Post-print of Phelps, R, Graham, A & Thornton, P 2006, 'Technology Together: getting whole schools involved with ICT through a metacognitive approach', Australian Educational Leader, vol. 28, no. 1, pp. 22-24.
Professional development of teachers in information and communication technology (ICT) is an urgent educational imperative, presenting significant financial and strategic challenges internationally. While many teachers are now integrating ICT in innovative and educationally appropriate ways, there are still a significant number of teachers who are resistant to using technology, either personally and/or in their teaching. Moving a whole school forward as a technology-embracing school can be a significant challenge, and teacher professional development is generally seen as the ‘solution’. Research, however, emphasises the importance of positive attitudes, values, beliefs and motivation, lack of anxiety and approach to learning as key factors in adoption of ICT by teachers. These factors are less frequently addressed through traditional professional development programs. This paper argues that schools need to embrace a culture of ‘learning capability’ – an approach which emphasises ‘life-long’ computer learning; where teachers are more self-directed in embracing new technologies and integration ideas, identifying what they need to learn and in driving the actual learning. This article describes a research project in which a metacognitive approach is being trialed as an approach to supporting whole-school change in the integration of ICT and in building a culture of computer capability.