Motivating Staff in Times of Change
Introduction In the last three decades various countries worldwide have been promoting the integration of Information and Computer Technologies (ICT) in education in an effort to improve the efficiency of schools and teachers. Barbados, a small island state in the Caribbean is no exception to this wave of technology integration and as such, is currently reforming its educational system through the multifaceted Education Sector Enhancement Programme (ESEP), which for the most part, incorporates the use of new technologies as essential educational tools. The change to ICT signals a major reorientation for teachers, consequently there seems to be some reluctance and resistance to the use of ICT reflected in minimal use in classrooms. Cross-cultural research suggests that actual integration of ICT in education is overplayed since much of the technology in classrooms is not being used to affect teaching and learning. Education is renowned for introducing multiple simultaneous changes, and increasing teachers’ workload without corresponding rewards (Morrison, 1998; Fullan 1982). Notwithstanding, teachers are often described as being reluctant to change. This ‘labelling’ raises several questions in relation to ICT integration in Barbados, since ESEP represents a policy change which gives little, if any choice to teachers: • Is it that the teachers are reluctant to change generally, or is it that conditions of implementation have not favoured their support? • What are the reasons for reluctance or resistance to change in general and particularly with reference to ICT integration? • In the case of Barbados, what have policy officials and educational administrators done to motivate teachers towards ICT integration? • If their efforts have been ineffective, what should they be doing to motivate the teachers in this time of change?
While these questions are important, it appears that the problem in education may be the number and quality of implementation of innovations rather than resistance of teachers . Notwithstanding, the central issue of concern here is; what should be done to motivate teachers in such a scenario? Furthermore if teachers are motivated but lack appropriate tools or access, what measures can be employed to correct this?
In this presentation I will argue that conditions of ICT integration have so far not favoured teacher adoption and the resistance and reluctance evidenced may be reduced through application of appropriate motivational strategies thus influencing successful integration.
The ESEP represents a significant investment for the government of Barbados. Teachers are key stakeholders, therefore their responses, will significantly influence the outcome of this reform. The lack of motivation to integrate ICT in their classrooms could jeopardize the investment. Inasmuch as teachers have a moral responsibility to government and society, their individual preferences and needs guide their responses to change. These will responses vary from open support to open opposition Morrison. One of the biggest challenges for administrators, then, is motivating this diverse group towards ICT integration. The question is how can this be achieved?
This presentation seeks therefore to suggest various strategies for motivation and the way forward for Barbados. I first present the background to the ICT change in Barbados and the rationale for this study. After discussing selected theories and issues of motivation and, educational change, specific issues associated with technology introduction in education are discussed. The subsequent discussion of various strategies for motivating staff, allows for recommendations for the adoption of key strategies for successful integration and motivation to be made. Finally, the implications of adoption are discussed and the major points summarised in the conclusion. Importance of study The ESEP is the single largest capital investment initiative ever undertaken by the Barbadian government. The level of international funding involved has national economic implications as it “has the potential to become the costliest capital works failure ever in the history of social reform in Barbados” (Worrell, D. 1999). Careful management, which encourages teacher motivation in technology integration, is therefore crucial. Whereas evidence from developed countries indicates an underutilisation of educational technologies, this study examines the Barbadian context with a view to identifying teachers’ levels of use and, what, if any motivational strategies are needed. If necessary, suggested strategies may then be incorporated within individual and organisational contexts thus safeguarding the country’s economic future.
ICT in education is relatively new in the Caribbean and corresponding research is limited. This research can contribute to the growing body of knowledge in this field, and suggest areas of further research. Personally, this study will prove helpful in preparing me, should my future role entail management of teachers.
The Barbadian context Barbados is a small ‘developing’ Caribbean island, with a population of 260 000. It is an independent democratic society, which has enjoyed unprecedented political and economic stability since independence, in 1966. It boasts 98% literacy and universal free education. There are 127 schools, 23 are government secondary schools, 86 are primary and the remainder are private schools.
Lacking physical resources, Barbados has historically emphasised the development of its people through education. Now the focus is on providing quality education and equipping teachers with tools to meet developmental challenges associated with globalisation.
Familiarly known as Edutech (2000), the ESEP is a reform programme encompassing “a vision to carry Barbados forward, placing it on the cutting edge of innovation through the development of people” (MEYC, 1998). This multifaceted reform effort emerged from developmental and educational concerns expressed among educational and government officials. Its components are: • Civil works • Institutional strengthening • Hardware procurement and installation • Teacher training and technical assistance
The mandate for reform was issued in July 1995 and the programme was set to be gradually implemented on a phased basis over the seven year period; 1998/1999-2004/5. Significant investment in excess of (Barbados) $400,000,000.00 has been made to facilitate this reform (IDB, 1999).
The actual reform initiative began in 1996 and the next two years were concerned with its design and preparatory activities. Two years prior to this, schools were engaged in strategic management planning. This reform brought those efforts to an abrupt halt and schools were forced into a state of limbo as they awaited instructions for this new reform effort.
