Computers in schools: implementing for sustainability. Why the truth is rarely pure and never simple

16 Sep 2015

This study investigates influences on the sustainability of a computers-in-schools project during the implementation phase thereof. The Computer Assisted Learning in Schools (CALIS) Project (1992?1996) is the unit of analysis. A qualitative case study research design is used to elicit data, in the form of participant narratives, from people who were involved in the regional management of the Project, as well as teachers who implemented the Project in their classrooms. These narratives are then analysed from a postmodern perspective (Kvale 1996). The analysis reveals personal, programmatic, physical and systemic influences on the Project. These influences can be identified on all structural levels of the education system (Mooij and Smeets 2001). Furthermore, metaphoric patterning across narratives is analyzed in terms of implicatures, postulated by Relevance Theory (Sperber and Wilson 1995). Analysis of the data provides evidence in support of Fullan?s (2005) definition of sustainability as a quality of dynamic, complex systems. Personal, programmatic, physical and systemic influences on the Project are found to be interrelated on, and across, structural levels of the system. In addition, influences are dynamically related to the changing Project in particular host nvironments (Cavallo 2004). The resulting ecological or viral growth is characteristic of complex systems, where further development is indeterminate. Finally, suggestions are made regarding the possible implications of these findings for the development of a framework for the sustainable implementation of ICT- enabled educational projects.