive outcomes of using technology in the classroom and

the formidable obstacles that can restrict its use. As a proponent of technology, I would

have found it easy to impose my opinions on these exemplary teachers, and, in fact, each

teacher asked me my opinions on technology use at various times during the study.

However, I tried to remain aware of my biases towards technology at all points in the

inquiry and not let these ideas negatively interfere with how I conducted the study.

Access

Before I began any data collection, I had to gain access to the subjects and the

settings used in the study. Since I had already worked with two of the teachers, I was

familiar with their classrooms; but I knew that the present study would be more intensive

than previous investigations, and I needed to be clear about expectations. I talked

informally to each of the teachers in January 2002 and each expressed an interest in

participating in the study. After obtaining permission from the university to conduct

research in late February 2002, I received informed consent (see Appendix A) from the

three participants and authorization from the three schools to conduct research. I began

observing these teachers in April 2002 and completed my investigation in October 2002

(See Appendix B for a list of important dates in the study). While I would have preferred

to complete data collection in a single school year, each of these teachers had student

interns from January until March of 2002, and the two months at the end of the school

year proved to be insufficient to complete the necessary investigation.









Participants

Three teachers, who for a number of reasons can be considered exemplary, were

chosen for examination in the present study. Patton (2002) and others have described the

approach of identifying these teachers as purposeful sampling. The power of this type of

sampling comes not from having a representative sample that can be related to the

population at large, but from the "information-rich cases" (p. 230) that each of these

participants can provide to the study. Patton goes on to describe various types of

purposeful samples, and the present study fits most closely within his description of

"extreme and deviant" (p. 230) samples. In searching for study participants, I was not

looking for extreme cases to compare, but rather sought to find rich examples of

outstanding social studies teachers.

Researchers in this area (e.g. Brophy, 1992; VanSledright, 1997; Wineburg and

Wilson, 1991) have identified a number of traits that characterize exemplary social

studies teachers. Among the characteristics most often attributed to outstanding teachers

are a passion for subject matter, an emphasis on in-depth content coverage, a thorough

subject matter knowledge, and an ability to express this content knowledge in such a way

that subject matter is engaging for students. The teachers in the present study exemplify

these characteristics.

Each has won awards related to teaching, one has National Board Certification, and

each has served his or her school in capacities well beyond the classroom. University

faculty have identified these teachers as outstanding mentors, and all have served as

supervisors of preservice social studies interns. Though their individual school situations

and school populations differed, each teacher clearly valued student learning and

encouraged high quality work. These teachers evidenced a depth of knowledge of their









content and viewed social studies as essential for their students' education. Furthermore,

although each teacher infused technology into his or her instruction, none could be

considered technology experts.

Below are brief biographical sketches of each of the participants with reference to

background, teaching assignments, classrooms, and technology conditions. The names

are pseudonyms. More detailed descriptions follow in Chapters 4, 5, and 6.

Mr. Clayton

Mr. Clayton did not always envision a career in education, but with a number of

family members, including his father, already in education, becoming a teacher was

always a possibility. After a brief look at engineering as a possible career, Mr. Clayton

became a political science major. He also had minors in history and secondary education.

After earning a master's degree in social studies education, he taught for three years at a

large high school working with eleventh and twelfth graders in American history and

American government and politics. At the same time, he began taking courses towards a

Ph.D. in Educational Leadership, despite being two to three hours from the university

where he took classes.

With a desire to be closer to the university, Mr. Clayton began teaching ninth grade

civics at a laboratory school where he has now been for five years. He has been active at

the school, serving as a faculty coordinator, committee head, and coach. He has been

named Teacher of the Year at his school. As part of his civics course, he also initiated a

service-learning project to get his students to investigate local issues and a tolerance

mentor program that brought high school and elementary school classes together for ten

weeks to promote cooperation among students. Despite a strong desire to remain in the









classroom, when the opportunity arrived to become an assistant principal at his school, he

accepted the offer and began his new duties in the fall of 2002.

Mr. Clayton had a computer class in his master's program, but has not had any

systematic training with technology since that course. During his first teaching

assignment, he served on a district committee on Instructional Technology and

Assessment and helped the district determine how to spent grant money. Early in his

career, he used video clips, word processing, and music as his major technology

activities, and in his current placement, he leads students through WebQuests, Internet

searches, and simulation activities. He gives himself a B for his current use of technology

and adds, "I'm not among the best for sure, but I do probably make more attempts than

most to incorporate it into my lessons" (Clayton, Interview, 4/24/02).

I first came into contact with Mr. Clayton when I observed one of his student

teachers and discovered that we had a mutual interest in incorporating current events and

issues into the social studies classroom. This shared interest led to a classroom

investigation of student interaction with current issues and technology. I felt that his

ability to motivate students and his desire to learn more about technology would make

him a strong participant in the present study.

Ms. Hart

While Mr. Clayton was not always sure that he wanted to pursue education as a

career, Ms. Hart had thought about being a teacher most of her life. After earning an

undergraduate degree in economics, she completed her master's degree in social studies

education during a fifth-year program at the same university. She taught two years at an

established middle school before transferring to a new middle school in the same district.

At the new school, she assumed the role of team leader and became fully involved in the









life of the school, serving as the chairperson of several key committees and earning

several grants on behalf of the school. In addition to her middle school commitments, she

was working towards a Ph.D. in social studies education and teaching classes at the local

university. She has received numerous awards for her teaching ability and has also earned

National Board Certification.

