Addressing Barriers to Technology Diffusion

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This article was downloaded by: [DUT Library]On: 04 October 2014, At: 10:20Publisher: RoutledgeInforma Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954 Registered office: Mortimer House,37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH, UKJournal of Information Technology for TeacherEducationPublication details, including instructions for authors and subscription information: Barriers to Technology DiffusionKaren Kortecamp a & william R. Croninger aa University of New England , Biddeford, USAPublished online: 13 Nov 2006.To cite this article: Karen Kortecamp & william R. Croninger (1996) Addressing Barriers to Technology Diffusion, Journal ofInformation Technology for Teacher Education, 5:1-2, 71-82To link to this article: SCROLL DOWN FOR ARTICLETaylor & Francis makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of all the information (the Content) contained in thepublications on our platform. 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Terms & Conditions of access and use can be found at of Information Technology for Teacher Education, Vol. 5, Nos 1/2, 1996Addressing Barriers to Technology DiffusionKAREN KORTECAMP & WILLIAM R. CRONINGERUniversity of New England, Biddeford, USAABSTRACT In this paper we present a model for overcoming the significantbarriers encountered by a small teacher education program in its effort tointegrate technology within its curriculum. At the University of New England,teacher education faculty have succeeded in overcoming these impedimentsby collaborating with faculty in other programs of the institution. The modelillustrates lessons learned over a period of four years as we moved from ourinitial 'one step at a time' plan to the current strategy. This successful modeldetails our efforts to garner administrative and financial support, acquirehardware and software, provide opportunities for training and education, anddevelop technology rich learning experiences for our students.IntroductionChange in education is shaped by a number of forces, some ofwhich facilitate and some of which deflect or impede the process.(Zaltman et al, 1977)In a small teacher education program, significant barriers must be overcometo acheive technology diffusion. At the University of New England (UNE), themost challenging barriers have been the high cost associated with acquiring,maintaining and upgrading technology and the amount of time, commitmentand support needed to assist faculty in becoming proficient in teaching withand about technology.In our case, teacher education faculty have succeeded in overcomingthese impediments by collaborating with faculty in other programs of theinstitution. This is not to suggest that the road to change has been smooth.On the contrary, there have been many occasions when it seemed that fornearly every step forward we first took three steps backward. We have foundthat careful planning combined with education and training are essential ingarnering the support needed to bring about widespread and effective use of71Downloaded by [DUT Library] at 10:20 04 October 2014 KAREN KORTECAMP & WILLIAM R. CRONINGERtechnology. Specifically, our efforts in this area have centered on acquiringhardware and software, providing opportunities for training and education,and developing technology rich learning experiences for students.Managing ChangeWhy is it that change tends to be problematic? Why does change so oftenmeet with resistance, especially in education? Generally speaking, change ineducation is shaped by the unique nature of educational systems and theorganizations involved in those systems. For this reason, formulas foreffective change are difficult to apply in all situations (Fullan, 1991). Anothertroublesome aspect of change in education arises when the motivating forcefor change is external to the institution. As an example, a common motivatingforce for change as it relates to educational technology is society's demandthat teacher preparation programs respond to the need for teachers who aretechnologically aware and able. This external force often creates discomfortand uncertainty on the part of those targeted to respond to change. This isespecially true, as in the case of technology, when proposed change carriesthe expectation that we must think and behave in new ways.Certainly there are instances when change is fairly easy toaccommodate, that is, when the obstacles to change are relativelyinsignificant A case in point is the research (Stahl, 1994) that suggests that3-5 seconds of 'wait time' can positively influence students' ability to provideappropriate responses to questions. Under these conditions, resistance isminimal. When proposed change is large in scope, is in response to outsidedemands, and requires the significant commitment of both human andfinancial resources, the odds that resistance will be a factor increase.At UNE, the voices resisting broadening our use of technology inteacher education echoed two arguments. The first was cost which includesequipment, space, and technical support The second was the lack of supportfor education and training. Not surprisingly, cost was primarily the concern ofadministration while education and training concerns emanated from faculty.Not all voices were dissenting, however. A core group of faculty interested intechnology and representing several programs joined in a collaborative effortto plan the