American Journal of Educational Research
ISSN (Print): 2327-6126 ISSN (Online): 2327-6150 Website: Editor-in-chief: Ratko Pavlović
Open Access
Journal Browser
American Journal of Educational Research. 2018, 6(2), 142-148
DOI: 10.12691/education-6-2-9
Open AccessArticle

Digital Innovation in Education: Occupational Stress and Attitude toward Change among Schoolteachers

Mirella Ferrari1, Giulia Mura1 and Davide Diamantini1,

1“Riccardo Massa” Department of Human Sciences for Education, University of Milano, Bicocca, Milan, Italy

Pub. Date: February 27, 2018

Cite this paper:
Mirella Ferrari, Giulia Mura and Davide Diamantini. Digital Innovation in Education: Occupational Stress and Attitude toward Change among Schoolteachers. American Journal of Educational Research. 2018; 6(2):142-148. doi: 10.12691/education-6-2-9


The introduction of ICT into the school context is driving change in the education system, and teachers, whether willingly or otherwise, are among the main actors in this process. The study of organizational change and innovation suggests a number of variables whose impact must be analysed if we are to understand how the outcomes of digital innovation in schools may be optimized. In this paper, we evaluate the experience of a large sample of teachers (420 completed questionnaires) who had been involved in a digital innovation programme for schools. More specifically, we measured the impact of personal and contextual variables on the participants’ attitude to digital change, identifying a pattern of interaction. While some variables, such as age and perceived ICT expertise, influenced both positive and negative attitudes to change, others had a more specific impact: For example, commitment to the organization mainly encouraged positive attitudes towards the digital innovation project, while negative attitudes to digital change were also associated with negative self-perceived work/life balance.

school innovation organizational change resistance to change school digitalization work stress