Ms. Hart's teaching assignment during most of the present study consisted of two

classes of eighth grade American history and one class of sixth grade world cultures. In

these classes she taught students with a wide range of abilities on a daily basis. Because

of an emphasis on math and language arts at the school, social studies and science were

one-semester courses, and she received a brand new group of students halfway through

the year. Despite having to cover a huge amount of material in just four months, she

embraced this challenge and clearly worked hard to make a difference in the lives of her

students in the short time she taught them. In fall of 2002 Ms. Hart assumed a new

assignment teaching in an integrated sixth grade science and social studies program.

Among the three teachers in the study, Ms. Hart had the most formal and the most

recent training with technology. She took a technology course in her master's studies nine

years ago and also had several courses on integrating technology through her doctoral

program. As a team leader, she spent a great deal of time on the computer organizing and

planning team activities. During time away from school, she tried to search Internet sites

for primary sources and pictures that would assist her in her instruction. Among the

technologies she used in her classroom were slide shows, music, Internet searches, and

WebQuests. She was positive about the amount of technology she used for instruction,

but indicated that she would like to do even more.









Although I had not had the opportunity to work with Ms. Hart or her students on

previous studies, I knew her briefly from the university and was aware of her reputation

as an outstanding teacher. Based on a number of inquiries that I made around the

university and the district, this reputation was confirmed. When first contacted about

contributing to the study, she was enthusiastic about the benefits of reflecting on her own

teaching and was eager to participate.

Mr. Robbins

Mr. Robbins was the most experienced of the teachers, with thirteen years spent in

the public schools. His academic background was primarily in history with a B.A. in the

subject, and he earned advance degrees in social studies education. After eight years of

teaching, he took a ten-year hiatus from teaching and served as president and general

manager of a small business. The attraction of public school teaching remained strong,

however, and he chose to return to the classroom as a middle school social studies

teacher.

During the present study, Mr. Robbins taught three classes of eighth grade

American history to gifted and talented students in a magnet school setting. With class

sizes of 18-25, he was able to get to know all of his students well and had a strong rapport

with them. His enthusiasm for teaching was apparent, and he was quick to boast that he

had "the best teaching job in the county" (Robbins, Interview, 4/26/02). Overall, Mr.

Robbins' highly visual, interactive classroom atmosphere was extremely positive, and

student responses indicated that this was a class that they enjoyed attending.

In terms of technology, Mr. Robbins jokingly referred to himself as a "dinosaur"

(Clayton, Interview, 5/8/02), but he had a good deal of experience with computers and

other innovations. He bought his first computer, an Apple Macintosh, after seeing a









commercial in the 1984 Super Bowl and continued to be an Apple user at home. He

received additional training with technology during his doctoral program and

collaborated on several research articles related to computers in the social studies

classroom. When I began the study, he had just received two new iMac computers, and

he acquired three additional machines during the course of the study. The classroom also

contained an overhead projector, mounted television, and CD player. Some of the

technology-based activities he used in his teaching included video clips, slide shows,

primary source investigation, and simulations. Despite his "dinosaur" comment, he

considered himself somewhere between average and savvy in terms of his technology

use.

I worked previously with Mr. Robbins on a study related to technology and

historical understanding, and we had developed a good working relationship as a result.

Even though his school was well equipped in terms of technology, I knew that he was

critical about its use in his classroom. With more teaching experience than both Mr.

Clayton and Ms. Hart, his perspective helped to balance the ideas of the other teachers.

Settings

I conducted the present study in three schools in a medium-sized southern school

district: two 6-8 middle schools and one K-12 laboratory school. Each school has

leadership that encourages the acquisition of more hardware, and in some areas these

efforts have been successful. The technology available in these schools would be

considered fairly typical for the region and for the nation as a whole.

Granger

Granger (Mr. Clayton's school) is a laboratory school affiliated with a local

university. This K-12 institution serves students from all parts of the county, and parents









are responsible for transporting their children to and from the school. Demographically,

the school attempts to reflect the race, gender, and socioeconomic characteristics of the

county and state as a whole. Mr. Clayton's classes are non-tracked and reflect the

school's mission for serving a diverse student population. The campus is the oldest

among the three school settings, but the buildings have been fairly well maintained.

Granger is fairly well equipped in terms of technology. Both of the classrooms in

which Mr. Clayton teaches contain eight networked computers stationed on one side of

the classroom. In the mid 1990s, the school received a grant that allowed for the

construction of a technology lab that would assist in the integration of technology in the

sciences, but would be available for other subject areas as well. The lab is state-of-the-art

with thirty-two networked iMac computers and contains a master destination unit that the

instructor can use to display information to classes and control student computers. The

major difficulty for teachers desiring to use this lab is that, because of overcrowding at

the school, some classes must use the lab as their regular classroom.

The current head of the school is generally supportive of teachers using technology

and assists in the acquisition of new equipment for the school. Outside of the technology

lab, teachers at the school gain access to a portable destinations unit with a DVD player, a

room suitable for videoconferencing, a wireless network, and a portable cart with laptop

computers. Even though this equipment was acquired for instruction, Mr. Clayton

believed that few teachers had taken advantage of the technology available to them.

Chance

Chance (Ms. Hart's school) is a fairly new middle school in its sixth year of

operation. It is located in a section of the county experiencing rapid growth; its

population includes children from a wide socioeconomic range. In contrast to Granger's









space constraints, Chance has a sprawling campus and courtyard that separate sixth,

seventh, eighth, and exploratory wings. In addition to housing classrooms, each building

has a teacher planning area and computer lab. Because students remain in their wings

most of the day, the chaos that often accompanies class changes is not as apparent at

Chance as in some other middle schools.

