Creat ive Educati on
2012. Vol.3, Supplement, 116-119
Published Online December 2012 in SciRes ( ce) DOI:10.4236/ce.2012.38b024
Copyright © 2012 SciRes.
The Implications of Teachers’ Professional Attributes on
Assimilating a Computeri z e d Learning and Management System
in an Israeli School: A Case Study
Orit Avidov -Ungar1, Noga Magen-Nagar 2
1The Open University, Achv a A cade mic Co l l ege
2Ministry of Education, Gordon College
Received 20 1 2
Assi mil ating proc esses of cha nge in teachi ng methods a nd their ap plication in school ent ail cons iderable
difficulty. The teachersability and skills as a professional-pedagogic entity in the process of change is
the first factor for the occurrence of radical change. This study examines the extent to which teachers'
professional attributes predict resistance to change when assimilating a computerized learning manage-
ment and t ea c hing s ystem (L MS) in school . Tea c her s fr om an exp eri menta l high sc hool i n Isra el , whic h is
participating in a comprehensive reform to integrate a computerized LMS system into schools in Israel,
participated in this study. A questionnaire regarding resistance to change was distributed to 60 teachers
and ana lyzed us ing pa th a nalysi s in s truct ura l equat ion model ing wit h the s ta tist ical AM OS 7.0 ( Anal ysis
of Mo ment Struc tures) softwa re (Arbuck le, 2006 ). The findi ngs in dicate t hat a hi gh level of computer li-
teracy amongst teachers predicts low resistance to change; school seniority predicts high resistance to
change, as does a key role in school. The contribution of the study lies in understanding that, till now,
these attributes were considered to be background attributes. The study identifies their unique impact on
the teachers readiness to assi milate change in sc hool.
Key words:
This study aims to examine the assimilation of a compute-
rized system for managing learning and teaching (LMS) from
the professional perspective of the school teacher. The compu-
terized system explored in this study is the LMS software that
was developed in Israel, and is in use in schools worldwide
(Macfadyen & Dawson, 2010). This system is based on the
approach that teachers are all principals in their subject, and
therefore need organized information that will help them from
the ad ministrati ve and p edagogic p erspecti ves (Blau & H ameiri,
2012 ). R esearch find s that assimilat in g pro cesses o f chan ge in
teaching methods and their application in school entail consi-
derable difficulty. The teachersability and skills as a profes-
sional-pedagogic factor in the process of change is the prime
cause of radical change in innovative pedagogic perception in
the education system (Fullan & Smith, 1999; De Freitas &
Oliver, 2005; Cunningham, 2009; Halverson & Smith, 2010;
Selwyn, 2010). Apart from the teachersprofessional abilities,
the conditions and organizational culture were also found to
affect their approach to the change (Coppieters, 2005), and
accordingly, to impact the effectiveness of the assimilation of
innovative technologies (Zimmerman, 2006; Avidov-Ungar,
This study assumes that the teacher is an important and key
figure, whose professional attributes are therefore a significant
factor in the processes of change in school (Collinson, Kozina,
Lin , Yu-Hao Ling, Matheson, Newcombe & Zogla, 2009). The
teachers' professionalism in assimilating the innovative tech-
nology is described in this study from several professional
perspectives, such as teaching seniority, school seniority, and
role in school. Studies find that the resistance which is hardest
to handle stems from the teachers' perception that the change
harms their strength and status as professionals (Buchanan &
Boddy, 1992; Chong, 2008). In other words, the greater the
teachers' professional and school seniority the stronger will be
their resistance to change. The more a teacher fills a dominant
role in school, the more involved and committed the teacher
will be, and thus will contribute to the change that the school
adopts (Baskin, 2004). The additional variable, computer lite-
racy, is included in th e research as an importan t and influential
component in assimilating the technological LMS (Woodrow,
1992; Virkus 2003; Koschmann, 2005; Harris & Hofer, 2009).
The study focuses on a high school in Israel, one of the pio-
neering schools leading change in assimilating a computerized
LMS as part of a national reform.
The Research Objective
The study aims to explore the degree to which the teachers'
professional attributes predict resistance to change in assimilat-
ing a computerized LMS in school, from the cognitive, emo-
tional and behavioral aspects.
