|Ph.D Thesis||Department of Education in Science and Technology|
|Supervisors:||Prof. Dori Yehudit|
|Prof. Schuster Gadi|
This research concerns the characterization and classification of the way junior-high school science and technology teachers incorporate Web-based learning environment and materials into their teaching. About 100 science and technology teachers and nine principals from 16 junior high schools in the northern part of Israel took part in an extended professional development (PD) program. The research questions were:
The study, which applied the qualitative interpretative methodology, involved multiple sources of data, including field notes of observations in the PD meetings and class observations, interviews with teachers and principals, and teachers' artifacts. Based on their professional growth and beliefs about implementation of Web-based teaching, four basic types of science and technology teachers were identified: the initiator and path-finder, the follower and conformist, the avoider, and the antagonist. Provided with long-term support, these teachers elevated their specific Web-related qualification, in general, and Web-based inquiry and the development of Web-based, learner-directed material, in particular. The level of success in the process of assimilating Web-based learning in science and technology classes was found to depend on the level of the principal’s care and involvement. Teacher team design in schools and the principal’s involvement and encouragement of her/his teachers increased Web-based teaching and gradually contributed to change in the teachers’ classroom culture as well. The teachers' types identified and characterized in this research provide a basis for predicting individual teacher's readiness and willingness to implement technological innovations in general, and Web-based inquiry teaching in particular, into the school system.