Technology at Chance is adequate in some areas, but lacking in others. When the

school opened six years ago, the school received a number of computers from local

businesses, but many were already up to five years old. Since that time, hardware and

software acquisition has been limited, and many machines are incompatible with modern

computer networks. While the school's labs are frequently used, a variety of computer

brands makes maintenance of each lab difficult for all involved. Most teachers have

individual classroom computers, but these computers, including the one in Ms. Hart's

room, are used primarily for record keeping and test preparation, and are not adequate for

student use.

Alexander

Alexander (Mr. Robbins' school) is a middle school that houses a county magnet

program for technology and gifted studies. The school is situated in the middle of an

established working-class neighborhood, and buildings are tightly contained within the

school grounds. Like many other middle schools, it is stirring with activity, and the gifted

program exemplifies this characteristic. Students are involved in school activities such as

band, chorus, and clubs, and frequent field trips enhance these programs. During my time

there, students participated in several workshops and traveled on field trips to a local

Civil War battlefield and to a Renaissance festival.









Even though it has been classified as a magnet for technology, Alexander is not

unlike other area schools in terms of technology availability and access. Sixth grade

students are required to complete a technology class as part of their program, but other

than that experience, they have limited exposure to technology in the remainder of their

middle school experience. The three computer labs in the school are extremely popular,

and teachers sign up well ahead of time for week-long activities. While they are used for

a variety of purposes, standardized test preparation is their primary focus. In individual

classrooms, one computer reserved for the teacher is the norm. Mr. Robbins functioned

with one computer for several years, but with the support of the Parent Teacher

Association, he was promised five brand new iMac computers for student use. While two

new machines did arrive during the school year, the other computers had not arrived by

the time I completed my classroom observations.

Data Collection

Merriam (2001) described three techniques that are crucial to collecting data during

a case study: document analysis, observations, and interviews. I used all three techniques

to corroborate and triangulate information gained from this process.

Documents

Merriam (2001) described documents as "a wide range of written, visual, and

physical material relevant to the study at hand" (p. 112). Other qualitative researchers

have referred to these types of items as artifacts, records, or physical materials. In the

course of the present study, I analyzed a number of documents, most of which were

provided by the teachers themselves. Items in this category included lesson plans (see

Appendix C), student assignments, classroom activities, handouts, readings, quizzes,

course syllabi, and examples of exemplary student work. While I did on occasion ask for









these documents, the teachers often gave me these items without a specific request. Two

other items were also significant in this category. Each participant supplied a professional

vita that described education, work experience, awards, and other professional

experiences. These documents provided evidence of the accomplishments of these

exemplary teachers, guided interview questions, and shaped the biographical sketch of

each participant.

Observations

I spent approximately fifteen hours in each teacher's room in the course of

"informal" observations. During these visits, I attempted to get a feel of how these

teachers conducted their classrooms and examined how their teaching philosophy played

out on a daily basis. During each observation, I took notes on the structure and

organization of the classroom, what the teacher was doing, and what the students were

doing. I later put these notes into narrative form and used them to help build a

biographical sketch of each teacher and to assist in data analysis.

In addition to these classroom visits, I made two "key" observations (about two

hours each) in which I saw these teachers use technology in the course of their lesson and

took extensive field notes. According to Bogdan and Biklen (1992), field notes are

critical to participant observation studies. They contend that in order for the study to be

successful these records should be "detailed, accurate, and extensive" (p. 107). With each

of these lessons, I wrote ten to fifteen pages describing as much as I could about the

class, focusing on the role of the teacher in directing or facilitating technology use. I also

included in the field notes observer's comments that attempted to deal with thoughts,

ideas, patterns, or guesses I had regarding the lesson and the study as a whole. While

many of these comments proved to be unrelated to the study's key questions, others









provided significant insight and guidance during the data analysis phase of the study (See

Appendix D for a representative sample). Combining the informal and key observations, I

spent approximately twenty hours of observation in each teacher's classroom, or sixty

hours total for the inquiry.

Interviews

Probably the most valuable component of the data collection for the present study

was the interview. In describing the importance of interviewing for qualitative research,

Seidman (1991) argued that interviewing "is a powerful way to gain insight into

educational issues through understanding the experience of the individuals whose lives

constitute education" (p. 7). With this sentiment at the heart of the present study, I

conducted the following interviews with each exemplary teacher:

*A background interview to obtain general information about teaching.

*A background interview to obtain information about technology. (See Appendix E
for background interview questions)

*A pre-observation interview before a key observation using technology.

*A post-observation interview after a key observation using technology. (See
Appendix F for observation questions)

The first three interviews were semi-structured to guarantee that questions related to each

of the four guiding concepts were addressed. I did have a few guiding questions after the

two key observations, but much of the content for these interviews came directly from the

substance of the lesson itself.

In addition, I interviewed the participants on several other occasions when

important issues that related directly to the study arose. For example, Mr. Robbins had a

guest speaker-someone who provided computer advice in the local newspaper-address

his classes about such issues as file sharing, copyright, computer viruses, and junk









e-mails. After this presentation, I had a brief conversation with Mr. Robbins about his

thoughts on the speaker and any impact it may have had on his students.

Interviews varied in length from about ten minutes to just over an hour. Overall, I

conducted four to five hours of interviews with each participant for about fifteen hours of

total conversation. I used the Nomad II digital audio player and the Olympus

microcassette recorder to tape interviews and transcribe them verbatim into a workable

form. However, I learned a valuable lesson regarding technology in this process when I

accidentally erased two of my interviews as I was transferring them to the hard drive of

my computer. For the remainder of the study, I used both recorders simultaneously

during the interviews. After the interviews were transcribed, I erased the tapes to protect

the identity of each participant.