change process and apply these changes across the institution.Early on, the efforts to establish extensive use of technology wereguided by the notion that it was best to proceed one step at a time. Theplanning group saw the first step as the acquisition of hardware and software.This was to be followed by an aggressive faculty development program. Oncesufficient numbers of teacher education faculty became knowledgeable aboutand proficient in the use of various technologies, we would provide ourstudents with technology rich learning experiences. Those of us involved inthe planning quickly realized that widespread technology use does not resultusing this fragmented approach. We have found that it is essential to garner72Downloaded by [DUT Library] at 10:20 04 October 2014 BARRIERS TO TECHNOLOGY DIFFUSIONsupport from all parties being impacted by the change in order to beeffective. This is especially true in instances in which money is a decisivefactor. Need has to be demonstrated, not just forecasted. It isn't enough toargue technology use based on what a few members of the faculty consider tobe an essential skill for all teachers.Our approach has been to move forward simultaneously on educationand training for faculty, on the development of student experiences withtechnology, and on the acquisition of equipment The reasons for this arequite simple. Implementing an aggressive faculty development program hasincreased the number of faculty on campus who support the allocation ofscarce dollars for technology classrooms, student labs, laptops, liquid crystaldisplay panels and other equipment Also, it has led to fuller integration oftechnology in teaching which, in turn, has spawned greater and moresubstantive use by students. As students benefitted from the use oftechnology in their courses, they became more vocal about the need toexpand their interactions with information technologies and the need tocontinually upgrade facilities and equipment. Collectively, faculty andstudents have made a strong case for change on our campus.Faculty DevelopmentThe size of the institution and scarcity of dollars has made designing a modelfor faculty development in information technologies at UNE particularlychallenging. The planning group began by reviewing the literature andsearching for models which could be applied. In some ways, what we foundreassured us that our situation was not unique. Historically, facultydevelopment has never been a priority item in the budgets of Americancolleges and universities. Until the 1970s, the primary purpose of facultydevelopment programs was promoting traditional scholarship e.g., reading,writing, and study. Generally, support took the form of time-off or travelfunds so that faculty could pursue their own interests. The impetus forexpanding faculty development activities aimed at improving teachingcompetencies arose from criticism of teaching by college students on severalcampuses in the 1960s (Elbe & McKeachie, 1985). Lunde & Healy (1991)describe the continued evolution of faculty development:Over the past fifteen years, the phrase 'faculty development' hasemerged as the umbrella term for most faculty-centered approaches, atleast general usage. It stands for a collection of those activities designedto encourage the faculty members to improve and to grow by makingplanned changes in their expertise, skills, attitudes, career path, orpersonal lives for the betterment of the individual, the students, and theinstitution, (p. 2)While we had a better understanding of faculty development generally, wewere unable to find a 'quick fix' that would address all of our needs. The73Downloaded by [DUT Library] at 10:20 04 October 2014 KAREN KORTECAMP & WILLIAM R. CRONINGERmodel for faculty development in information technologies which wedeveloped grows out of our enhanced understanding of what is effective andwhat we consider our strengths within the institution.The ModelThe model consists of five components which overlap and are ongoing:familiarization with hardware and software, partnering with mentors,developing personal projects, and becoming mentors. Keeping current withnew advances in technology and new knowledge about teaching and learningis integral to the program and impacts on all components. Though it maysuggest a linear progression from one component to the next, the model isnot limited in this way. For instance, it is not necessary to attend initialworkshops in order to link up with a mentor who assists in the developmentof a personal project or to become a mentor.In constructing the model, distinctions were made between training andeducation. The term training is commonly used to define all activitiesassociated with professional development and, in particular, those related tolearning information technologies. While 'technology training' has analliterative appeal, not all professional development activities can accuratelybe called training. According to Pulliam and Patten (1994), "Trainingperpetuates existing information and reinforces current trends. It is usually amemorization/regurgitation, short-term method of learning". Education, onthe other hand, involves the study of what is known in order to facilitate newquestions and new answers. During industrialization, training was an asset.In the communication era, training does not equip learners to makedecisions, solve problems, or think creatively and critically.Both training and education are necessary in learning fully how toutilize