My current research project – “The use of mobile learning to impact teacher self-efficacy and self- permission in Panama” explores how systems of mobile learning might be used to support and help teachers in six Panamanian regions: Veraguas, Herrera, Los Santos, San Miguelito, Panamá Norte, and Panamá Este. The research specifically focuses on teachers that self-identify as inexperienced and unqualified.
The research will be conducted in two distinct phases.
Phase One data collection will be based on a survey given to establish and compare general patterns regarding respondents’ self-efficacy and self-permission. This phase is designed to identify broad patterns in levels of self-confidence within teachers in Panama, as well as to determine whether or not this changes depending on teacher qualification and/or experience. Simply put, teachers will be asked to complete a survey measuring their confidence in five key areas of teaching: planning and assessment, classroom discipline, instruction, creating a positive classroom environment, and teacher self-permission. The purpose of the survey is to identify any specific areas of teaching where teachers might be less confident or need additional support. Data collection for this phase is now ongoing.
Building on the findings of the first phase of the study, Phase Two is designed to determine whether or not specific support and interventions delivered through the use of mobile technology can have a positive impact upon the self-efficacy and/or confidence of the selected participants. In this phase, a mobile application will be built to specifically address each of the five key areas identified and participants will be invited to use the application as support and guidance for their teaching. Through a series of interviews and written responses, each participant will give feedback about how and if the application helped their teaching. This feedback will then be used to make modifications and determine whether or not the application should be made more widely available to teachers.