Data Analysis

Numerous qualitative researchers (Bogdan & Biklen, 1992; Merriam, 2001; Stake,

1995) have noted that data analysis should not be conducted as a separate stage of a

study, but should be treated as a crucial component that constantly guides inquiry. Yin

(1994) described data analysis as the process of "examining, categorizing, tabulating, or

otherwise recombining the evidence to address the initial propositions of a study" (p.

102). From the moment that I began to think about the investigation of exemplary social

studies teachers and their use of technology, I developed constructs and corresponding

questions that would guide me through the study. As I crafted interview questions and

conducted background interviews, I began to note similarities in the beliefs and actions of

these teachers and attempted to dig deeper into the evidence. Observer's comments

(Bogdan & Biklen, 1992) also proved to be valuable as I conducted observations and

expressed some initial views about how these teachers used technology in their teaching.









Before I reached the formal data analysis stage of the study, I had already framed

tentative reactions to my research questions and created some initial categories of

interest, and these steadily grew as the study progressed.

For the more intensive portion of data analysis, I based my inquiry on the four

forms of analysis and interpretation suggested by Stake (1995), who held that analysis

was "a matter of giving meaning to first impressions as well as final compilations" (p.

71). Through categorical aggregation, I was able to find multiple examples of some of

the factors influencing these exemplary teachers as they used technology. I based some of

these categories (e.g. beliefs about social studies, staff development, barriers to

technology use) on the major constructs for the study, but as I reviewed interview

transcripts, observation field notes, and relevant documents, I was able to develop

additional codes and categories that guided this level of analysis.

I also used specific instances from the data to investigate significant events in

which direct interpretation of the situation is appropriate. Stake (1995) argued that most

of the time spent in case study analysis should be on this step, rather than focusing too

much on the categorical data acquired in the first step of analysis. One significant

example of this type of interpretation emerged from Ms. Hart's experience (to be further

described in Chapter 5) in which two student technology aides attempted to repair her

only computer. This machine was constantly malfunctioning, and by the end of the study

it was removed from the classroom. This event helped to shed light on Ms. Hart's beliefs

about technology, and how she dealt with some of the barriers restricting her technology

use.









As I continued to read through relevant data, I searched for correspondence and

patterns based on categories developed in the beginning of the analysis. As with the

initial categories, I already had an idea of some of the patterns, but others emerged from

the data. To organize and manage the large amount of information that surfaced in this

analysis, I constructed a cross-teacher matrix with examples of conceptual issues from all

three exemplary teachers. Strauss and Corbin (1990) encouraged the use of this

conditional matrix to help organize information and to bring out patterns that may not

have otherwise appeared.

As his final category of analysis, Stake described his idea of naturalistic

generalizations that would help the reader better understand the study in question. While

Stake's first three categories are within the control of the researcher, this final area of

analysis is less concrete. Stake identified naturalistic generalizations as "conclusions

arrived at through personal engagement in life's affairs or by vicarious experiences so

well constructed that the person feels as if it happened to himself' (p. 85). To make these

accounts more personal, Stake contended that an emphasis on "time, place, and person"

are the most important steps in the final narrative. Through naturalistic generalizations, I

am hoping that the readers will connect what they have learned in reading my study to

their own personal experiences. I have tried to present descriptions of these teachers that

are full, accurate, and interesting, and that resonate with the reader on many levels. I

anticipate that the present study will be of interest to social studies teachers, social studies

educators, administrators, and others who have an interest in how technology can be used

in the social studies classroom. With these groups in mind, I include an Implications









section in Chapter 8 that attempts to help the reader draw connections and make

generalizations.

In addition to the four steps advocated by Stake, Creswell (1998) added description

as another crucial stage in the analysis of qualitative data. He held that before analyzing

the data in a formal way, the researcher should attempt to put together a narrative that

will help to establish the context of the study. This narrative could be as formal or

informal as the researcher feels is necessary, but should contain as many details as

possible that shed light on the story. Earlier in this chapter, I provided a thorough

background of the school settings and brief sketches of these exemplary teachers. These

descriptions were crafted to help the reader understand how these teachers use technology

and to provide an early portrait of three unique individuals in their natural school

environments. Chapters 4, 5, and 6 build on these initial sketches and provide a more

complete picture of the complex nature of these teachers' use of technology.

Metaphor

Lakoff and Johnson (1980) argue that the use of metaphor is much more than

simply a matter of language and is part of our everyday lives. They add that metaphor is

an "open-ended" (p. 115) concept that can have different meanings for different people.

Patton (1990) believes that in qualitative research metaphors can be powerful and

effective ways to communicate findings. In the present study, I developed metaphors to

describe each of the exemplary teachers-Mr. Clayton the model citizen, Ms. Hart the

connector, and Mr. Robbins the storyteller. In this metaphor development, Patton (1990)

contends, "It is important to make sure that the metaphor serves the data and not vice

versa" (p. 402). These descriptions emerged after all of the data had been collected and I

was beginning the more intensive portion of data analysis. Mr. Robbins' portrayal as a









storyteller was the first to emerge and, after several variations, metaphors for Ms. Hart

and Mr. Clayton were chosen.