technology in teaching. In our model, familiarization with hardwareand software is a training component Though the partnering with mentors,project development, and becoming mentors components may require sometraining, the emphasis in each is on educating faculty. It is essential toprovide activities which encourage faculty to share sources of information,risk making mistakes, and cooperatively analyze and solve problems. Theseare, after all, competencies we want to see in our pre-service teachers.Faculty and administrator response to the program has been verypositive, yet obtaining financial support continues to be a struggle. We wereassisted in all phases of technology diffusion following an assessment of theuniversity's information systems by an outside firm. The report indicates thatthe university is seriously deficient in its budgeting and planning formaintaining and upgrading information technologies. In response to thisreport administrators pledged a significant increase in the portion of thebudget allocated to information technology. A major share of the monies wasdedicated to increasing computer services staff in support of faculty74Downloaded by [DUT Library] at 10:20 04 October 2014 BARRIERS TO TECHNOLOGY DIFFUSIONdevelopment needs. Because faculty development is the scaffold necessary tosupport teacher education faculty in their efforts to model the use oftechnology in teaching and learning, we view this as a major step inadvancing our program.FamiliarizationThis phase of the model is a two step process. The initial step is to informfaculty about the technologies which are available. Currently, these include acomputer enhanced teaching space and two mobile LCD projection stationsfor use in any classroom. A second enhanced teaching space is a multimediaclassroom that offers audio and video projection and laserdisc and compactdisc-read only memory (CD-ROM) players. In addition, this classroom offersaccess to the campus local area network as well as to distant electronicbulletin boards via modem. Internet access is available in some faculty officesand in the library.A 'show and tell approach' has proven effective in stimulating facultyinterest in learning about and using technology equipment and enhancedteaching spaces. Faculty participation in these sessions is viewed as a criticalfirst step in bringing about the infusion of technology in the pre-serviceprogram. Broad discussions of possible applications of technology in teachingare encouraged following demonstrations of a variety of software programsthat support the instructional process.The second step in this component of the model is a series of focusedworkshops designed to provide faculty with the competencies necessary tooperate equipment independently and maximally use teaching spaces. Writteninstructions detailing set-up and utilization accompany the spoken directionsgiven during each workshop. A trouble-shooting guide is included.Partnering with MentorsRitchie & Wiburg (1994) state that skills and knowledge gained in workshopsfrequently are not transferred to professional activity because of the lack ofongoing assistance and development. Coaching is one approach that can beused to sustain the cognitive momentum created through workshops asfaculty explore implementing new skills and knowledge in their teaching.In this third component of the model, novice users of technology arepaired with more experienced faculty who serve as mentors. The emphasis ison individual needs. Mentors assist their partners by clarifying concepts,discussing problem areas and collaborating to find workable solutions, andtutoring in the use of hardware and software. Through this process, novicefaculty gain confidence in their ability to integrate technology thoughtfully intheir teaching.75Downloaded by [DUT Library] at 10:20 04 October 2014 KAREN KORTECAMP & WILLIAM R. CRONINGERDevelopment activities initiated by the mentor or the novice maywarrant both training and education. When partnering activities focus onusing hardware and software, as in the initial workshops, the novice isreceiving training. Examples may include the acquisition of basic skills suchas connecting a laptop to the campus network or formatting a class lectureusing presentation software. As the mentoring partners engage in analyzingsoftware, applying prior learning to new situations, solving problems, andevaluating the effectiveness of those solutions, development activities centeron education. Several projects have been advanced through thenovice/mentor relationships.Personal Project DevelopmentTeacher education faculty are expanding the integration of technology in thepre-service program in a number of ways. Three common approaches taken inour program are modelling, facilitating activities that directly involvestudents, and placing our students in technology friendly field sites.Modelling the use of computers and other equipment takes place in themethods courses. In the science methods course, for example, direct teachingis supported with a visual outline of new material using the presentationprogram, Microsoft PowerPoint A more direct approach to modellinginvolves students in the process. Pre-service teachers, working in smallgroups, generate collaborative solutions to situational problems. A recordermaps the group's thinking using word processing. Each .group then presentstheir ideas to the whole class using an LCD projector and a computer. Thecontributions of each group are saved, printed, and