Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
This qualitative case study explored U.S. middle school teachers' professional development needs in Information, Communication, and Technology (ICT) literacy integration. Past literature has suggested that teachers should improve classroom practices that promote ICT literacy, but few studies have addressed educators' specific training needs. This study was designed to identify the unique professional development needs of academic teachers in a Midwestern middle school using focus groups and interviews to explore teacher perceptions of current technology usage as well as the barriers and/or facilitators of ICT literacy integration. The conceptual framework was based on Knowles's theory of adult learning, which suggested that adult learners are motivated when they understand the real applications of new information. Methodological triangulation was obtained using 3 teacher focus groups and 2 interviews with 17 academic teachers, 1 administrator, and 1 resource teacher. Transcription documents from the focus groups and interviews were color-coded to identify emerging themes. The findings revealed that the participants believed that their students currently use technology to access information, but rarely evaluate the validity of digital information. To address this deficit, a professional development plan was created with the goal of increasing teachers' ICT literacy integration skills in the area of information evaluation. This plan was designed to improve methodological practices and lead to better classroom instruction, creating positive social change by making educators better-equipped to meet the needs of their students. The local community will also benefit as students leave school better prepared to meet the demands of a technological workforce.