Credibility

It was imperative that the findings from the present study be rigorous and

appropriate within the qualitative paradigm. Patton (2002) presented five sets of criteria

for evaluating the worthiness of qualitative data: traditional scientific, social construction

and constructivist, artistic and evocative, critical change, and evaluation standards and

principles. While the present study shows elements of a number of these groups, it fits

most closely within the social construction and constructivist criteria. Within this

approach, the researcher recognizes the biases inherent in this type of research and is

more interested in triangulation and particularity than finding internal and external

validity. Patton argued that three criteria are necessary for the credibility of qualitative

data: rigorous methods, credibility of the researcher, and a belief in the value of

qualitative inquiry. In the course of the present study, these three elements were critical

for ensuring that the inquiry would be conducted in a careful and thorough manner.

A key component in ensuring that qualitative methods are rigorous is the attention

paid to numerous forms of triangulation. Patton (2002) found that triangulation was much

more successful than any single method and provided "more grist for the research mill"

(p. 555-6). By comparing data from observations, interviews, and other data sources, I

sought to find similarities in the data and tried to determine why differences in the

findings might have existed. Another form of triangulation Patton detailed was looking at

data over time. In the interviews I conducted later in the study, I asked questions similar

to those I asked at the beginning of the study and compared similarities and differences in









responses. A third form of triangulation Patton described was review by the research

participants or member checks.

As I constructed the stories told in Chapters 4, 5 and 6 of the dissertation, I shared

narratives with the participants to ensure that the accounts I created were fair, complete,

and as accurate as possible. Once these sections were completed in April 2003, I provided

Mr. Clayton, Ms. Hart, and Mr. Robbins with copies of their individual chapters and

received feedback from each participant. All agreed that their portrayals were appropriate

and provided additional information to strengthen my descriptions. Typical of the

comments received was a clarification by Ms. Hart that when Chance was built, the

computers at the school were already used, and not brand new, as I had originally

thought. Similarly, Mr. Clayton and Mr. Robbins confirmed that their portrayals were

accurate and added key insights into access and support issues. Stake (1995) argued that

member checks "regularly provided] critical observations and interpretations" (p. 115) to

his research and ultimately improved his analysis. Even though I did not receive a great

deal of feedback from the participants, their input was still critical.

The second criterion Patton (2002) placed on the credibility of data was the

credibility of the researcher. As a former teacher and a teacher educator, I believe that I

present a useful and reasonable perspective on exemplary social studies teachers and the

classrooms they lead. In addition, exposure to technology in my own teaching, at

conferences, through research, and as part of my graduate studies has fostered my ability

to think critically about its use in the classroom. To form the narratives for each of the

teachers, I had to spend a good deal of time in each teacher's classroom, and this

prolonged engagement helped me to experience how these teachers used technology.









Finally, I kept a researcher's journal to track my progress in completing this inquiry and

to show my thought process from initial steps in formulating research questions, to

collecting and analyzing data, to completing the written report. (See Appendix G for a

representative sample)

The third criterion Patton (2002) used to determine the credibility of a qualitative

study is an inherent belief in the value of this type of research. While I examined both

qualitative and quantitative data in the literature review, the nature of case study

methodology makes the qualitative paradigm more appropriate for the type of inquiry I

conducted. Stake (1995) argued that the decision to undertake a qualitative study is not a

simple one, as "humans are generally curious, and researchers have a special compulsion

to inquire" (p. 46). I came into the present study knowing that this type of research was

time consuming, complex, and often marginalized in education, but given what I wanted

to know about these exemplary teachers and their use of technology, it was clear from the

beginning of the study what approach I would take.

Limitations

In their assessment of qualitative research, Marshall and Rossman (1999) noted that

"there is no such thing as a perfectly designed study" (p. 42). This study is no exception.

While I have noted above the steps I have taken to ensure its credibility, the present study

could have benefited from selected changes.

First of all, I could have taken greater care to give more voice to the participants in

the study. While interviews definitely helped these teachers tell their stories, framing the

present study within a case study methodology places boundaries on what participants are

willing and able to share. Second, because of limited time and resources, I was able to

study only three exemplary social studies teachers. While studying more teachers would









have increased the internal validity of the study, this was not possible because of

constraints with time and available resources. The third limitation of the study relates to

the time frame in which these teachers were studied. Coordinating my schedule along

with these teachers' schedules meant that most of the classroom observations and

interviews had to be conducted at the end of the school year. The remainder had to be

completed during the fall of the next year. I recognize that this separation may make each

teacher's story somewhat disjointed, but I tried to tell these stories in such a way that the

division would not be apparent.

Exemplary Teachers

In-depth studies of exemplary teachers who are using technology in innovative yet

realistic ways may hold the key to a better understanding of how technology should best

be applied in the classroom. As Feiman-Nemser and Floden (1986) noted in their chapter

on "The Cultures of Teaching":

The practical wisdom of competent teachers remains a largely untapped source of
insights for the improvement of teaching. Uncovering that knowledge is a major
task in research on the cultures of teaching and can lead to policies that build on
what teachers know. (p. 505)

While researchers have previously undertaken case studies of exemplary social studies

teachers (Grant, 1996; Thornton, 1988; Wineburg & Wilson, 1991), these studies have

focused more on what teachers know and believe than on what they are actually doing in

the classroom. By providing examples of good teachers who used technology in powerful

yet practical ways, I hoped to shed light on the type of wisdom that would be useful to

social studies teachers and educators at all levels of experience and expertise with

technology.









