An Investigation of Providing Technology Professional Development to In-Service Teachers through Reverse Mentorship: A Case Study

Thomas M Callahan, Pace University


The delivery of technology professional development in elementary and secondary school systems typically follows a traditional approach. In-service teachers receive information from experts that may stand and deliver the topics that they have been charged with addressing. Adult Learning Theory and best practices in educational professional development suggest that this conventional approach may not be the most effective way to provide in-service learning experiences. Calls for professional development that is more relevant to the teacher, more hands on, and more aligned to daily instructional practice have increased. As schools embrace new technologies at an ever increasing rate, new models of in-service professional development that can keep pace and effectively train teachers, are needed. Reverse mentoring may have potential as technology professional development delivery model. Used in corporate settings initially, in reverse mentoring, the student becomes the teacher. This study explored whether or not reverse mentoring assisted teachers in the adoption of new technology using a self-reporting instrument known as The Stages of Adoption of Technology. It also examined teacher attitudes toward reverse mentoring as a professional development delivery model. The study found that student and teacher reverse mentorship training resulted in technology adoption for most of the participants. While there were issues that surfaced during the case study, which primarily centered on the absence of structured time for the mentor and mentee, views of the model were favorable. In addition to indicating possible structural and logistical issues involved with the implementation of a reverse mentoring technology professional development model, findings provide insight into how such an experience can be optimized for improved training outcomes. Teacher participant responses, and their advancement in technology adoption, suggest that reverse mentoring may be a viable way for delivering professional development in 21st Century schools.

Subject Area

Educational technology|Computer science|Education philosophy

Recommended Citation

Callahan, Thomas M, "An Investigation of Providing Technology Professional Development to In-Service Teachers through Reverse Mentorship: A Case Study" (2014). ETD Collection for Pace University. AAI10638071.



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