Creative CommonsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit


[1]  Eurispes, Telefono Azzurro, (2012), Indagine Conoscitiva sulla Condizione dell’infanzia e dell’adolescenza In Italia, Availeble: [Accessed Dec. 2, 2017].
[2]  Livingstone, S., Haddon, L. Görzig, A., (eds) (2012). Children, risk and safety on the internet: research and policy challenges in comparative perspective, Policy Press, Bristol. ISBN 9781847428820.T.
[3]  Mascheroni, G., Ólafsson, K., (2014), Net children go mobile: Risks and opportunities, Educatt.
[4]  Project Tomorrow, (2012), Mapping a personalized learning journey – K-12 students and their parents connect the dots with digital learning, Speak Up 2011 national findings. Available: [Accessed Dec. 27, 2017].
[5]  Kop, R., Hill, A., (2008), “Connectivism: Learning Theory of the Future or Vestige of the Past?”. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 9(3), 1-9.
[6]  Eteokleous, N., (2008), “Evaluating computer technology integration in a centralized school system”, Computers Education, 51(2), 669-686.
[7]  Lai, K., Pratt, K., (2008), “Positive to a degree: The effects of ICT use in New Zealand secondary schools”, Computers in the Schools, 24, 95-109.
[8]  Calvani, A., Fini, A., & Ranieri, M. (2014), “La competenza digitale nella scuola. Modelli, strumenti, ricerche”, Italian Journal of Educational Research, (5), 9-21.
[9]  Diamantini, D., & Mura G., (2018), “Le sfide della scuola di fronte alla collaborazione con gli EELL e l’innovazione didattica: progetti di approccio territoriale”. In G. Nuvolati (a cura di), Sviluppo Urbano e Politiche per la Qualità della Vita. Florence University Press, Firenze.
[10]  Repenning, A., Webb, D.C., Koh, K.H., Nickerson, H., Miller, S.B., Brand, C., ... & Repenning, N. (2015), “Scalable game design: A strategy to bring systemic computer science education to schools through game design and simulation creation”. ACM Transactions on Computing Education (TOCE), 15(2), 11.
[11]  Besozzi E., (2016), Società, cultura, educazione, Carocci Editore, Roma.
[12]  Sandrone Boscarino G., (2008), Personalizzare l’educazione, Rubettino, Catanzaro.
[13]  Wastiau, P., Blamire, R., Kearney, C., Quittre, V., Van de Gaer, E., & Monseur, C. (2013). “The use of ICT in education: a survey of schools in Europe”. European Journal of Education, 48(1), 11-27.
[14]  Aker, S. (1990), “Teachers’ Culture in an English Primary School: continuity and change”, British Journal of Sociology of Education, 11(3), 257-273.
[15]  Fast, I., (2016), “Understanding Educational Policy Formation: The Case of School Violence Policies in Israel”, Sociology of Education, 89(1), 59-78.
[16]  MIUR (2016), Piano Nazionale Scuola Digitale, Available: [Accessed Dec 1, 2017].
[17]  Agalianos, A., Noss, R., Whitty, G., (2001), “Logo in Mainstream Schools: The struggle over the soul of an educational innovation”, British Journal of Sociology of Education, 22(4), 479-500.
[18]  Zucker, L.G. (1987), “Institutional theories of organization”. Annual review of sociology, 13(1), 443-464.
[19]  Piderit, S.K., (2000), “Rethinking resistance and recognizing ambivalence: a multidimensional view of attitudes toward an organizational change”. Academy of Management, 4, 783-794.
[20]  Vanderlinde, R., & van Braak, J. (2010), “The e-capacity of primary schools: Development of a conceptual model and scale construction from a school improvement perspective”. Computers & Education, 55(2), 541-553.
[21]  Leithwood, K., & Azah, V.N., (2016), “Characteristics of High-Performing School Districts”, Leadership and Policy in Schools, 16(1), 27-53.
[22]  Oreg, S. (2006), “Personality, context, and resistance to organizational change”. European journal of work and organizational psychology, 15(1), 73-101.
[23]  Diamantini, D., (2014), Come digitalizzare una scuola, Guerini e Associati, Milano
[24]  DiMaggio, P. (1988), “Interest and agency in institutional theory”. In L. Zucker (Ed), Institutional patterns and organizations: Culture and environment (3-21). Ballinger Publishing, Massachusetts.
[25]  Wanberg, C.R., & Banas, J.T. (2000), “Predictors and outcomes of openness to changes in a reorganizing workplace”. Journal of Applied Psychology. 85(1), 132-142.
[26]  Oldham, G. R., Hackman, J. R. (1981). “Relationships between organizational structure and employee reactions: Comparing alternative frameworks”. Administrative science quarterly, 66-83.
[27]  Picci P., Battistelli A., (2010) “La ricerca psicosociale siull’ innovazione al lavoro tra fattori antecedenti e dinamiche di processo”, Giornale italiano di psicologia, 2. 341-368.
[28]  Cartwright, S., & Cooper, C.L. (2002), ASSET: An organisational stress screening tool. The management guide. Manchester, UK: RCL Ltd.
[29]  Walmsley, H. (2012), “Case study: a community of practice for constructivist professional development in e-learning”. Innovative Practice in Higher Education, 1(2).
[30]  Ranieri, M., & Manca, S. (2013), I social network nell’educazione. Basi teoriche, modelli applicativi e linee guida. Trento: Erickson.
[31]  Persico, D. e Pozzi, F. (2013), “Cultura partecipativa nella progettazione didattica”. In D. Persico & V. Midoro, Pedagogia nell’era digitale (134-141). Ortona-Menabò.
[32]  ISTAT (2016), Immigrati & nuovi cittadini, Available: [Avvessed 22, Nov. 2017].
[33]  Healey, P., (2010), Making Better Places: The Planning Project in the Twenty-First Century. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
[34]  Milèn A. (2001), What do we know about Capacity Building? An Overview of Existing Knowledge and Good Practice. Geneva: Department of Health Service Provision World Health Organization.
[35]  Wenger, E. (2011), Communities of Practice: A Brief Introduction. Available: scholarsbank. uoregon .edu/xmlui/handle/1794/11736. [Accessed Nov. 17 2017]
[36]  Mura G., Diamantini D., (2014), The Use and Perception of ICT Among Educators: The Italian Case, Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 141, 1228-1233.
[37]  Dunham, R.B., Grube, J.A., Gardner, D.G., Cummings, L.L., & Pierce, J.L. (1989), “The development of an attitude toward change instrument”. Academy of Management annual meeting, Washington, DC.
[38]  Klecker, M.B., & Loadman, W.E., (1999), Measuring principles' openness to change on three dimensions: Affective, cognitive and behavioural. Journal of Instructional Psychology, 4, 213-225.
[39]  Evans, R. (1996), “The Human Side of School Change: Reform, Resistance, and the Real-Life Problems of Innovation”. The Jossey-Bass Education Series. Jossey-Bass Inc., CA.
[40]  Lambert, L. (2003), Leadership capacity for lasting school improvement. ASCD.
[41]  Bridwell-Mitchell, E.N., (2015), “Theorizing Teacher Agency and Reform: How Institutionalized Instructional Practices Change and Persist”, Sociology of Education, 88(2), 140-159.
[42]  Abrami, P.C., Poulsen, C., Chambers, B., (2004), “Teacher motivation to implement an educational innovation: factors differentiating users and non-users of cooperative learning”, Educational Psychology, 24(2), 201-216.
[43]  Guhn, M., (2009), “Insights from successful and unsuccessful implementations of school reform programs”, Journal of Educational Change 10(4), 337-363.
[44]  Ferrari M., Mura G., Castiglioni I., Diamantini D. (2018), “Creating an inclusive digital school district in a northern italian urban periphery”, Revista de cercetare si interventie sociala, 60, p. 2-23.