I mentioned in an earlier section the numerous awards and accolades that these

teachers received, but when I asked participants what made them outstanding teachers,

they did not mention these awards. While each of the three teachers brought up unique

reasons for their success, such as organization, an interesting classroom atmosphere, a

passion for public education, interest in subject matter, and a strong work ethic, what was

constant in all of their responses was the relationship they had with their students. All of

these teachers enjoyed working with young adolescents and felt that they related well to

this age group. This relationship was one in which the teachers modeled appropriate

methods of behavior and action, and the students usually responded with the same respect

accorded to them. Mr. Clayton effectively summed up the nature of this teacher/ student

connection in his response to the question of what made him an exemplary teacher. This

response also highlighted how these teachers saw their roles as social studies educators.

He remarked:

And I think what makes me a good teacher is that I value every kid for some
reason, maybe not as a scholar, but as a future citizen. And I really try to think of
every kid I've ever taught as someone who is going to live next door to me and be
my neighbor because you know in a way, they all will be and I'm really trying to
work on things with them that make them more social and more effective in terms
of being part of a larger whole, or working for a greater good. You know, again, it
sounds kind of obvious and it sounds kind of corny, but I'm trying to create more
effective citizens, immediately and for the future. And I think what makes me
successful is that I try to model it through being a good citizen myself. (Clayton,
Interview, 4/24/02)

Typical Settings

In an era when public school teachers are pulled in many directions by the

pressures of standardized testing, parent demands, curricular concerns, student discipline,

and numerous other competing interests, finding ways to bring technology into the

classroom is difficult at best. While some teachers have been blessed with the latest









computer equipment, the majority of American educators have had to make do with

machines and software that do not keep up with new innovations in technology. But as

indicated in Chapter 2 of this dissertation, the technology literature does not focus on

these typical settings. Researchers have tended to focus on the more progressive

classrooms and the more advanced teachers in terms of technology use, but seeing how

teachers in common settings use technology may prove to be even more instructive,

especially for teachers entering the profession.

This sentiment was voiced in a report authored by the President's Committee of

Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) that advocated more empirical studies

based in typical settings. In their recommendations, the group (PCAST, 1997) contended:

It is important that a substantial amount of research also be conducted under
conditions more typical of actual classrooms ... without access to unusual financial
or other resources, or to special outside support from university researchers. (p. 95)

This panel wanted to ensure that technology was not studied in isolation just for the sake

of acquiring technical skills, but that it would focus on learning about technology within

the K-12 curriculum. In finding appropriate settings, I was concerned that I find schools

and social studies classrooms that used technology as part of their regular instruction, but

in ways that went beyond word processing and drill and practice software.

Defining what is typical in terms of technology in the classroom is a difficult

venture, but state-compiled statistics provide a glimpse of what is taking place in the

typical classroom setting. In the state of Florida, where I conducted the present study,

access to technology is a recurring issue in political and educational circles. In

determining the most current state of affairs with technology, the number of students per

computer is often the most frequently cited statistic. Education Week's Technology

Counts report (2002) profiled all fifty states and showed that Florida had improved its









computer access for its students and was operating slightly better than the national

average. Access to computers had improved from 4.2 students per instructional computer

in 2000 to 3.6 in 2001. In terms of Internet-connected computers per student, the most

recent figure in the state is 7.1. While statistics such as these do not show what students

are actually doing on the computer, they are important for seeing trends in access and

availability.

The Technology Counts state profile (2002) also mentioned that teachers desiring

certification had to document a hands-on activity using technology. According to Florida

school officials, this requirement would ensure that "more teachers integrate technology

into instruction" (Technology Counts 2002: Florida State Snapshot). The report also

highlighted one unique program in the state, the Florida Virtual High School, which

served more than 5,000 students in locations across the state. Especially in rural districts

in which course offerings were limited, this online high school offered unique

opportunities for student learning. Jim Home, Florida's Secretary of Education, has

suggested a similar venture for the state's teachers with an "education portal" that could

foster communication among educators and provide online learning opportunities

(Technology Counts 2002: Florida State Snapshot).

While reports such as these provide a limited account of the current state of affairs

in Florida's schools, they still do not fully answer how technology may be used in a

typical classroom. I chose these typical settings based on a number of factors, but

primarily on personal experiences with Florida secondary schools. I spent three years

teaching in a rural Florida school district and visited schools all over the state in a

university course, "Perspectives in Secondary Curriculum and Instruction." As I met with









administrators and teachers in these middle and high schools, my core question was,

"What role does technology play at your school?" In some schools technology played a

significant role with elaborate computer labs and an average often computers per

classroom; in others, teachers were fortunate to have one computer in their classroom,

and in some schools, technology was non-existent.

For the purposes of the present study, I attempted to choose schools that were not at

either extreme of technology availability, but those with average access and availability.

With its connection to the university and a director with a strong vision for technology,

Granger is well equipped, but space problems make its implementation difficult for

teachers. Chance had acceptable technology when it opened in 1996, but hardware and

software acquisition has not kept pace with advances in technology. Alexander is a

magnet school with the latest technology in many areas, but an emphasis on standardized

testing makes using the school's resources difficult for many teachers.

Even though it is difficult to argue that these settings are entirely typical, I would

argue that they fall somewhere within the range of schools that I have seen around the

state. The teachers in the present study, while exemplary in their pedagogy, have had to

struggle with the same difficulties that others face. From malfunctioning computers, to

scheduling conflicts with the computer lab, to a promise for new machines that have yet

to be seen, these teachers were able to adapt and continued to use technology in ways that

engaged their students.

