Journal of Educational Change

, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 61–77 | Cite as

Contextual factors that sustain innovative pedagogical practice using technology: an international study

  • Ronald Owston


Pedagogical innovation—whether involving technology or not—is shaped by a complex interaction of the innovation with contextual factors such as school and school district policy, leadership, cultural norms and values, teacher attitudes and skills, and student characteristics. This study examined school and classroom contexts in which pedagogical innovations employing technology were successfully sustained. Data were obtained from 59 cases drawn from the Second Information Technology in Education Study—Module 2, a project that examined 174 cases of innovative pedagogical practice in schools in 28 countries. An explanatory model of sustainability was derived from a qualitative analysis of the cases using grounded theory techniques. Essential conditions for the sustainability of classroom innovation were teacher and student support of the innovation, teacher perceived value of the innovation, teacher professional development, and principal approval. Contributing factors for sustainability were supportive plans and policies, funding, innovation champions, and internal and external recognition and support.


Sustainability Contextual factors International studies Technology Pedagogical innovation 


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The author is indebted to Dr. Robert B. Kozma, Emeritus Director and Principal Scientist of the Center for Technology in Learning at SRI International, for his significant contributions to the framework section of this paper; and to the anonymous reviewers for their very helpful suggestions for improvements.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Research on Learning TechnologiesYork UniversityTorontoCanada

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