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The impact of formal and informal professional development opportunities on primary teachers' adoption of interactive whiteboards

Lewin, Cathy and Scrimshaw, Peter and Somekh, Bridget and Haldane, Maureen (2009) The impact of formal and informal professional development opportunities on primary teachers' adoption of interactive whiteboards. pedagogy and education, 18 (2). pp. 173-185. ISSN 1747-5139

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Abstract

This paper reports on the approaches undertaken to support the development of teachers' uses of interactive whiteboards in the Primary Schools Whiteboard Expansion project. Mixed methods were used to identify practices and staff perceptions about the extent and impact of professional development through surveys (initially from 528 schools), together with 10 case studies to provide in-depth insights and observational data. The training events offered to the 21 participating Local Authorities (LAs) were also observed. Data were analysed through a socio-cultural framework. The findings are presented at three levels: national (the central team driving the project), regional (the LAs), and local (the schools). The paper concludes that whilst LA support varied and the central team was not well prepared for the unprecedented level of uptake, the formal training offered through a cascade model was effective. Furthermore, the pool of expertise shifted from the LAs to the schools, as teachers' urgent need to acquire skills to use the interactive whiteboard on a daily basis led to the development of informal learning communities in the schools.

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