Summary

In this chapter, I have discussed the importance of qualitative research and its

appropriateness for this inquiry. I briefly portrayed the exemplary teachers and the

schools in which they work. Next, I explained the three data collection techniques









utilized and the analysis procedures used to examine the data. Finally, I explored issues

of bias and reasons for studying exemplary teachers in typical settings. In Chapters 4, 5,

and 6 I expand the description and analysis of the study's participants. Throughout this

chapter, I have also described the significance of the case study approach and suggested

how the present study is best suited for this methodology.

Shulman (1983) recommended undertaking case studies as a means of examining

the "possible" in education, not just relying on quantitative data to figure out what is the

norm. He added:

Another increasingly influential type of research is the case study, persuasively
drawn portraits of teachers, pupils, schools, or programs. They lack the hard
statistical data of the more traditional policy study, but richness of portrayal or
drama of human detail often sway the beliefs of decision makers far more
effectively than do tables of means and frequencies. (p. 494-5)

The investigation of exemplary teachers provides the opportunity to show what can be

done through integrating technology in the social studies classroom. Even the best

teachers can continue to learn and improve their instruction, and case studies can afford

the insight needed to improve individual practice and bring about a general improvement

in the field.














CHAPTER 4
THE MODEL CITIZEN

Character is ultimately who we are expressed in action, in how we live, in what we
do-and so the children around us know, they absorb and take stock of what they
observe, namely us-we adults living and doing things in a certain spirit, getting on
with one another in our various ways. Our children add up, imitate, file away what
they've observed and so very often later fall in line with the particular moral
counsel we unwittingly or quite unself-consciously have offered them.

Coles, The Moral Intelligence of Children (1997)

Vignette One

On this warm spring morning, twenty-eight ninth grade students are packed into

Mr. Clayton's civics classroom. The room was an afterthought in designing the building

and is oddly squeezed between larger classrooms on either side. In the five years since he

has been at Granger, Mr. Clayton has never had a classroom of his own, but he does not

complain about being a traveling teacher. He does not have to worry about designing

bulletin boards or cleaning rooms, but, at times, he is still envious of those teachers who

are able to control classroom space for whole-class discussions or cooperative activities.

In addition to the thirty or so desks in the room, nine networked computers are tightly

aligned along the windows at the far end of the class. Because of the limited space in

which these machines are placed, it is difficult for Mr. Clayton to conduct any class

activities using these computers, and for the most part, they remain untouched.

For the previous week, Mr. Clayton's class has been reading and discussing

Jonathan Kozol's Savage Inequalities. This book, focusing on the plight of some of the

most impoverished schools in America, attempts to meet one of the major objectives of








Class Seating Chart


Teacher: CLAYTON Grade:
Class: CIVICS Tine:


Figure 4-1. Mr. Clayton's second-period classroom

the civics course: "to provide students with learning experiences that allow them to come

to understand the larger world, nation, state, and community in which they live." While

fourteen and fifteen year olds usually have a fair understanding of their own school

environment, Mr. Clayton wants his students to have a broader knowledge and

understanding of students and schools in other areas of the country. Although examining

a variety of schools first hand would have been the optimum way for students to

understand differences in education, Mr. Clayton takes the next alternative, Kozol's book

and an accompanying documentary, Children in America's Schools (1998), to bring a

wide array of school portrayals to his students.

On this particular day, Mr. Clayton chooses to show the final part of this video,

which not only presents schools in a variety of settings, but also contains a town meeting


9TH
10:20-12:00


-,-.-.-LARGE SCREEN r n WHITEBOARD

TEACHER'S DESK OVERHEAD









S= COMPUTERS
-- = OBSERVER





0 0 = OBSERVER


TV/
VCR


DOOR
/I



/I


/I

I I


i


m


m


i









with Kozol and other stakeholders in Ohio's education system. He has tried a number of

approaches to using video in this classroom, but the layout is not conducive for viewing.

The screen is fairly small, a 21 or 25 inch model, and is positioned in a cabinet in the top

right corner of the classroom. While the students sitting close to the set have a clear view,

those sitting farther back not only get a strong glare from the morning sun, but also have

to deal with the air conditioning unit turning on and off every couple of minutes. When

the unit is off, the room gets rather warm, and by 10:00 when this class begins, it is

already 85-90 degrees outside. Mr. Clayton decides to turn the air on during parts of the

video and endures a few student complaints of not being able to hear. The logistics of

showing a video are complex, but Mr. Clayton still feels that the benefits outweigh the

problems associated with its use.

Before watching this portion of the video, Mr. Clayton passes out worksheets with

five questions-ranging from specific questions about the film's content to more

open-ended questions about the state of American education. These questions help to

guide students during viewing, but they are not the only form of assessment that Mr.

Clayton uses for the video. He stops the movie at a number of key places, and students

respond to key statements or phrases. At one important juncture during a comparison of

rural and suburban schools, a person in the video remarks, "It makes you wonder if

America likes its children." Mr. Clayton uses this opportunity to contrast rural and

suburban schools, in particular to ask why pregnancy rates are higher in poorer schools.

A few of the student responses in this interchange include the following:

*Students in rural districts have more free time outside of school and are more likely
to engage in sexual activity.

*In rural districts, there is not enough formal instruction about how not to get
pregnant.









*Students in rural districts are more stressed and sex can be a good stress reliever.
(This comment gets a loud chuckle from the class, but Mr. Clayton brings the focus
back quickly.)

*More students in rural districts do not think their lives will go anywhere, and they
are not as likely to push them towards success.

