To Overview | Issues in Using the Internet in Instruction

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Theory of Teacher Adaptation to Change


Pirate looking through spy glass

Explorer: Risk-taker

Wants: The newest.
Avoids: Boredom.
Degree of Stability: Easily distracted.

Creativity, newness and excitement. May be the "lower SES" of the academy--willing to risk in order to advance.


Teaches self. May jump the gun. Doesn't like learning with others. Seeks thrills.

Problems: Long term planning; Accepting supervision. Fitting in.


Mature fellow getting an idea

Pioneer: Opinion leader

Wants: Theory building, advantages of the innovation.
Avoids: Being/feeling trapped.
Degree of Stability: Eventually walks away from built structure, perhaps only partially finished, and starts something new.

Understanding, developing the foundation.


Teaches self and others; copes well with uncertainty. (May even like uncertainty).

Problems: Time management; May be unrealistically idealistic. Some difficulty accepting supervision.


Couple in wedding clothes

Settler: Joiner

Wants: Connections with others.
Avoids: “Waste” of any sort.
Degree of Stability: High, moves if practical reason.

"Does it work?"; wants what is good for “family” (which may be students).


Prefers group training; minimize tech (templates); takes a long time to decide.

Problems: Misses opportunity because doesn't take risks; wants people/emotional-support.


Colonial writing with quill pen

Established "Back East," The "Comfortable" Ones

Wants: Peace. Predictability.
Avoids: Disruption.
Degree of Stability: Comfortable, no change short of crisis.

"Don’t lose the good"; uphold customary standards. As a group may have most diverse motivations of the 4, including too few resources to change or in midst of personal crisis, such as health problem.


Must literally see the necessity (economic or social)-use concrete examples; Generally trainer must “hide” tech; (May learn it for a hobby.)

Problems: May undermine needed changes.


Adapted and extended from

I apologize for the gender stereotyped, animated images. They were all I had available to illustrate the points most effectively and looked pleasing together

To Overview | Issues in Using the Internet in Instruction

For My Students | Admin/Research | PSY | CTL | WKU 

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Website created: June 1996. Page Created: February 22, 1999. Last Modified: May 17, 2001.