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A Critical Investigation of the Experiences of Primary School Teachers’ in the U.K., Who Use Edivate.

Tatters, Melvyn (2019) A Critical Investigation of the Experiences of Primary School Teachers’ in the U.K., Who Use Edivate. EdD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

This thesis critically examines Edivate, one of the largest online websites for teachers’ professional development. It is an American website, which is used throughout the USA, and in a growing number of other countries. The research reported in this thesis critically examines teachers’ use of Edivate in a U.K. school. The need for this research was identified due to the changing context within the school, and the need to find alternative ways for teachers to develop themselves and meet their desires for more personalised professional development. Using Edivate provided an opportunity to explore a possible online solution for teachers’ professional development. The aim, therefore, was to understand the barriers and opportunities of using Edivate, including how it affected teachers’ perceptions of their practice. The sample included seven teachers from the school in which I am the headteacher, who taught ages ranging from Early Years to Year Six. Each teacher had a varying level of technological ability and experiences with online professional development. These participants formed a community of practice focus group whereby participatory action research was used to review, plan, and implement actions regarding their use of Edivate. Thematic analysis was chosen to analyse data collected from interviews, questionnaires and group discussions. Findings from the data analysis revealed five themes that impacted on teachers’ use of Edivate and their perceptions of their practice. These included: motivation, relevance of materials, time, navigation issues, and cultural and language barriers. These themes, I argue, are linked to the design of the website which influenced the participants’ overall experience of using online professional development. Finally, this thesis suggests recommendations for schools that are considering using Edivate to help address some of the barriers encountered. These include adopting a ‘blended’ approach to meet the needs of teachers who prefer a combination of both face-to-face and online approaches to professional development.

Item Type: Thesis (EdD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > School of Education (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.789525
Depositing User: Dr Melvyn Tatters
Date Deposited: 23 Oct 2019 15:09
Last Modified: 23 Dec 2019 11:05
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/25088

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