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Title: The missing link : a critical perspective on the role of Heads of Department in relation to Information Communications Technology and UK Secondary Schools
Author: Barker, Katrina S.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7653 8296
Awarding Body: Queen Mary University of London
Current Institution: Queen Mary, University of London
Date of Award: 2018
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Since its inception in the 1980s digital technology is considered to be at the heart of contemporary education in the developed world, supported by national ICT strategies and exponentially rising levels of public funding. Yet the promised educational transformation, as measured by learning outcomes, has arguably failed to materialise, while developing countries continue to emulate unproven digital educational programmes. A substantial body of empirical research, conducted by policy makers, business and educators over the past fourty years has found tangible beneficial evidence consistently elusive. This qualitative-based study seeks to explain the dichotomy by critically investigating what is actually happening when digital technology meets education in UK secondary schools as opposed to what is often envisaged as 'should' or 'might' be happening. It moves the debate beyond both its learning focus predominance, and deterministic view of education and technology to one which addresses the educational phenomenon by reference to the broader context of the social, political, historical and cultural conditions that influence all educational practices and which recognises the mutual social-shaping nature of the relationship. Consequently, this qualitative study utilises semi-structured interviews in a multilevel framework to explore how secondary school heads of department; a hitherto under-researched group, at the organisation's structural intersection, have responded to the introduction of ICT from the 1980s to the current day. This thesis contributes to the advancement of knowledge and understanding by drawing attention to issues of continuity and change, and structure and agency within the educational process and by offering insights into why (unforeseen) developments have occurred, how they have evolved and with what consequences for the profession and its educational institutions. It concludes by establishing a link between ICT-induced structural developments and agency constraints, offering policy makers a means of addressing key detrimental oganisational procedures in order to improve educational processes.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Information Communications Technology ; United Kingdom ; Education ; Secondary Schooling