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Professional development activity is widely accepted as a means of effecting change and as such IT-related professional development has been recognised internationally as a key factor in helping teachers acquire IT proficiency. However, neither mandates for the integration of IT in education, nor the range of professional development activities available to teachers appear to have significantly impacted on the way or frequency with which IT is used in our schools. There is a significant body of literature attesting to low qualitative and qualitative use of IT and evidence suggests many educators are reluctant to embrace the potential afforded by digital technologies. Empirical evidence has already established the significance of beliefs for understanding teachers’ behaviour. Given this strong link, it is curious to note that most current forms of professional development neglect to acknowledge the 'mental lives' of participants and remain largely transmissive and impersonal in style. This paper draws on a longitudinal action research study in which participants’ 'mental lives' were revealed and explicitly addressed in order to support their IT use and integration into the classroom. An alternative model for professional development that acknowledges and responds to teachers’ thoughts and feelings is advocated.


Institute for Learning Sciences and Teacher Education

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Open Access Conference Paper

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Open Access