The Research Hypotheses
Professional attributes contribute to the explanation of the
Copyright © 2012 SciRes.
variance in the level of resistance to change relative to assimi-
lating the computerized LMS, from the cognitive, emotional
and behavioral aspects, as follows:
a) The greater the teaching and school seniority the greater
will be the resistance to assimilating the computerized system.
b) The more central the role in school , the less will be th e re-
sistance to change regarding assimilating the computerized
s yst em.
c) The greater th e teacher's co mputer l iteracy the less will b e
the resistance to change regarding assimilating the compute-
rized system.
The Research Participants
Sixty out of 96 teachers (62/5%) in the experimental high
school participated in the study, 40 of whom were female
(66.7%) and 20 male (33.3%). Most of the teachers (60%) had
considerable teaching seniority and had been teaching for more
than ten years; 40% of the teachers had worked there for one to
five years and another 35% had worked in school for more than
five years. Those working in the school for one year account for
The Research Tools
The degree of resistance to assimilating a computerized sys-
tem was measured using a questionnaire developed by Goldrat
(2001). It included 16 statements that refer to three components
of resistance to change cognitive, emotional and behavioral.
Cronbach's alpha for the reliability of the questionnaire was
The Researc h Findings
A path analysis was conducted using structural equation
modeling to explore the impact of the teachers' professional
attributes on their attitudes towards assimilatin g a co mpu teri zed
LMS in school, using the AMOS 7.0 (Analysis of Moment
Structures) statistical software (Arkbuckle, 2006).
In this path analysis, independent (exogenous) variables were
defined that were the professional attributes, and included the
teacher's role in school and teaching seniority. This was fol-
lowed by the mediating (endogenous) variables which were the
teacher's seniority at school, and the level of mastery of com-
puter literacy (CL). The additional endogenous variables were
the three indices of resistance to the use of the computerized
system. At the first stage of the analysis, the measurement
model was evaluated using the four indices - χ2, RMSEA, NFI
and CFI that are used to examine the model most suited to
reality (Bentler & Bo nett, 1980).
The results of the measurement model show that the value of
0.77 (df = 2) χ2 is not statistically significant (p = .681). The
RMSEA index (.000) is lower than .05; the NFI index (.992) is
very high and approaches 1; and CFI (1.000). These measure-
ments provide the most fundamental indication of how well the
proposed theory fits the data. The second phase evaluated the
structural model that categorizes the relationships and effects
among the variables as shown in Figure 1.
Examination of Figure 1 shows that teaching seniority ex-
plains the variance in the teacher's seniority in school (24%).
Teaching seniority, school seniority and CL together explain
the variance in the cognitive and the behavioral resistance to-
wards the use of the computerized system (29% and 20% re-
spectively). The school's role and CL together explain the va-
riance in emotional resistance towards the use of the compute-
rized system (28%). Hence one may claim that the factors in-
cluded in the model explain well the teachers' resistance re-
garding the cognitive, the emotional, and the behavioral facets
relative to the use of the computeri zed system.
Figure 1.
The results of the path analysis for predicting opposition to the use of the computerized system.
Copyright © 2012 SciRes.
The path coefficients were examined according to the direct
impact and thereafter according to the indirect impact. The
chart shows that the teaching seniorityvariable does not af-
fect the variables of level of CL, cognitive resistance,
emotional resistance, and behavioral resistance”. The varia-
ble “school seniorityhas a distinct positive, strong impact on
cognitive resistance to using the computerized system (β
= .42***), and on behavioral resistance to using the compute-
rized system (β = .37**), but not significantly on emotional
resistance and on the level of CL. In other words, the more
years the teachers accumulate in school, the greater their resis-
tance to using the computerized system from the cognitive and
the beh avio ral aspect s. The "sch o ol role" variab le h as a d istin ct,
negative impact of moderate strength on the emotional resis-
tance to using the computerized system ((β=-.25 *) but is not
distinct regarding cognitive resistance, behavioral resistance
and the level of CL. In other words, the more teachers fulfill
key roles in school, (as year grade coordinator or subject coor-
dinator) the greater their emotional resistance to using the
computer ized s ystem. The "C L" variable h as a dist inct negati ve,
moderate to strong impact on cognitive resistance to using the
computerized system (β = -.33**), on emotional resistance to
using the LMS (β = -.39**), and on behavioral resistance to
using the computerized system (β = -.28*). In other words, the
greater the teachers' CL, the less their resistance to using the
computerized system from the cognitive, the emotional, and the
behavioral aspects.