As plans unfolded there were consultations with teachers mainly at the committee level. A Planning and Implementation Steering Committee (PISC), including members from the islands two teachers unions consulted with government officials on behalf of key stakeholders. The unions were intended to be representative of all teachers and therefore it is claimed that the planning was guided by the opinions of teachers. Zone meetings for teachers and town-hall meetings were held in each parish for the general public. These meetings were of a general nature and did not necessarily address what the change meant for teachers in terms of practical changes to their roles, beliefs etc. Within pilot schools, demonstration committees held monthly meetings with the MEYC and were responsible for disseminating information in their respective schools, but heavy training demands, and work schedules meant that this did not occur . Apart from these no other meetings were held to facilitate direct consultation with teachers. The ESEP has therefore been described as lacking a vibrant PR programme and teachers therefore feel that this change has been imposed upon them, given their lack of significant involvement in planning. As far as the unions are concerned there has been “No consultation really. They produced a White Paper on education which contained … the positions being pursued in the ESEP” A loud public outcry concerning the lack of teacher involvement in the planning process, has resulted in subsequent efforts to involve them in discussions and to keep them better informed, through frequent publication and distribution of planning documents.
The ESEP represents a paradigm shift from didactic to child centred methodologies, and ICT integration aims to facilitate this. The current educational paradigm focuses inter alia on content, knowledge, traditional assessment techniques, traditional classroom environments, authoritarian teachers, memorization, etc (Osin 1998, cited in Boyce 1999).
Constructivism, the major influencing theory proposes knowledge construction through experiences. Students become active participants rather than passive recipients, thus transforming the teacher’s role from instructor to facilitator and guide. ICT based learning environments are considered capable of accommodating individual learning styles problem solving, project work etc. The technology is therefore aimed at facilitating greater creativity and flexibility in developing individual instruction and providing more effective and powerful administrative tools. As such the government set about retraining teachers and allocating technology resources on a phased basis from as early as 1997. The project is yet in the early stages of implementation, since pilot schools only received their full complement of resources between 1999 and September 2001.
Based on my understanding, derived through personal teaching experience in a pilot schools and subsequent discussions with key persons, it appears that initiation and implementation strategies used so far have had little impact on reducing apprehensions or intimidation of teachers..
Whereas efforts were made at pre-implementation training, time-lapses between training and access to technologies restricted practice and skills development. After-school training and the need to create time on top of unchanged personal workloads discouraged participation. Furthermore, training was very basic, focussing primarily on technology mastery (See Appendix 1). Consequently, technology integration skills remain undeveloped. Teacher technology efforts have therefore concentrated on internet research, record keeping and lesson content preparation. Instructional practice basically remained unchanged in many classrooms. Concerns were expressed regarding ‘time-wasting’, especially where technical problems rendered planning efforts meaningless. Leadership efforts of curriculum coordinators and computer experts have been limited by demands of full timetables of duties to fulfil in spite of the skill development and adjustments, which this reform demands. Principals and IT coordinators, similarly affected have been ineffective in transferring information to staff. Frequent technical problems and ministry meetings reduced their visibility and availability. Above all, no extra benefits or rewards have been included.
Discussion also revealed that individual schools have not yet devised or executed meaningful evaluation strategies to determine the extent or quality of technology integration and therefore individual adoption is not scrutinised. As such some teachers choose not to make the effort at integration. This situation suggests that motivational strategies may be needed to encourage participation and a successful implementation.
Below, I examine the definition, process and theories of motivation in order to identify essential components, the determining factors and considerations, which should be made in managing change. == Motivation == Bold textDefinition Definitions of motivation emphasise three basic components to differing degrees: • Goals which direct behaviour • Mental processes or energetic forces which drive individuals towards specific goals • Social processes through which managers will seek to retain or change the behaviour of others (Riches, 1994) Ford, (1992) describes motivation as a psychological future oriented (anticipatory) and evaluative phenomenon, consisting of the organised patterning of an individual’s personal goals, emotional arousal processes and personal agency beliefs, whereas Johansson and Page (1990) define it as the processes or factors which cause people to act or behave in certain ways. Pinder, (1998) more specifically defines work motivation as a set of energetic forces that originate both within and beyond the individual’s being to initiate work-related behaviour and to determine its forms, direction, intensity and duration. To motivate therefore is to induce someone to take action through identification of an unsatisfied need, establishment of a goal, which can satisfy the need, and determining the action required to satisfy that need.
Hence motivation can be viewed as a multifaceted concept incorporating the factors that arouse or activate individuals and the force exerted to engage in desired behaviour (Johansson & Page 1990). In the change towards ICT implementers must, on the basis of this definition, ensure that they activate individuals and apply the ‘force’ to affect the behaviour they desire, which is the incorporation of the technology in classrooms. The motivated teacher would therefore be one who is satisfied with their job and who is empowered to strive towards excellence and growth in instructional practice involving the integration of ICT.
Bold textThe Process of Motivation
There are four building blocks of motivation; goals, needs/expectations, behaviour and some form of feedback. However these do not necessarily interact sequentially given that:
• Motives cannot be seen, only inferred • They may be multiple, disguised, or differently expressed according to the individual and the culture within which it occurs • They change and may conflict with each other • Different people select different motives with differing intensities and • The importance of a particular motive may vary with time in a single individual since as one is satisfied then the motive for associated actions is reduced (Riches, 1994). The many variables, which affect motivation, therefore interact in complex ways (See figure 1). Additionally override factors; also contribute to variations in motivations in a single individual. Generally, however needs and drives determine motivation and may be hindered by obstacles of personality, or individual or external demands. Various theories have been developed to explain the process of motivation. Two of these are described below.
Bold textTheories of Motivation
Theories of motivation are generally grouped into content and process theories. Content theories focus on the specific things, which motivate individuals and are represented by Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory, McGregor’s X & Y theory and Herzberg 2 factor theory. Process theories focus on the dynamic relationships between different variables, which make up motivation, i.e. the process of motivation and how behaviour is initiated, directed and sustained. These are represented by expectancy theory, equity theory, and the high performance cycle. Expectancy theory and Goal theory are relevant to the discussion at hand and are summarised below.
