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Teacher beliefs, learning styles, and technology implementation in rural, secondary classrooms in Massachusetts

Bonny L Gifford, Johnson & Wales University


The emergence of technological innovations requires educators possess capacities to integrate technology into instructional practices to influence student learning. However, teachers experience barriers to effective technology use, including lack of confidence and negative beliefs about technology. Enhancing teachers' use of technology requires a transformation of beliefs and confidence levels. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship among teacher beliefs and attitudes, confidence levels, learning styles, and technology implementation in the classroom. A dominant less dominant design examined teachers' beliefs and attitudes, confidence, and feelings of preparedness relative to technology's role in education and specific factors, such as general support and use of software, which may influence technology implementation. The sample (N = 400) consisted of Massachusetts secondary educators from rural schools. The research utilized a technology using survey combined with Kolb's Learning Style Inventory, which yielded a 41% response rate and a group interview with seven participants representative of the sample population. Principal findings indicate teachers possess positive attitudes and beliefs relative to technology in the classroom; yet low levels of confidence and comfort integrating technology into classroom practices. Statistically significant relationships (p < .05) were observed between teachers' beliefs and attitudes about helping others solve computer problems and every level of technology integration with correlational data ranging from r (156) = .332 to r (156) = .552. A multiple regression analysis revealed teacher preparation (t = 2.07, p < .05), confidence levels (t = 2.84, p < .05), and teachers' use of software (t = 4.05, p < .05) as predictors of technology use. Findings did not indicate a statistically significant relationship between learning styles and technology integration. Findings from this study resulted in a framework of knowledge to inform efforts to enhance technology use in schools. They further suggest additional research is needed to explore various factors such as learning styles, attitudes, professional development, and confidence levels which influence technology use. It is critical that education leaders address issues identified by this research to realize technology's potential to influence teaching and learning.

Subject Area

Educational software|Teacher education

Recommended Citation

Gifford, Bonny L, "Teacher beliefs, learning styles, and technology implementation in rural, secondary classrooms in Massachusetts" (2004). Dissertation & Theses Collection. AAI3124558.