distributed to the classfor future reference. Updating and expanding students' work is easilyaccommodated as well. The use of technology to facilitate collaboration isexperienced first-hand.Faculty have designed activities and projects that require pre-serviceteachers to use technology in meaningful ways that include the following: A semester long course in Instructional Technology designed to providehands-on instruction in the use of computers, LCD panels, video cassetterecorders, video and still cameras, CD Roms, overhead projectors andother technologies. Students learn to how to access the Internet and useword processing, graphics, animation, and presention software in preparinga multimedia presentation that illustrates the use of technology to enhanceteaching and learning. Students evaluate software in the writing, language arts, and sciencemethods courses. Several features of a variety of programs are reviewedincluding graphics, help screens, options, interactivity, content, andpossibilities for higher level thinking. Before fully judging the overalleffectiveness of programs, pre-service teachers are encouraged to explore76Downloaded by [DUT Library] at 10:20 04 October 2014 BARRIERS TO TECHNOLOGY DIFFUSIONthe programs with K-8 students in the field placement sites wheneverpossible. In a course on parents and families, students construct classroomnewsletters. Our pre-service teachers examine the use of technology as a tool forintegrating content as they develop units of study in the science methodscourse. As part of the assignment, students in the program must designlearning experiences that blend science content and other content areasusing some form of technology e.g., calculators, overhead projectors,computers, video equipment, and so on. A follow up assignment requiresthat the student implement the learning experience in a K-8 classroom.Once all students have met the requirement, the course instructorfacilitates a discussion of the benefits and difficulties associated withtechnology use in the classroom.Of the five components in the model, the development of personal projectshas been the most constrained by limited resources. A proposal submitted infall of 1993 for a Macintosh teaching lab was originally denied funding.Teacher education faculty had planned extensive use of this proposed space.A revised proposal for a Macintosh cluster consisting of three computers andsoftware was funded. These Macintosh computers were used to establish a'developer1 area with the co-operation of the university media center. Thecampus local area network (LAN) was extended to this space.To facilitate the use of technology by our pre-service teachers we arepresently working on the creation of a set of templates in HyperCard andHyperStudio. These templates will serve as a background for student projectsin content areas such as science and history. Each template is an electronic'canvas' upon which the student could place the graphics and text necessaryto develop a topic. Graphics could include still pictures or Quicktime movieswhile text could be in written or spoken form. The major advantage to thesetemplates is to decrease the amount of computer programming pre-servicestudents need to learn.The design of the templates will require that we automate theplacement of the graphical components. Rather than learning programmingthe student will need only to select "create graphic" from a menu, select thegraphic from a list, and then drag it to the desired location on the template.The template itself should then add the scripting necessary to automate theappearance and location of that graphic. The templates will serve to decreasethe 'cognitive load' incurred by students attempting to evaluate theusefulness of technology in teaching. Hooper (1990) writes that "activeinvolvement by students in manipulating information is key to their successin learning". Evaluative reports written by first year faculty involved in amultimedia project, identified improvement in their ability to sequence, use ofgraphical information, and ability to present verbal information more clearlyas outcomes of their experience (Todd, 1993).77Downloaded by [DUT Library] at 10:20 04 October 2014 KAREN KORTECAMP & WILLIAM R CRONINGERClearly, as faculty devise strategies for integrating technology inmethods courses the stress is on educating pre-service teachers. Attention iscentered on how to enrich teaching and learning experiences throughtechnology use rather than how to set up equipment. The computerapplications course that all program students are required to take prior toenrolling in the methods courses addresses most of the training needs ofstudents. However, in some cases, instructors in methods courses have takenon the role of trainers, particularly when specific software (ie., HyperCard &Microsoft PowerPoint) is required.In the development of all of the projects described, the support of amentor was critical. The mentors shared knowledge with novices or learners,made learners feel more comfortable with technology, coached learners topursue personal development interests, and collaborated with learners insolving problems as they arose.Becoming MentorsThe two most important characteristics necessary to become a mentor areknowledge of specific technology use and a willingness to share thatknowledge with other faculty. The second characteristic implies that thementor is willing to give time and energy in support of someone else'sprofessional