Expectancy theory Expectancy theory suggests that expectations of the satisfaction associated with desired outcomes attract individuals to engage in specific tasks, thus motivating them (Vroom 1964, 1974; Pinder 1998). Accordingly, it is thought that individuals rationally examine the prospects of different rewards associated with various courses of actions. They then choose actions which they think will succeed or produce the greatest personal rewards. Rewards may be intrinsic or extrinsic. According to Herzberg (1964) extrinsic rewards surrounding a job include things such as salaries, fringe benefits, and job security whereas intrinsic rewards include things such as self-respect, sense of accomplishment, and personal growth. The distinction between these is important if the proper approach to work motivation is to be adopted (Ellis, 1984).
Notwithstanding, motivation can be optimized when people: - • Feel confident that they can achieve a high level of performance • Are highly attracted to the reward • Think that they stand a good chance of receiving the rewards • Feel that they will be rewarded fairly in relation to the others around them.
This theory assumes that human behaviour is rational and that individuals are conscious of their goals and motives and therefore behaviour is predictable. It is generally accepted however that decision making is more a subjective than an objective process (Law, S. & Glover, D.2001).
Bold textGoal theory
Forwarded by Locke, (1968), this theory argues that people are motivated and perform better when they agree on specific and difficult goals and when feedback is given on their performance. The goal is what is to be accomplished; the aim or object of action (Locke et al, 1981). It defines the content and the direction of motivational patterns and can have pervasive effects on achievement and competence development (Ford, M. 1992). Motivation may be increased through direct and indirect incentives in conjunction with participative goal setting and guidance. Feedback sustains this motivation and influences refinement of behavioural strategies influenced by the goal. Whereas all types of incentives influence behaviour (Bush & Burnham 1994; Locke et al 1968), in the context of educational change, they are effective only to the extent that they influence or change individual’s goals and intentions, or build commitment to those they already hold in the direction of educational goals. Therefore not all incentives will influence teachers to embrace reform; hence administrators must be astute in the setting of incentives.
The attributes of goals are equally as important as the goals themselves. Difficult, but realistic goals encourage higher levels of performance while specific goals have greater impact on subsequent performance. Once goals, are accepted by individuals, they will impact their performance. Both the characteristics of a goal and the attitudes towards it are influenced by incentives, self perceptions and the manner in which the goals are set (Locke et al, 1981). Individual participation in goal setting stimulates motivation and commitment to succeed since they can claim ownership (Mitchell, T. R. 1993; Locke 1968; Bush & Burnham, 1994) and are likely to set themselves high goals.
It would seem then that if governments and educational leaders consider these theories in their plans, then their application is likely to improve individual motivation. However, success depends on administrators being trained to handle the goal setting process sensitively and tactfully and appreciating the relationship between demands and performance. Too few demands can lead to boredom whereas too many can lead to burnout.
I now turn to the concept of change, the various issues it presents in education and its implications for teacher motivation. An understanding of change engenders an appreciation for the necessity of motivation in the management process.
Issues of change Bold textDefinition Change may be viewed as planned and predictable or as an emergent, continuous, open-ended and largely unpredictable process aimed at realignment of organisations in response to environmental changes (Mintzberg, 1987). For Morrison (1998) it is; “ a dynamic and continuous process of development and growth that involves a reorganisation in response to ‘felt needs’… a process of transformation, a flow from one state to another, either initiated by internal or external forces, involving individuals, groups or institutions, leading to a realignment of existing values, practice and outcomes.”
Implicit in this definition is the concept of needs and responses to those needs. This would seem to be the underlying determinant of individual motivation in times of change. Clearly, teachers must understand that a need exists, and that there may be predetermined actions required to fulfil it. As persons are presented with plans for change it is expected that they will assess the significance of the need and the required response, in the light of their personal beliefs and convictions. How changes actually occur will impact on how persons interpret them. I therefore now turn to the process of change. The Process of Change Change involves three broad phases; initiation, implementation and institutionalisation. Whereas initiation involves the processes and plans to change, implementation is the early experience of putting the change into practice and institutionalisation is the assimilation of the innovation within the organisation. These phases interact to produce the outcome, which, in education may refer to the extent of improvement or change in pupils, teachers and the organisation (Stoll & Fink1995). Initiation determines the direction and content of the change and can generate meaning or confusion, commitment or alienation or ignorance among participants. These depend on the relevance of the innovation in relation to needs, clarity, quality, complexity and practicality; readiness of staff for involvement in the innovation and resource and support availability (ibid). Several other factors, inclusive of individual, school and external factors may affect the adoption and other phases of change in education (Fullan 1982). Notwithstanding, individual understandings of the meaning of change are central to the overall change process. Meanings should therefore be clarified if successful implementation is desired.
During implementation of educational changes, at least three dimensions interact to produce outcomes: • Use of new or revised materials e.g. educational resources, curriculum or technologies • Use of new teaching approaches • Alteration of beliefs e.g. and pedagogical assumptions and theories underlying the particular reform. Individual beliefs guide, and are informed by teaching strategies and activities. Effective use of the new materials depends therefore on their articulation with beliefs and teaching approaches. Collectively these dimensions represent the means of achieving reform goals as individuals may choose which, if any, dimension they implement. Resultantly the quality and magnitude of change will vary, with individual levels of understanding of the principles, rationale and implications for practice and the corresponding changes made regarding teaching materials, teaching approaches and individual beliefs, i.e. what people do and think (Fullan,1982).
