Using computers in education: A concerns-based approach to professional development for teachers

  • David H. McKinnon Charles Sturt University-Mitchell
  • Patrick C. J. Nolan Massey University


During 1987, 1988 and 1989 a secondary schools curriculum research and development project, called the Freyberg Integrated Studies Project was conducted in New Zealand. The project progressively developed and field tested new types of integrated curricula across Grades 8 to 11 as an alternative to the traditional approach. Within these curricula out of class activities, integrated curriculum materials and computer applications all play a key role.

The paper reports on the computer aspect of the professional development programme. Specific topics include: contextual information regarding computers and staffing; early professional development endeavours; the reasons for and the results of applying the Concerns-Based Adoption Model; factors that inhibit and support innovation adoption, and; implications and conclusions. Involvement in the Project presented the teachers with a complexity of demands. The CBAM provided diagnostic information for the structuring of professional development activities. Interventions were designed to reduce teachers' Self Concerns so that higher order Impact Concerns would emerge enabling teachers to develop and implement practices which would lead to more effective educational uses of computers. Results indicate that Self Concerns have progressively diminished and teachers appear willing to investigate and experiment with computer applications in education. Implications for providers of computer inservice programmes are discussed.


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How to Cite
McKinnon, D. H., & Nolan, P. C. J. (1989). Using computers in education: A concerns-based approach to professional development for teachers. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 5(2).