development Compensation is mostly intrinsic since there is nota budget to support the program, though mentoring is recognized as service..In the first year of the program, three members of the academiccomputing committee volunteered to serve as mentors. Since the level ofinvolvement and commitment of time vary with each project and because theinitial number of faculty being served by the program, is small, this numberhas been sufficient to get the program off the ground. As demand increases,however, a larger pool of knowledgeable faculty is required. More than halfof the faculty who have participated in the program as learners haveexpressed a willingness to serve as mentors for others. In certain cases, thishas already occurred. One faculty member in teacher education has beenassisting another in developing a computer generated presentation for aseminar class of co-operating teachers and teacher interns.As with other components of the model, there is a need for bothtraining and education in order to serve as a mentor. Opportunities for allmentors and their partners to come together to share ideas and experiencesare provided by the academic computing committee. These meetings promotereflection and encourage learners to attempt new projects on their own.Keeping CurrentThe pace of technological advancement and its relatively high cost challengeeven the most committed users to keep current. Our strategy has been to78Downloaded by [DUT Library] at 10:20 04 October 2014 BARRIERS TO TECHNOLOGY DIFFUSIONbuild on the strength of a collaborative approach. A committee structurewhich focuses solely on technology has been established to provide linkagesbetween administrators, faculty, and students. The committees function tomake recommendations regarding policies, technical support, facultydevelopment, and equipment and software.Acquiring, Maintaining and Upgrading TechnologyAs mentioned earlier, the initial effort to acquire hardware and softwarebegan in 1993 with the formation of a small group of faculty interested inplanning, obtaining budgetary support and constructing a technologyenhanced classroom (Kortecamp & Croninger, 1994). During this process welearned that a global or university-wide plan did not exist for the integrationof technology. Using a set of published guidelines (Apple, 1991) weestablished the Academic Computer Advisory Committee (ACAC) as astanding committee under the UNE Faculty Senate. This committee isrepresentative of technology using faculty across the campus. Advising thecommittee in a non-voting status are representatives from computer servicesand administration.Initially the committee held a series of open forums, attended by faculty,staff and administrators in an effort to delineate the state of campuscomputing. From these forums came the formation of an administrativecomputer advisory committee. The two committees successfully petitionedsenior administrators to support a campus-wide technology audit The resultsof this audit have had a significant impact on our efforts to develop along-range technology plan.Recommendations of the consultant group were crucial in gainingsupport to conduct a survey of faculty computing in late 1995. Our surveygathered information on the hardware and software available in facultyoffices, how computers were being used, and faculty perceptions of futuretrends and needs regarding technology.Approximately 85% of faculty surveyed responded. Some of what wasrevealed confirmed that, as a campus, we are still a long way from where we'dlike to be: 9% of full time faculty are without computer access. Computer Services is currently being asked to support at least 10 differentbrands and/or models of computers. There is a wide disparity between academic departments in terms of thetechnology available. There are the 'haves' and the 'have-nots'. Somedepartments have the newest and fastest platforms while otherdepartments only have a few very old computers.The study assisted ACAC in further clarifying technology needs on campus.The committee was able to develop and recently secure funding for an initialfive year plan. Faculty computers will be replaced on a five year rotation.79Downloaded by [DUT Library] at 10:20 04 October 2014 KAREN KORTECAMP & WILLIAM R. CRONINGERPriority in the initial year will be those faculty who are without a computer orwho need an upgrade. A budget line for computer and peripheralrepair/replacement has been established. Computer services will receivefunding for an academic support technician, dedicated to faculty and studentneeds. Finally, to support the needs of students in teacher education, alliedhealth and environmental science, a second computer enhancedclassroom-lab equipped with 20 Power-Mac level machines will be builtThe committee continues to work with computer services to increasethe ability of faculty and students to access the Internet for research andcommunication. We are particularly excited by the emergence of a group ofstudent technology activists previously unseen on this campus. This group isnow in the process of formalizing its membership and will soon sendrepresentation to the ACAC.Developing a Campus-wide Plan for Technology IntegrationGiven the rate at which technology has evolved in the last decade, even themost advanced users find staying abreast of innovations in hardware andsoftware quite challenging. For this reason a Campus Wide Plan is crucial ifwe are to continue to integrate technology successfully. As an