Notwithstanding, the centrality of individual concepts and skills, means that their occupational identities, self concepts and sense of competence are at stake in the process (Fullan, 1982). This reality demands not only an understanding of the meaning of the change but that individuals are motivated to accept the instability that change will bring.
Against this backdrop I shall examine the context and nature of educational change in more detail.
Bold textThe Context of Educational Change Change in education is a significant component in socio-cultural and economic renewal and development and as such schools are caught up in changes that are not all school based, or desired by school officials. Consequently, “Innovation overload and its concomitant fatigue are the order of the day [and] this order is not the making of the education community but rather has been thrusted upon it …” (Morrison, 1998:10) .
Since each change entails an immediate requirement for new skills, behaviours, motivation, beliefs and understanding, discretionary judgments etc (Fullan, 1993), it is my belief that these factors contribute significantly to low levels of motivation among teachers towards the uptake of educational innovations. The reality of multiple innovations seems to suggest the need for motivational strategies in order to affect success; given that changes which are thrusted upon individuals are more difficult to embrace, than those which they have initiated or contributed to (source). It is my view therefore, that where policies are made without adequate consultation with teachers, and are mandated, they are presented with a twofold anti-change justification for reluctance towards educational change.
In this context teachers tend to view many change proposals as frivolous, particularly when they perceive them as not addressing issues of boundedness, psychic rewards, time scheduling, student disruption, interpersonal support etc (Lortie, 1975 cited in Fullan 1982). Fullan therefore argues that there is no reason for teachers to believe in change. Furthermore incentives to change are few and personal costs of trying new innovations are high. House, (1974) describes innovations as acts of faith as they require one to believe that they will ultimately bare fruit and be worth the personal investment, often without the hope of an immediate return. McKenzie, (2002) explains the situation this way: “Teachers have seen bandwagons come and go. They are appropriately skeptical about untested, expensive changes that seem peripheral rather than central to their purpose. They want to know how this venture will improve student performance. In the case of educational technologies, there is often a vacuum when it comes to educational purpose. We too often network because it is “the thing to do.” Teachers usually look askance at such efforts.”
For Barbadian teachers, who have witnessed insignificant improvements with innovations such as, whole class teaching, integrated approaches to curriculum, project work etc, the introduction of ICT is greeted with much skepticism. They question whether ICT is just another new technology deemed to be educational gold, but whose glimmer will eventually fade, leaving them holding a lump of pyrite; fool’s gold?
In the management of this reform in Barbados, the basic principles appear to have been inadequately applied. Despite its introduction, many key players remain unprepared. It would seem then that since it appears to have been mandated much more time, energy and financial resources will have to be applied to make it work (Fullan, 1982). Management’s approach seems to be the ‘flogging of the proverbial horse’ in order to make it go hence supporting Fullan’s argument. This analogy seems fitting in that the efforts made to inspire teachers, are often interpreted as enforcements, rather than real incentives and rewards. For example; the introduction of a compulsory planning week, taken out of teachers’ summer holiday to facilitate arrangements for edutech. The corresponding issue of ministry circulars, reform papers, directives etc in the absence of opportunity for discussion are also viewed similarly, given the lack of associated financial rewards or status elevations. This, to my mind also represents a salient issue influencing the apparent lack of motivation amongst teachers.
In sum, educational changes are multi-dimensional, externally stimulated and their frequency and unpredictability discourages positive embrace by teachers. Individually, teachers are each guided by their own subjective realities, which determine their responses to innovations. Below, the nature and rationale for these various responses are explored.
Responses to Change
As already noted, change is a personal matter because it requires that people think, feel and act in different ways (Duck, 1993). Resultantly various issues and concerns emerge which determine individual responses, which may vary from resistance adaptation and adoption (Morrison, 1998). Apart from being influenced by individual perceptions and beliefs concerning the innovation, these issues may arise from;
• Individual perceptions of change • Natural commitment to change • The level of fear or welcome of change (Harvey-Jones 1988 Cited in Morrison).
As noted previously, change, regardless of its nature inflicts lost and personal costs in that fundamental aspects of individual self concepts and competence are at stake. Walton, (1997) notes that change engenders grief, despair, fragmentation, stress, disruptions and regression. It invalidates people’s experiences with the past and with current practices (Marris, 1993), and since people are invariably involved emotionally in their jobs and current situations Clarke, (1994) notes that it alters their expectations and is disruptive.
The concerns which emerge for persons involved in educational change therefore surround the acquisition of adequate information on the change, anxiety about how the change will affect them personally, how it will take place and be managed, the likely consequences, support and collaboration and the proceeds or outcomes (Hall et al, 1986). These concerns figure highly in the individual’s interpretation of the meaning of the change and are a source of much of the resistance which is evident. These apart, other contributors include fear of inadequacy, admission of weaknesses, loss of present status and current job satisfaction (Harvey – Jones, (1988); Bowman & Asch 1987). The lack of conviction, personal risks involved, discomfort (Katzenbach & Smith 1993) ignorance, doubt, and personal concerns (Clarke 1994, cited in Morrison 1998) are also specific reasons for resistance. Situational factors where the change is not seen as improvement, and past experiences of failure also contribute to rejection.
Marris (1993) summarises thus: “Regardless of how the change comes about the meaning is not normally clear at the outset and ambivalence will pervade the transition. For teachers … change threatens to invalidate the experience of occupational identity by robbing [them] of the skills which they have learned, confusing their purposes, upsetting their rationalisations and compensations by which they reconciled the different aspects of their situation.”
