About my thesis

The aim of my thesis is to investigate how current professional development strategies for secondary school staff in the UK impact on the development of staff digital literacy. This will be achieved through:

  • the exploration of existing professional development strategies, including the effects of different interpretations of teacher professionalism and the implementation of new technologies.
  • the collation of experiences and opinions of in-service school staff, in relation to their professional development and digital literacy skills and confidence.
  • the formulation of recommendations, based upon the themes which arise from the data, on digital literacy professional development strategies.

I will be taking a grounded theory approach to my research, collecting the experiences and opinions of in-service school staff through focus groups, observations and interviews. I will then explore the data generated in order to identify the emerging theory. It is the aim of this study to develop a valid interpretation of the experiences and opinions of school staff professional development by presenting the theory that emerges from their data, rather than imposing my own ideas upon the research setting.


Ethical Considerations

Informed Consent

Consent will be gained from both the headteacher of the school and individual members of staff before data collection is commenced. This will be in the form of written consent, following the distribution of information about the study and an opportunity for participants to discuss any concerns they may have about the data collection with the researcher. Participants will be informed of how their data will be collected and stored, including the use recording equipment where appropriate. It will be made clear to all participants that their engagement with the research is voluntary and they have the right to withdraw from the research at any time.


Participants will be made aware that data will be only be viewed by myself as the researcher and my supervisory team and that only data that is necessary to the study will be collected and coded. All data will be anonymised and where quotations from staff are used they will not be shared alongside any data which may identify the individual or school in which they work.

Data Protection

Audio recordings of focus groups and interviews will be taken using a password protected device and will be destroyed once transcription is complete. All data pertaining to the study will be stored on a password protected computer and will be handled in accordance with the 1998 Data Protection Act and De Montfort University’s Research Records Retention Policy. Any data which could be used to identify individuals will be removed and where necessary unique referencing numbers will be used in their place to identify participants.

Any questions pertaining to my thesis research can be addressed to p0825048x@email.dmu.ac.uk. Any complaints regarding my thesis research should, in the first instance, be discussed with myself. If this achieves no satisfactory outcome, you should then contact the Administrator for the Faculty Research Ethics Committee, Research & Commercial Office, Faculty of Health & Life Sciences, 1.25 Edith Murphy House, De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester, LE1 9BH or hlsfro@dmu.ac.uk