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Talking story : using narrative analysis to explore identity in middle school technology innovation

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Item Summary

Title:Talking story : using narrative analysis to explore identity in middle school technology innovation
Authors:MacLeod, Maureen Amber
Keywords:middle school
Date Issued:Aug 2011
Publisher:[Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [August 2011]
Abstract:This dissertation examines the influence of professional identity on educators' understanding of technology innovation. The study draws on research on narrative sensemaking (Bruner 1990; Czarniawska 1997), storytelling (Boje 1991a; Brown et. al. 2009; Clandinin and Connelly 1996), communities of practice (Wenger 1999) and identity (Ashforth et. al. 1989; Wenger 1999).
Interviews were conducted with teachers, administrators and technology specialists in the middle school (grades 6-8) at an independent school, chosen because of its recent investment in and commitment to transformational technology innovation.
Building on Mishler's (1986) and Riessman's (1993) narrative analysis methods, 20 indepth interviews were analyzed using a whole story narrative analysis method. Story themes were identified that highlighted how educators made sense of the school's efforts to promote technology innovation in the classroom and their own experiences with it. Four distinct identity perspectives ("identity lenses") were identified. This analysis illustrated how an identity lens draws together aspects of professional work, interactions with colleagues, perceptions of organizational events and perspectives about technology in the classroom, as individuals make sense of technology innovation in their professional lives. Professional identity is transitional and negotiated constantly (Wenger 1999), particularly during periods of technology innovation (Barrett and Walsham 1999; Lamb and Davidson 2005). Four organizational values were identified as significant organizational exchanges through which individuals negotiated their professional identity related to the school's technology initiatives.
This study contributes to our understanding of how professional identity influences individuals' interpretations of and participation with technology innovations. It demonstrates how narrative analysis of stories of technology innovation can be employed to understand how individuals make sense of technology changes in their professional lives. Implications for practice include the recognition of diverse perspectives ("identity lenses") related to technology innovation, which influence how individuals interpreted and related to technology innovation projects. Studying participants' stories highlighted how opportunities for "low-risk" experimentation allowed educators to find success with technology innovation. The support of knowledgeable technology professionals, who have teaching experience themselves, also emerged as an important enabler for such experimentation.
Description:Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2011.
Includes bibliographical references.
Appears in Collections: Ph.D. - Communication and Information Sciences

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