Evaluating Teachers' Learning, Perceptions, and Cultural Differences Following Professional Development for Early Literacy Software


  • Constanza Uribe-Banda Wilfrid Laurier University
  • Eileen Wood Wilfrid Laurier University
  • Alexandra Gottardo Wilfrid Laurier University
  • Anne Wade Concordia University
  • Rose Iminza Aga Khan Academies
  • Maina WaGĩokõ Aga Khan Academies




Educational technologies, literacy, professional development, primary and elementary teachers, cross cultural comparison


The present study examined the impact of professional development training on Canadian and Kenyan teachers’ confidence, comfort, and perceptions of their abilities to teach early literacy skills in the primary or elementary grades. Data were collected prior to and following training on how to integrate early literacy software as part of ongoing in-class instruction. Domain and technology constructs consistent with Mishra and Koehler’s (2006) technology integration model were assessed, as were perceptions related to delivery pacing. Overall, outcomes reflected more similarities than differences across the two groups of teachers. Limitations in foundational knowledge regarding concepts specific to early literacy were evident in both groups, despite higher levels of perceived confidence in Kenyan teachers compared to Canadian teachers in some content areas. Perceived comfort using technology and teaching with technology were highly correlated, with no differences observed across teacher groups. Pacing was perceived to be faster for Kenyan teachers compared to Canadian teachers. Implications for professional development in this domain are discussed.

Author Biographies

Constanza Uribe-Banda, Wilfrid Laurier University

Constanza Uribe-Banda is a doctoral candidate in the Developmental Psychology program, Wilfrid Laurier University. Her research interests include: teacher professional development, pedagogy, teaching literacy, and educational technologies. She also examines cross-cultural comparisons of instructional strategies.

Eileen Wood, Wilfrid Laurier University

Eileen Wood is a Professor in Developmental Psychology, Wilfrid Laurier University. Her primary research interests involve examining how children, youth, and adults acquire, retain, and recall information in educational contexts. This includes examining, evaluating, and developing instructional strategies to facilitate learning in formal and informal learning contexts including the use of new technologies.

Alexandra Gottardo, Wilfrid Laurier University

Alexandra Gottardo is a Professor in Developmental Psychology, Wilfrid Laurier University. Her background is in educational psychology and speech-language pathology. Her research examines factors related to teaching and learning, how to read in second language learners, focusing on literacy and cognitive-linguistic variables and concepts within and across languages.

Anne Wade, Concordia University

Anne Wade (M.L.I.S.) was the Manager and Information Specialist at the Centre for the Study of Learning and Performance, Education at Concordia University for 30 years. She currently serves as the LTK+ Global Manager coordinating a variety of international literacy projects, and as a part-time professor in the Department of Education, Concordia University.

Rose Iminza, Aga Khan Academies

Rose Iminza is an educator working at the Aga Khan Academy in Mombasa, Kenya. She is a Professional Development Coordinator for the technology based learning programs associated with the Learning Toolkit ( LTK+). She has served as the lead on professional development activities related to the LTK+ projects.

Maina WaGĩokõ, Aga Khan Academies

Maina WaGĩokõ is based at the Aga Khan Academy in Mombasa, Kenya. He is a Lead Facilitator working on Education Empowerment programmes which focus on school leaders, teachers, and school support systems. He works with governing agencies and partner organizations that participate in the LTK+ research.


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