Thus subjective realities are very powerful constraints in determining the acceptance or rejection of change (Fullan 1982). Therefore the outcome of any implementation of change depends critically on the relationships between the new programmes and policies and the many subjective realities embedded in people’s individual and organisational contexts and personal histories (Fullan, 1982).
It would seem then that ICT integration would engender fear and anxiety in teachers as it encompasses a reorientation of their beliefs and pedagogy. The challenges of facing change in itself, is therefore reinforced by those ICT brings (See Appendix 2). Change Management and Individuals Given the impact of individual subjective realities and responses, it is recommended that successful management of change include an identification of the perceptions, attitudes, values, beliefs, and opinions of persons involved and ensure that they are fully informed. Furthermore individuals must be encouraged to develop and utilize their creativity in order to stimulate ownership and work satisfaction.
Organisations have a responsibility to manage people appropriately and efficiently in any change. Fullan, (1982), argues that the way in which subjective realities are addressed or ignored is crucial for whether potential changes become meaningful at the level of individual use and effectives. He suggests that in managing change the central importance of meaning must be recognised. Internalisation of the change is central to a positive embrace of reform and is achievable through the application of suitable motivational strategies inclusive of meaning clarification, education and incentives. If individuals do not internalise the meaning of change then implementation becomes more difficult. Managers must see implementation as a process of working out the meaning of change, procedural content, costs etc with change agents. Fullan also notes that the balance of incentives and disincentives is critical to the outcome of change; that need, clarity and the personal benefit/cost ratio must be favourable on balance at some point early in the implementation. To get the results, administrators must therefore focus on a purpose likely to win broad acceptance. As McKenzie (op cit) states: “Without the enthusiastic endorsement of the teachers …, not much change is likely to occur. To win this endorsement, the innovation being proposed must promise outcomes and benefits that match the daily realities, concerns and desires of the staff.”
If innovations are not seen as improvement teachers will therefore tend to be resistant. It is important therefore that teachers be given opportunity to react to change proposals and work out their own feelings and meanings autonomously (Marris, 1993). It would seem then that efforts should be made towards establishing teachers’ views of ICT, its use in education and if incongruent, attempt reformation through sound practical training which demonstrates the potential benefits to education. Teachers also need opportunity to experiment and attempt creation of technology lessons. Hence initial trials with innovations must be keenly supported to help alleviate ambivalence.
Motivating people to change to face novelty and to cope with the disequilibrium that change brings (Morrison, 1998) is an essential part of this management. Clarification of meaning, and other suggested strategies can be thought of then as motivational strategies as they represent efforts to produce the force which drives individuals to work to fulfil the goals of reform. In the process of motivation, teachers must be brought to a point where they are able to identify unsatisfied needs within their pedagogy. The goals of the reform must correlate with their beliefs about current needs and what is important.
Drawing on the assumptions of goal theory, although difficult goals can cause teachers to rise to the challenge, when asked to do too much over long periods of time these same challenging motivators become strong de-motivators leading to stress (Dunham, 1992). Inasmuch as some teachers may value the introduction of technology as new tools for teaching and learning, the simultaneous introduction of various aspects of a large reform effort such as ESEP is likely to cause burnout and stress. In such cases where educational reform seems to be demanding too much, too soon, motivation becomes crucial to inducing teachers to take action
Motivation therefore is essential in the achievement of educational reforms (Visscher, J.1993) and must be integrated in change management strategies. The question is what will motivate teachers? Some strategies which have proven effective are suggested below. Before identifying these however, some mention must be made about the type of motivators which influence teachers.
Strategies for successful Integration of Technology
It has already been suggested that establishing teacher beliefs about ICT and corresponding training to reform these in line with proposed changes; encouragement of creativity and establishment of meanings and objectives are strategies which may be applied to motivate this change. A closer examination of these and other strategies seems necessary in view of the peculiar motivations of teachers.
Ellis (1984) argues that self-respect, responsibility, and a sense of accomplishment are intrinsic rewards, which motivate teachers. This knowledge can prove instructive to administrators who can utilise strategies such as participatory governance, in-service education, and systematic, supportive evaluation to boost morale and motivate teachers to excel. Shared governance, or participatory management, can enhance teachers' professional status and their "ownership" in the planning and operation of the school. This can nurture a vested interest in school performance whist promoting harmony and trust among them, and with administrators. Formal incentives comprising explicit policies or strategies for evaluating change, and extrinsic compensation for rewarding change may also exact movement towards organizational goals e.g. ICT integration (Evans-Andres, M. 1996). This knowledge should inform educational change and therefore these factors are examined in more detail below in the context of ICT integration. Professional development (PD)
Staff development has been shown to be a key motivational feature, especially when opportunity is provided for exercise of variety, autonomy, knowledge, skill and responsibility (Robertson et al, 1992). During innovations, PD usually consists of in-service training, which may be formal or informal. Formal training may include workshops and seminars whereas informal training includes resource sharing, collaboration and discussion groups. These can promote sharing of ideas and interdependence among teachers and facilitate improvements to instructional techniques while enhancing professional self-awareness (Kraft, 1998). However PD attempts in education have been heavily criticised for inadequate preparation for classroom reality, far less technological innovations. The lack of impact is reflected in the fact that things usually remain the same despite continuous change (Fullan, 1982). Kraft (1998) suggests that things are unchanged because authorities continue to use the same old ineffective PD techniques in the form of mandates and one-shot workshops/inservices, to affect change, rather than allowing teachers opportunities to integrate new ideas for "improved practice into a coherent sense of how these fit into their own understandings and assumptions about good learning and teaching" (Caine and Caine, 1997, P. 8) Such experiences concentrate on teaching teachers new things but neglect helping them "unlearn the practices and beliefs about students and instruction that have dominated their professional lives (Darling-Hammond and McLaughlin, 1995, p. 597). PD should therefore challenge old belief systems, which are a major hindrance, in order to ease implementation of new practices. Therefore;
"The one teacher doing it model with hope for buy-in from others," the mandate from the top that everyone "will do it," or the one-shot workshops and inservices that schools often use as a means to introduce teachers to new practices are not effective professional development approaches”(Nancy, K, 1998).
