Personality Indicators and Emergency Permit Teachers' Willingness to Embrace Technology

Article excerpt

As a result of innovative technologies designed to enhance learning, today's teachers must learn to incorporate the newer technologies into instructional strategies. The present study examined the impact of certain personality types and secondary education teachers' inclination to use technology. A sample of 200 Emergency Permit teachers were surveyed using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and a questionnaire designed to determine willingness to use technology. A one-way ANOVA test was applied to group means. Findings indicate that intuitive/thinking types of personalities were more likely to use technology in teaching while the sensory/feeling types were the least likely.

Rapid technological transformations highlight the importance of a technology-based and integrated learning environment for students (Reed & Sautter, 1987; Crow & Buckley, 1988; Riley, 1993). However, in a recent study conducted by the U. S. Department of Education (2000), only 23% of public school teachers felt well prepared to use computers and the Internet in their teaching.

In order to meet future challenges, it is vital that increasing numbers of teachers integrate technology into the curriculum. It is essential for educational programs that prepare teachers to provide those fundamental technology skills for candidates. Wise, Leibbrand, and Williams (1997) suggest a major challenge facing teacher education programs concern technology acquisition issues.

Grindler and Straton (1990) found that the Myers-Briggs Type Inventory (MBTI) results could be used to help teachers develop different teaching methods and more readily accept using various teaching resources and technology. The instrument can also be used to help educators understand how individuals process information, and make decisions and adaptations through self-reflection (Lyons, 1984: Thompson & Borrello, 1986; McNickle & Veltman, 1986; Clark & Peterson, 1986).

Erdle, Murray, and Rushton (1985) found that specific personality traits of teachers are reflected in classroom instruction, especially through the teacher's use of various learning materials and instructional strategies. Meisgeier and Richardson (1996) concluded that teachers and preservice teachers who understand various personality implications may have a more global understanding of a useful framework for modeling instructional technology. They also are more likely to include the newer technologies as a tool to integrate the curriculum.

Research results support the use of the MBTI as a valid means to identify different types of cognitive styles. Studies indicate that extroverted, stable, and tough-minded personalities were receptive to the use of the computer (Grant & Cambre, 1990; Katz, 1992). "Intuitive/thinking" (NT) types of intermediate/secondary teachers were snore receptive to the use of technology than the "sensory/feeling" (SF) types (Sudol, 1991: Katz, 1992; Smith, Monday & Windham, 1995). Teachers identified as SF have been identified as least comfortable with technology (Grindler & Straton, 1990; Smith, Munday & Windham, 1995).

Given the importance of teacher technology skills acquisition and technology usage, the present study was undertaken to further investigate personality types and willingness to embrace technology. The study was also designed to obtain relevant information from the growing number of emergency permit teachers.


The MBTI and a questionnaire designed to measure teachers' willingness to use technology were utilized in the present investigation. The MBTI is a widely used personality inventory with positive evidence of its construct validity (Thompson & Borrello, 1994). Mendelsohn (1965) reported that 11 an unusually large body of reliability and validity data"(p. 321) has been completed on the MBTI. Test-retest correlation of approximately 0.70 was obtained for three of the indices and 0. …