Mr. Clayton concentrates on this last statement and moves the discussion to one student

in his class whose mother had given birth while still a teenager. This student relates that

while her mother did not regret having her daughter, she still wishes things had been

different. This example shows the close relationship that Mr. Clayton has with many of

his students and how much trust they have in him to share that type of information. As a

follow-up to this line of questioning, Mr. Clayton asks rhetorically, "Do babies of young

mothers really have a choice?" Students ponder this question for a while and then return

to the video.

Later in the class period, the video has ended and students are responding to their

study questions. Since most of the students have finished reading Savage Inequalities,

Mr. Clayton asks them if anything surprised them about the video. A number of students

remark that the book is too redundant, but that the video shows a wider variety of

schools. One student, in particular, contends that if the book had pictures to go along with

Kozol's descriptions, it would have been more relevant. Mr. Clayton then poses a key

question that is at the heart of his beliefs about using video in the classroom: "Does it

make it more real to see the video?" Most students immediately nod in agreement, but

after a short time of contemplation, some doubts emerge. While the video was able to

personalize the stories of schools in Ohio, a few students assert that it is not the same as

looking at the differences in schools in their own community.









Mr. Clayton then redirects the dialogue to students' ideas about schools other than

Granger that they have personally experienced. A number of these ninth graders take the

opportunity to complain about the conditions in local middle schools, focusing primarily

on poor facilities and bad food in the lunchroom. On the other hand, several students

eloquently describe the newer schools they had attended and relate generally positive

middle school experiences. After discussing schools on both extremes, another student

inquires about where the average schools are. Mr. Clayton ends this part of the

conversation by asking students to think of area schools they could visit that would

represent a broad range of school environments, and they eagerly dive into this task.

(Clayton, Observation, 5/16/02)

Defining Technology

Although some educators would argue that the use of a television and a VCR is a

fairly primitive application of technology, Mr. Clayton prefers to take a broader approach

to their use in his classroom. In several interviews, he refers to technology as a tool and

equates it to a good book or a good speaker. When asked more specifically to give his

definition of technology, he points to three attributes that technology can bring to the

classroom: its ability to motivate children, to facilitate communication, and to introduce

students to multiple perspectives.

First, he argues that students enjoy technology because it helps them to become

more active and not just sit at a desk reading a textbook or listening to a teacher. He

emphasizes the interactive nature of technology and adds, "It [technology] gets kids out

of this box of a classroom, either through television or the World Wide Web, or letting

them be interactive and go out and shoot video, capture sounds, or do a documentary"

(Clayton, Interview, 4/24/02). For his comparison of American schools, Mr. Clayton









wanted his students, especially the visual learners in the class, to see "real kids" and "real

people" (Clayton, Lesson Plan, 5/16/02) struggling with difficult conditions, and yet

doing the best they could under the circumstances. He recognizes that watching a

television documentary is not the same as visiting a school, but he realizes that it can help

students encounter differing perspectives on key educational issues.

Second, he views technology as an important medium for facilitating

communication. In several interviews, he mentioned the importance of e-mail and

discussion groups for connecting to a broader range of people. He takes a global

perspective toward communication and argues that the world is becoming increasingly

more interconnected. He wants his students to have the skills and dispositions necessary

to survive in the twenty-first century and encourages them to learn about places outside

their community. He claims that as the world becomes more interconnected, "technology

is going to play a bigger and bigger part in our lives ... and we're not going to escape it"

(Clayton, Interview, 4/24/02). While this particular lesson did not have a significant

communication component, it did serve as a catalyst for a final project based on an

"essential question" from Savage Inequalities. As a result of Mr. Clayton's

recommendations, many of the students e-mailed local and state officials to obtain more

information about their topics.

A third component of Mr. Clayton's conception of technology is its ability to

address multiple perspectives. He contends that technology touches on a wide variety of

abilities among his students and adds that when he uses it, "I reach more kids, because it

taps into a prior knowledge base of kids who know how to use these skills already"

(Clayton, Interview, 4/24/02). He feels that even for students who are not as skilled with









technology as others, it can often bring out an interest that would have otherwise

remained untouched. In this lesson, students are exposed to schools outside of their

community and state, and while they could identify with some of the conditions, this

video opened up a much broader perspective on schools across the country. In the

interview that followed this lesson, Mr. Clayton argued that the multiple perspectives that

students saw in the video made this use of technology not just appropriate, but also

essential, for helping them get to the level of understanding that he desired. This

sentiment clearly emerges in the following statement:

What I'm getting at is the way that they learn to do that [draw he'ir own
conclusions] is through lots of different ways: reading, seeing, speaking, and doing.
And with the book that we are reading, Savage Inequalities, the kids reported that it
was helpful, even though they knew the things that were reported in the video....
To be able to see them really solidified the objectives and conclusions and
understandings. So to get the visual of a dilapidated school or to hear from a fourth
grader with a lack of materials, or to hear a frustrated seventh grade teacher talk
about it, ... to be able to see it visually, to be able to look into people's eyes in the
video and hear their tale makes it a lot more real. (Clayton, Interview, 5/16/02)

Ultimately, Mr. Clayton does not want to dictate to his students what they should

think about the condition of schools, but he believes that they should draw their own

conclusions based on a variety of perspectives. While he says that he could have taught

the same lesson without technology by using pictures of schools or testimonials from

teachers and students in those places, it would not have been as significant as the video

was for his students.

Teacher Beliefs

Another facet of Mr. Clayton's teaching that can be examined from this vignette is

the significance of his beliefs about instruction, about social studies, and about

technology with regard to his instruction. While teacher beliefs are not always reflected