outgrowth oftechnology audit recommendations, a capstone panel, the InstructionalTechnology Policy Committee, was formed. This committee is charged withmonitoring trends in information technologies, developing a long range planfor ongoing integration of technology, and formulating policies to guide thebudgeting of funds for technology.In reality this policy committee has not been effective. A possibleexplanation is that neither the academic nor administrative committees havebeen charged with reporting to the policy committee. Currently, access tosenior administrators is gained through the Director of Information Serviceswho participates in the meetings of both the administrative and academiccommittees. Lacking the broad perspective and integration of thoughts andactions the policy committee could provide, we continue to be without aglobal campus plan. Integration is taking place, but relies on an informalpassing of information between members of the two active committees. Thereis a danger that, should the information flow be interrupted, the twosubcommittees could be working at odds.ConclusionA summary of this work is best expressed in terms of what we've learned inour endeavor to make technology use in teacher education and across ourcampus effective and widespread. In a short period of time, we have come toknow that technology diffusion isn't a lock-step process consisting of neatlyorganized and separate procedures. Rather, it is a dynamic process influenced80Downloaded by [DUT Library] at 10:20 04 October 2014 BARRIERS TO TECHNOLOGY DIFFUSIONby numerous environmental, human and financial factors. Careful planning isessential to bringing about effective change and achieving desired outcomes.Our desire to develop a long range comprehensive plan for technologydiffusion has not yet been met However, we have met with surprising successin meeting immediate needs.The process of change demands that planners demonstrate a high levelof commitment. We believe that integrating technology in teacher educationprograms is a necessity, not a luxury. Effectively applying technology is highon the list of what beginning teachers should know and be able to do intoday's classrooms. Those who enter the job market without the requisiteskills and knowledge will be at a distinct disadvantage. Also, the resistancethat arises in response to large scale change requires that planners exhibitflexibility in their thinking, and are able to tolerate ambiguity and resolveconflicts.Our experience points to a critical, but often neglected factor ineffectively diffusing technology - faculty development The components inour model, familiarization with hardware and software, partnering withmentors, developing personal projects, becoming mentors, and keepingcurrent with new knowledge and technological innovations allow us to meetfaculty needs in a cost efficient manner. Although the program is new,indications are that it effectively supports faculty as they initiate andimplement projects that utilize technology in the methods courses. Many ofthe activities in which faculty partners and pre-service students participatecombine aspects of training and education.A final point is that gaining support for large scale change is enhancedby data that speak directly to the needs for change. The recommendations ofan outside consulting company and our internal survey of faculty helpedmove administrators past arguing that money couldn't be found to arguingthat money must be found. Gaining faculty and student support for changewas facilitated by involving them in the process and through education andtraining that addressed both group and individual needs.CorrespondenceBill Croninger, University of New England, Hills Beach Road, Biddeford,Maine 04005, USA (, K.E. & McKeachie, WJ. (1985) Improving Undergraduate Education ThroughFaculty Development. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Fullan, M. (1991) The New Meaning of Educational Change. New York: TeachersCollege Press.81Downloaded by [DUT Library] at 10:20 04 October 2014 KAREN KORTECAMP & WILLIAM R. CRONINGERHooper, K. (1990). HyperCard: a key to educational computing, in S. Ambron. &K. Hooper (Eds) Learning with Interactive Multimedia. Redmond: MicrosoftPress.Kortecamp, K. & Croninger, W. (1994) Enhancing the integration of technology inpreservice education through building a technology classroom, in J. Willis,B. Robin & D. Willis (Eds) Technology and Teacher Education Annual, 1994.Charlottesville: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education.Lunde, J.P. & Healy, M.M. (1991) Doing Faculty Development by Committee.Stillwater: The Professional & Organizational Development Network in HigherEducation.Pulliam, J. D. & Van Patten, J. (1994) History of Education in America. EnglewoodCliffs: Prentice-Hall.Ritchie, D. & Wiburg, K. (1994) Educational variables influencing technologyintegration, Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 2, pp. 143-153.Stahl, R. (1994). Using "think-time" and "wait-time" skillfully in the classroom.(ERIC Document Reproduction Service: ED370885).Todd, N. (1993) Motivating University Faculty to Integrate Multimedia intoClassroom Presentations, in Hermann Maurer (Ed) Educational Multimediaand Hypermedia Annual 1993. Charlottesville: Association for theAdvancement of Computing in Education.Zaltman, G., Florio, D. & Sikorski, L. (1976) Dynamic Educational Change. NewYork: The Free Press.82Downloaded by [DUT Library] at 10:20 04 October 2014