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Sustaining the use of ICT for Student-Centred Learning: A Case Study of Technology Leadership in a Singapore ICT-Enriched Primary School

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posted on 2013-03-27, 13:11 authored by Yancy Toh
Policymakers who have invested in the use of ICT in education are often motivated by its promise to realise pedagogical innovations. However, the unrelenting gap between the promise and performance of ICT has continued to prompt further research into how the affordances of technology can be better harnessed in schools. This three-year qualitative case study hopes to shed light into this matter by looking at the: 1) ecological factors of how an ICT-enriched primary school in Singapore had been using technology to support the pedagogical reform for student-centred learning; 2) conditions that led to its sustained use of technology for this purpose. Complexity theory was employed as the analytical framework for the study. By examining the inter-connectedness of systemic influences governing the in-situ use of ICT in the exemplar school, educational leaders and policymakers can gain a holistic perspective of the factors that may promote or impede technology integration effort. Through the use of interviews, lesson and meeting observations as well as document analysis, the trajectory of the school’s ICT journey was mapped out. The development history surrounding the use of technology for teaching and learning provided a precursor to investigate how the school organisation as the unit of analysis had created favourable conditions leading to the sustainability of ICT-related innovations. Specifically, five themes had emerged: 1) continuous scanning of environment; 2) multi-pronged capacity building efforts; 3) mitigating systemic tensions amongst stakeholders; 4) shared accountability and 5) systematic pacing. Based on the findings to the study, a complexity-informed model for technology leadership, stakeholders’ dynamics and guidelines for policymaking were drawn up. The dissertation concludes with reflections on the use of complexity theory and recommendations for future research.



Ainley, Janet; Dimmock, Clive

Date of award


Awarding institution

University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • EdD



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