Transfer management interventions: Environmental influences and individual characteristics that affect implementation of staff development initiatives

Date of Completion

January 1998


Education, Adult and Continuing|Education, Teacher Training|Education, Technology of




Although American teachers attend inservice sessions to learn about various innovative practices that will help them meet the challenges of educating learners for tomorrows world, researchers point out that teachers may never use as much as 90% of the knowledge gained in these sessions when they return to their classrooms. This study addressed the problem: How to design professional development experiences in a way that best promotes transfer of training from classroom sessions to use of the training on the job. The study examined a variety of individual and environmental factors to determine ways in which transfer management interventions provided as follow-up to a technology training program increased classroom implementation by middle school teachers. ^ Implementation was measured by Levels of Use written interviews. Pre and posttests of the Gibson Teacher Efficacy Scale were used to measure teacher efficacy. The Motivation to Transfer instrument and the Environmental Favorability Scales were used to measure individual attitudes and perceptions of the training and follow-up environment. ^ A discriminant function analysis was used to determine the degree to which environmental favorability (task and social support), teacher efficacy, age, and motivation to transfer predicted Level of Use. ANOVAs were used to determine the extent to which Users and Nonusers of technology training differed in perceptions of frequency and usefulness of support from administrators, peers, and change facilitator. Qualitative methods were used to analyze responses to open-ended questions concerning transfer management factors that promoted or inhibited implementation of the technology initiative. ^ The independent variables teacher efficacy, social support, motivation to transfer and age explained 29% of the variance between Users and Nonusers of technology training. Additionally, perceptions of frequency and usefulness of support provided by the technology change facilitator explained 15% (frequency) and 17% (usefulness) of the variance between Users and Nonusers. Interview data revealed that contextual issues also influenced implementation. The results of the study emphasized the importance of continuous support for individual learners within the work environment. ^