The successful integration of technology therefore, requires new PD models which carefully combine pre-implementation training with ongoing training strategies and employs various trainers. Furthermore traditional "expert-driven” models of training are replaced with those which encourage teachers to engage in inquiry into their practice. On this basis teachers should have primary responsibility for determining, planning, implementing, and evaluating their own learning experiences. This may be achieved through the following: - 1. Support groups, which provide opportunities for teachers to: - a. Share information about successful teaching technique b. Express curriculum concerns and c. Decide what must be learnt about the innovation. These groups should promote ownership of the professional agenda, enhance collegial interaction, and provide a means to work through problems and generate solutions (Kraft.) 2. Teacher study groups which support school improvement efforts through: - a. Establishment of a knowledge base to support effective decision-making b. Provision of a means to engage in long-range planning c. Provision of opportunities for team work, engaging in collaborative inquiry and collective decision-making (Hirsh, 1992) Study groups places the primary responsibility on teachers to work together toward a common goal. 3. Peer coaching, (cognitive coaching), where teachers observe each other during teaching-learning sessions and then provide feedback (Costa and Garmston, 1994). This should encourage reflection and analysis which should facilitate improved instruction, provided there is self awareness and understanding and that the environment is conducive to such dialogue. 4. Using teacher leaders to educate and conduct staff development activities with peers. Their effectiveness will depend however on: - a. Time and access b. Credibility of the person selected to lead c. Clear role descriptions d. District support and training e. Principal support f. A collaborative environment (Carter and Powell, 1992). 5. Action research and/or teacher inquiry which involves cyclical processes of reflecting on action and acting on reflection in a systematic way to help teachers think about practice and profession leading to improvements. The importance of peer interaction in innovations cannot be overstated, for as one teacher notes “… interaction creates the motivation, not the other way around [“... motivation takes part in the action, It is a moment of the very action itself”] hence you become motivated to the extent that you are acting, not before acting.”
Inasmuch then as change is a process of mobilisation and contagion; teachers must interact to facilitate reform. This approach supports Fullan’s view that clarification of meaning comes through action whether it is interaction with the innovation itself or with others also concerned with the innovation. Thus he concludes; if change is seen as a process of personal learning and socialisation then improvements will come only to the extent that individuals are helped and brought into contact with each other and other external resources in a focussed way around the specific change.
Rewards and incentives Rewards refer to a formalized system of tying compensation to worker performances and represent another motivational strategy commonly used in organisations to elicit change (Evans-Andres, 1996). Persons who achieve, produce or move towards the achievement of organisational goals are rewarded. As change is introduced, extrinsic incentives are offered to workers, given that behavioural change is more likely to occur when remuneration for effort is forthcoming. This performance based management approach, recently adopted in the British educational system, involves strategies such as; review of the Principal’s performance regarding leadership, management skills, and pupil progress; performance management of teachers, based on planning, monitoring and review cycle and performance related pay (PRP). One objective of PRP is the motivation of teachers to increase effort in several areas, including pupil attainment (Croxson et al 2001). While apparently useful as a motivator, this approach is not without criticism.
Inasmuch as monetary rewards have proven effective in eliciting behavioural change among workers and the link between incentives and productivity is evident (Duncan, 1978, Edwards, 1979; Peters and Waterman, 1982), it has been suggested that the characteristics of education as a product and teachers as professionals will likely render financial incentives ineffective or result in overemphasis on target setting and measurable outcomes, leading to inflexibility in the education system, competition among individuals etc (Croxson et al, 2001). Furthermore others believe that inherent multiple tasks and principles make measurement of outputs difficult (Dixit, 2000).
Tying rewards to performance generally is considered ‘deprofessionalizing’ as it allows supervisors to control the workplace, and elaborate incentives may be used as bribes to elicit cooperation (Edwards, 1979). However in instances where an entire economy depends on it I believe this justifies ensuring goal attainment through control.
This approach is still relatively new and not much can be said about its effectiveness; however the literature consulted supports its influence on teacher behaviour, despite their preference for intrinsic rewards. Odden & Kelly, (1997), argue that such intrinsic motivators can enhance rather than undermine overall motivation. Furthermore, the theoretical footing regarding achieving motivation through PRP seems consistent with expectancy, goal setting and equity theory (Tomlinson, 2000) and appears then to be justified as a recommended strategy for application in the face of a large scale innovation such as ESEP, as it focuses attention on the achievement of targets. If appraisal is in fact linked to school development plans, through fostering a sense of ownership of the targets among the teachers, and linking their individual needs to those of the organisation and to overall improvement, then they are likely to become more motivated (Middlewood 1997) thus increasing the likelihood of effective implementation. To motivate teachers to greater effort during innovations however requires that incentive schemes be carefully planned (Croxson, B & Atkinson, A 2001; Burgess et al, 2000).
