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|Title:||Supporting IT in Hong Kong secondary schools : the role of Head of Computer Studies|
|Authors:||Lai, Yiu Chi|
|Presented at:||University of Leicester|
|Abstract:||Many educators and policy makers believe that technology is an essential tool in reforming schools. The recent IT policies for Hong Kong schools not only have facilitated changes in teaching and learning, but have also created an impact on teachers. As a teacher educator in the field of IT education and formerly the head of computer studies in a secondary school, the researcher has observed that many heads of computer studies are now working under high pressure and often question their role in school, especially from the aspect of supporting IT in school. The main purpose of this study is to explore the changing role of the head of computer studies in secondary schools under the impact of IT policies and especially their perceived role in supporting IT in school. As role theory is used as the main theoretical underpinning of the research, another aim of the study is to explore the usefulness of role theory in studying the role of the head of computer studies. This study adopted combined methods but used the qualitative approach as the main approach. In the first phase of the data collecting stage, some heads of computer studies were asked to keep a diary for a week or a teaching cycle. The data were analyzed and categorized to find the daily tasks handled by the head of computer studies, identifying those which were IT-related. The findings helped describe the profile of the head of computer studies in secondary schools. In the second phase, an extensive survey was conducted to obtain a general understanding of the school factors and perceptions of the heads of computer studies. Finally, in-depth interviews were conducted to deepen the understanding of the perceptions of the head of computer studies and the IT-related activities carried out in school. The questions were based on the diary and survey findings in the previous stages. The findings of this study provide an increased understanding of the role of middle managers in supporting IT in Hong Kong secondary schools. The findings of this study have practical significance. An increased knowledge of perception of the role of the head of computer studies may help policy makers and senior managers to allocate the duties related to using IT in school. Furthermore, the identification of tasks handled by the head of computer studies helps us understand the nature and extent of the changing role of a subject leader under the impact of new IT policies. Ultimately, the knowledge of the role of the head of computer studies can help us plan the strategies for a successful implementation of IT in school. The results of this study also show that role theory is useful in understanding the role of middle managers in school. Besides, the contingency approach may also be helpful to analyse different factors affecting the role of head of computer studies in secondary school and is an area to be explored in the future. The results therefore will add to the growing body of literature on the role of head of computer studies and especially the management role in supporting IT in education.|
|Rights:||Copyright © the author. All rights reserved.|
|Appears in Collections:||Theses, School of Education|
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