Date of Conferral

2016

Degree

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

School

Education

Advisor

Nicolae Nistor

Abstract

An internal district audit identified that a rural, socioeconomically disadvantaged Southwestern school district has a lack of congruent and consistent implementation of the Common Core State Standards in mathematics. Innovative and cost-saving avenues for professional development (PD), such as reflective blogging, foster teacher learning to reconcile the enacted curriculum with the intended curriculum. This correlational study investigated the predictive power of technology acceptance and motivation constructs on reflective mathematics teachers' social media use intention and participation in informal, virtual Communities of Practice (vCoP). The framework that guided this study is the unified acceptance and use of technology and self-determination theory. English-speaking mathematics teachers who read, comment, and write reflective blogs within informal vCoP participated in the study (n = 104), with a response rate of 26.4%. The study employed 2 data collection methods: an automated tool that measured the intensity of participation in vCoP and an online survey measuring predictive constructs. Multiple linear regression analysis identified performance expectancy, effort expectancy, and intrinsic motivation as significant predictive constructs of social media use intention. The regression identified no significant predictor constructs of social media use behavior. Study results form the basis of a blended PD module created for rural mathematics teachers on the benefits of participation in informal vCoP. This study and resulting project contribute to positive social change for rural mathematics teachers by creating an environment to encourage personal reflection and collaboration with virtual colleagues and ultimately improve mathematical instructional practices.