If I return to the Barbadian context, the reality of teachers in edutech schools is that despite the need for new skills and personal changes and adjustments, while there are plans for teacher appraisal, formal incentives programmes are not yet in place. Whereas the School Project Team (SPT) received allowances for initial training, four years into the implementation process, there have been no salary increases, or formal incentives to make this reform work. ICT coordinators continue to receive only their normal monthly salary and computer champions have sacrificed much time and effort without extrinsic reward. These appear then to be propelled by motives external to the formal management strategy. This seems to support Evans-Andres (1996) who found that in the absence of formal incentives, teachers responded to multiple expectations that emerged informally i.e. leadership activities of the principal and ‘computer champions’, monitoring strategies, availability of equipment, peer group pressure, and a sense of responsibility to parents and students. Some of these factors are discussed below to determine their possible contribution to the Barbadian reform effort.
Leadership “Leaders who are seen to be sharing the pain of the change process endear themselves to their subordinates, who in turn are more willing to follow and support that lead. The leader … must be a principal change agent-the initiator, part coordinator, and participant in the change process.” (Worrell, D. 1999) Effective leadership is thought to be fundamental in the change process (Day et al, 2000).and is defined and driven by individual value systems rather than managerial concerns. During innovations effective leaders are required to be “transformational change masters” having the ability to envision the change and facilitate its transition into tangible concrete terms. They must demonstrate enthusiasm and concern for change and communicate expectations and standards to teachers. It is important that these skills be applied in the larger context surrounding the innovation process and should consists of the ability to conceive , construct and convert into behaviour a new view of organisational reality. (Kanter, 1983) Therefore leaders must be capable of advising, supporting, and engaging in problem solving and enhancing the instructional qualities of the school (Hall & Hord, 1987; Friedkin & Slater, 1994) thus influencing school performance and student achievement (Hall & Hord 1987). Other strategies which transformational change masters apply include creating instructional focus, developing teacher collaboration teams, identification of best practices, designing intensive professional development, engaging support and implementing internal accountability plans, and aligning resources, i.e. time, people and money. Research further indicates that teachers are more inclined to integrate technology in their classrooms if the school leaders, particularly the Principal encourage and support them (Brummelhius & Plomp, 1993; Pelgrum, 1993) and demonstrate a positive attitude to computing. It seems also that teachers use innovations more when they know that the Principal and other senior staff are monitoring them and are taking an interest in their innovative practices (Evans-Andres (1996); Hall, Hord & Griffin (1980). Conversely, if they believe they were not monitored they tended not to use the technology
Such strategies appeal directly to teachers need for responsibility and self respect. Furthermore they are likely to achieve a sense of accomplishment as they achieve the goals assigned to them. Day et al (2001) suggest that giving others real responsibility and developing them is the best way of achieving improvement and adoption of innovations Thus they suggest that inasmuch as schools need to be led by individuals who make a difference, that overarching leadership has to be replicated throughout every aspect of school life. Summary
Since ICT integration represents an improvement to teaching and learning strategies, it is hereby suggested that leaders encourage development in ICT skills and integration strategies, and leadership among teachers and demonstrate enthusiasm and practical use, in order to motivate them. Although the leadership efforts of computer champions and specialists can stimulate interests among faculty members thus impacting motivation, the role of the principal remains critical (Evans-Andres, 1996). Notwithstanding, the motivational effect of these informal factors, Evans-Andres (1996) cautions they are inadequate for influencing the consistent change that ICT requires. Because the dynamics surrounding motivation to integrate computers are many, it appears that no one factor can exert enough influence to assume primacy in the change process Therefore wide variations in behavioural responses of teachers are likely as innovative expectations are negotiated and renegotiated. Thus she states; “Whereas some teachers might embrace computing in response to motivational factors that they find particularly influential and rewarding, others, for whom these factors were less salient, may develop strategies that enable them to mediate or avoid computing.” (Evans- Andres, M. 1996:17)
It is therefore essential that strategies appropriate in individual or organizational context be selected to motivate reform.
Summary & Conclusions The strategies for motivating teachers towards ICT integration share many commonalities with those for motivating staff generally. However some peculiarities emerged from teacher motivations as public sector workers and the fact that they are forced to grapple with external, multifaceted, complicated and challenging changes which appear impossible to accomplish with available resources.
It has been suggested that although primarily motivated by intrinsic factors, it is possible to propel teachers towards reform goals through incorporation of extrinsic motivators. Goal theory and expectancy theory were identified as useful theoretical constructs capable of explaining teacher motivation and helping to devise appropriate strategies for adopting reform. The need for identification of clear goals to direct teacher behaviour towards ICT integration was stressed. In the light of subjective realities these goals should appeal to teachers’ needs, concerns, and values, underlying beliefs about education and learning, and daily realities. Other strategies appealing to the intrinsic needs included PD models which gave teachers responsibility for their own learning, encouraged collaboration and peer tutoring which were likely to encourage discussion and adoption of ICT.
Other recommendations for motivating teachers towards ICT integration included building ownership by involving them in change plans and processes (Dalin et al 1993), informing them about changes and increasing dissemination of information while making a compelling case for the change. Additionally pre-implementation and ongoing professional development which includes peer support, peer coaching, teacher leaders such that teachers themselves are responsible for determining, planning, implementing, and evaluating their learning experiences may also prove effective in motivation. Overall, focus should be on changing belief systems about methods of instruction and learning, and on improving practice through integrating the new technology. It is important also that personal and psychological support for change be provided by policy makers and principals (Clarke 1994).
