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Principal behaviors that influence teacher use of technology in Massachusetts

Margaret Ann Martinez, Johnson & Wales University


“America's schools must be responsive to the educational needs of a society increasingly dependent upon technology” (Zhang, 2000). Simply having an abundance of hardware and software has not integrated technology into classroom instruction, strengthened course materials, or improved communication (Harrsch, 2000). Doud & Keller (1998), Stanage (1996) and Kaufmann (1997) believe that the use of technology in a school is dependent upon the behavior of the principal with respect to technology. This study investigated specific behaviors and actions of principals in Massachusetts that contributed to teacher use of technology in and out of the classroom. Both quantitative and qualitative methods were employed. Data collection was accomplished through surveys and interviews to identify specific principal behaviors and activities that illuminate the principal's influence on technology use within a school. Three hundred and twenty principals were selected from the 1904 Massachusetts public schools using a systematic sampling method to complete the survey and to randomly disseminate five teacher surveys. The survey instruments were grounded in leadership literature that characterizes principal behaviors for successfully integrating technology and stimulating teachers' implementation of technology into the curriculum. Descriptive statistics and multiple correlation analysis were employed to analyze quantitative data. Pattern coding was employed to analyze qualitative data. The results indicate that eight specific leadership behaviors and actions practiced by Massachusetts's principals have a significant relationship to teacher use of technology in and out of the classroom. Incorporating these behaviors into professional development experiences for principals is likely, therefore, to increase their use and, consequently, lead to an increased quantity and quality of technology applications by classroom teachers.

Subject Area

Educational software|School administration

Recommended Citation

Martinez, Margaret Ann, "Principal behaviors that influence teacher use of technology in Massachusetts" (2002). Dissertation & Theses Collection. AAI3078754.