Examination of the indirect impact finds that "teaching se-
niority" distinctly, strongly and positively affects "school se-
niority" (β = .49***) and cognitive and behavioral resistance -
β = .42*** and β = -.37 ** respecti vely. However, there is no
indirect impact on the variables teaching seniority, school
seniority, and role in schoolon the three components of
resistance when the mediating variable is the level of CL.
Discussion and Conclusions
The research findings support the hypotheses. The findings
of the SEM path analysis are innovative, and even expand the
significance of the professional attributes of teaching seniority,
school seniority, role in school, and level of CL relative to the
assimilation of technological change. Until now, these
attributes were considered to be the teachers' background and
personal attributes, each with its unique impact on their readi-
ness to accept change in general (Fullan & Smith, 1999; De
Freitas & Oliver, 2005; Cunningham, 2009; Halverson & Smith,
2010; Selwyn, 2010) and technological change in general (De
Freitas & Oliver, 2005). In the current study these attributes
were analyzed simultaneously along a sequence and found in-
fluences of varying intensity for predicting resistance to change.
The high level of the teacher's CL predicts low resistance to
change, particularly in the personal assimilation of LMS in
school. This finding complements other studies that find that
the teachers' technological knowledge is very important relative
to their attitudes towards technological change with LMS in
school (Ogobonna & Harris 2003; Carter, 2008; Coffman,
2009). Similarly, and as in other studies, greater school senior-
ity was found to predict high resistance to change (Hart, 1987).
The current study finds that a key role in school predicts high
resistance, in contrast to the findings of other studies (Baskin,
2004). The reason for this may stem from the perception of the
essence of the school role, that does not testify necessarily to
involvement and participation in decision-making and
processes of change, but to coordinating a subject from the
administrative, limited and narrow perspective (Avidov-Ungar
& Friedman, 2011).
The research findings further indicate that school seniority,
role in school, and CL predict resistance to change directly, in
contrast to teaching seniority that indirectly predicts resistance
to change. These findings indicate the differences between
types of professional attributes amongst teachers, thus teaching
seniority is a demographicpersonal attribute, similar to gender
and edu cation , whi le sch ool sen iorit y, role i n scho ol and CL are
attrib utes that th e teacher “acqu i r es” i n schoo l, where he teach-
es, and they are inherently connected to the organizational cul-
ture (Borko, 2004). Therefore, attributes of this type may di-
rectl y affect res ist an ce to pr ocess es of chan ge in scho o l, as th ey
may also affect resistance to assimilating a computerized sys-
tem for teaching and learning. One may therefore also assume
that resistance to change will be manifested in all the compo-
nents of the attitude cognitive, emotional and behavioral - and
they are likely to contribute to better understanding of the fu-
ture behavior of the teacher relative to the assimilation of the
computerized LMS. Furthermore, the research conclusions
testify to the fact that CL, school seniority and role in school
are pro fession al at trib ut es that reflect th e organizat io nal cu ltur e,
and their implications for the level of resistance to change are
direct and significant. Accordingly, improvement in school
culture, manifested mainly in nurturing the teachers' profes-
sional attributes, should be seen as a central element in reduc-
ing resis tance to change when assimilating the LMS in school.
Arbuckle, J. L. (2006). AMOS 7. 0 user's guide . Chicago: SPSS.
Avidov-Ungar, O., & Friedman, Y. (2011). Empowering teachers
essence and models. Information available to the professional. Jer u-
salem: Henriett a Szold Institut e (Hebrew).
Avidov-Ungar, O. (2010). "Islands of Innovation" or "Comprehensive
Innovation" Assimilating educational technology in teaching, learn-
ing, and management: A case study of school networks in Israel.
Interdisciplinary Journal of E-Learning and Learning Objects, 6,
Baskin, E. F. (2004). Change management concepts and models:
Sponsorship, early adopters, and the development of urban teach ers.