It was suggested also that effective leadership by Principals, computer champions, ICT coordinators, senior management etc be central to the implementation process, and emphasise development of individuals and the creation of leaders throughout the system. The role of leaders in building support was considered critical, particularly in encouraging skill development, thus influencing changes in underlying belief systems; and also in facilitating communication between teachers, experts and other concerned persons such that best practices are identified and adopted. Principals may propel the change by showing interest in teachers, encouraging collaboration, identification of, and transfer of best practices among their staff.
In terms of incentives, it was recommended that management ensure application of the right balance of intrinsic and extrinsic rewards. Adequately designed formal evaluation systems which are tied to performance related pay or other rewards, and reflective of individual worth in the organisation may also be included as part of performance based management. Through a focus on the targets associated with the ICT integration, and an emphasis on action research, teachers may be encouraged to think about their own practice and ways of improving and thus be motivated to improve. Notwithstanding this emphasis on personal effort it also seems important that there be a system of monitoring to ensure that teachers are actually attempting to integrate ICT as individuals will vary in their levels of needs and motivation. Conclusion This presentation examined strategies for teacher motivation in relation to ICT integration in Barbadian schools. It was argued that apparent teachers’ reluctance to change was not necessarily a character trait but was encouraged by seemingly perpetual externally initiated, unpredictable, multidimensional educational reforms occurring simultaneously, without suitable rewards. The lack of consultation during initiation seemed to influence the responses of Barbadian teachers, who have been slow to integrate the technology. Inasmuch as there were pre-implementation efforts at PD, the unattractive nature and inadequacy of training meant that appropriate skills for integration remained undeveloped, and meanings, unclear. Furthermore, given that training was optional and increments and rewards for completion absent, teachers lacked enthusiasm for investing time in training or integration in their classrooms. Additionally, although schools were equipped with computer technologies, recurring technical problems rendered them unavailable, thus de-motivating some teachers. Whereas plans were designed to affect transmission of knowledge within schools, the workloads of experts did not facilitate its realisation, thus impacting on leadership.
Finally, inasmuch as initial efforts at implementing the ICT component of ESEP lacked suitable motivational strategies, the above suggestions may prove meaningful in the future. Through appropriate application, administrators can significantly boost the morale of teachers in phase one schools. The ‘test and fix’ approach, which the MEYC is using in the implementation means that there is some chance for improved motivation in the future phases and rejuvenation of phase one teachers.
Notwithstanding, it appears that urgent attention is needed to eliminate technical problems which have complicated the issue. If opportunity is not taken to rectify these debilitating problems, then it would seem that administrators may have to use undesirable measures to ensure goal attainment. Unless drastic changes are made to the system of evaluation or tangible rewards offered, teachers may continue to do things the way they always have. The demands of this reform are far too many and the complexities too great to achieve maximal output in the absence of meaningful and sustained motivational strategies. Appendix 1
Source: MEYC (1998), Edutech 2000, An Educational Policy Framework For Barbados: Living, Learning And Doing Business In The 21st Century
Teacher Training: Includes initial in-service, site based training for all teachers in the system within the seven years, in various areas including, child centred learning, special needs education, and the integration of IT into the teaching and learning process. NB that in the initial plan this training was to occur in the first five years. The proposal was made for the use of a training of trainers (fan) model based on the “multiplier effect” principle for the integration of IT in the schools. The trainers would include education officers, Erdiston tutors , audio-visual aids officers, peripatetic teachers and members of the school’s IT leadership team (SILT). Before the first term of the 1998/99-year the SILTs from the 15 demonstration schools and all of these other persons were to receive 360 hours of training. Some fifty persons, apart from the SILTs will be trained as school and subject matter advisors whose role will include assisting principals in planning and managing the change processes in their schools and helping staff in general to integrate the technology in their various disciplines.
Focus areas for training includes: - • Development of a clearly articulated conceptual and pedagogical framework • Acquisition of pedagogical IT skills, understanding and knowledge • Development of skills and competencies for educational leadership
The summary of the training content can be found in table A-D. For further details; refer to ESEP Training Manual Draft. May 2001 .This may be obtained from the MEYC or from Erdiston teachers college
ICT in education The evidence of the impact of ICT in education is strengthening daily. Evidence shows that it can play a major role in meeting individual needs and aspirations Research carried out by the British Educational Communications and Technology Agency (BECTa) shows positive correlations between achievement and the quality of ICT provision in schools. A 1997 Keele University study showed how ICT in education can motivate all pupils, particularly the disaffected.
Felder, R. M. (1996) notes that computerized instruction can provide a rich array of experiences for students outside the classroom (or in a learning center). It can be used to supplement traditional instruction or as an alternate approach to a unit. According to the DFES “It can transform the way that education is delivered and open the way to a new pedagogy. It can make it easier for teachers to plan and to find high quality materials, and it can help pupils to find out more about the subjects they are studying. Critically, new technology can enable teachers to tailor their teaching more closely to the abilities of individual pupils. High quality online materials mean that pupils and teachers have access to good resources across the curriculum, and make it possible to deliver minority subjects effectively and more widely.” (See schools achieving success report at http://www.dfes.gov.uk/achievingsuccess/index.shtml
Challenges of using ICT in Education • Requires retraining which is expensive • Is very time consuming to develop and to prepare and not much time concessions are provided Felder, R. M. • Without adequate training or exposure, teachers will not be able to select the right alternatives to match individual learning styles or curriculum objectives
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