In R.B. Cooter, Jr. (Ed.), Perspectives on rescuing urban literacy
education: Spies, saboteurs, and saints (pp. 2540). Mahwah, NJ:
Bentler, P. M., & Bonett, D. G. (1980). Signi fican ce t est s and good n ess
of fit in the analysis of covariance structures. Psychological Bulletin,
88, 588606.
Blau, I. & Hameiri, M. (2012). Teacher-families online interactions and
gender differences in parental involvement through school data sys-
tem: Do mothers want to know more than fathers about their children?
Computers & Education, 59, 701-709.
Borko, H. (2004). Professional development and teacher learning:
Map p i ng the terrain. Educa tional Researcher Jour nal, 33 (8), 3-15.
Buchman, D., & Boddy, D. (1992). The expertise of the change agent.
Hemel Hempstead: Prentice Hall.
Carter, E. (2008). Successful change requires more than change man-
agement. The Journal for Quality & Participation, 31 (1), 20-23.
Chong, K. H. (2008). Coping with conflict, confronting resistance:
Fieldwork emotions and identity management in a South Korean
evangelical community. Qualitative Sociology, 31(4), 36390.
Coffman, T. (2009). Getting to the heart of technology integration:
Virginia's instructional technology re-source teacher program.
Lear ning an d Le arnin g w i th T echnology, 36 (7), 20-23.
Copyright © 2012 SciRes.
Collinson, V., Kozina, E., Lin, Yu-Hao K., Ling, L., Matheson, I.,
Newcombe, L., & Zogla, I. (2009). Professional development for
teachers: A world of change. European Journal of Teacher Educa-
tion , 32 (1), 3-19.
Coppieters, P. (2005). Turning schools into learning organizations.
Eur op ean Journal of Te acher E du c a tion, 28 (2), 129-139.
Cunningham, C. A. (2009). Transforming schooling through technolo-
gy: Twenty-first-century approaches to participatory learning. Edu-
cation and Culture, 25 (2 ), 46 -61.
Goldrat, A. (2001). The connection between the perception of uncer-
tainty, tolerance for ambiguity and a sense of pressure and the atti-
tude of employees towards organizational change. Jerusalem: He-
nrietta Szol d Institute (Hebrew).
De Freitas, S., & Oliver, M. (2005). Does e-learning policy drive
chan ge in hi gher education? A ca se study relatin g models of organi-
zational change to e-learning implementation. Journal of Higher
Education Policy and Management, 27 (1), 81-95.
Fullan, M., & Smith, G. (1999). Technol ogy an d the prob lem of ch ange.
Available at: http ://www.michaelfu
Halverson, R., & Smith, A. (2009). How new technologies have (and
have not) changed teaching and learning in schools. Journal of
Com pu ting in T ea cher Ed ucati on , 26 (2), 49-55.
Hart, A. W. (1987). A career ladder's effect on teacher career and work
attitudes. American Educational Research Journal, 24 (4),
Koschmann, T. (2005). Medical education and computer literacy:
learning about, through, and with computers. Acad Med. 70,
Macfadyen, L. P., & Dawson, S. (2010). Mining LMS data to develop
an “early warning system” for educators: A proof of concept. Com-
puters & Education, 54, 588-599.
Ogobonna, E., & Harris L. C. (2003). Innovation organizational struc-
ture and performance. Journal of Organizational Change Manage-
ment, 16 (5), 512-533.
Selwyn, N. (2010). Looking beyond learning: Notes towards the critical
study of educational technology. Journal of Computer Assisted
Lear ning, 2 6 (1), 6573.
Virkus S. (2003). Informat ion lit e r a cy in Europe: a literat ure rev iew.
Information Research, 8 (4), 1-159. -4/paper159.html
Woodrow, J. E. J. (1992). The influence of programming training on
the compu ter literacy and attit udes of pre-servic e teacher. Journal of
Rese ar ch on Computi ng in Education, 25 (2), 200-219.
Zimmerman, J. (2006). Why some teachers resist change and what
prin ci pals ca n do abou t it. NASSP Bulletin, 90 (3), 238-249.