The Role of School Leadership in the Implementation of Programming and Stem Concepts into Classroom Practice

  • Serpil Tuti Sari TED IZMIR COLLEGE
Keywords: Education Technology, STEM, coding, robotics, ICT, teacher training, leadership


This short practitioner report discussed the role of the school leadership in the implementation of programming, and STEM concepts into classroom practice in an educational institution in Izmir, Turkey. The study investigated the process of how the school's leadership team including the ICT coordinator made it possible to integrate these relatively new concepts into the school’s curriculum by effectively managing the change process. 50 teachers from different fields including early years, primary, history, science, mathematics, computing, visual arts, and English, were active participants in the implementation program and were asked to regularly reflect on their experiences. The data from the teacher’s reflective journals showed that both programming and STEM concepts were seamlessly integrated into the schools’ curricula and classroom practice. The teachers reported that by receiving training about these concepts and the tools that are necessary for teaching them, was beneficial for supporting the student’s development of 21st-century learning skills such as collaboration, communication and problem-solving. They also explained how the supportive attitude of the leadership team which provided time, resources and training opportunities for teachers, had an impact on the teachers' attitude towards the change process.


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Author Biography


Serpil Tuti-Sari, a native of Turkey, lives in Izmir, Turkey. She is currently working at TED IZMIR COLLEGE as VP and ICT Coordinator. Previously, She worked at Providence College, Providence, RI, USA at Instructional Technology Development Program as an instructional technologist. Serpil received her bachelor of science in Computer Education and Instructional Technology Teaching at Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey, in 2002. She received her master of science in Computer Education and Instructional Technology at the same university in 2005.

While she was a senior undergraduate student, she started to work as a part-time ICT teacher at Ihsan Dogramaci Foundation Bilkent Schools (K-8) and continued as full-time upon graduation. Also worked with teachers on integrating technology into education until 2011. Her leadership at Bilkent Schools resulted in three computer laboratories. Two of them were for teaching with interactive white boards, printer and including 25 computers. The other laboratory was for the library. It was designed for students’ research projects. After conducting the fully-equipped computer laboratories, she offered computer classes to teachers for their integration of ICT into their lessons in three different levels. After two years’ time all the teachers have had good ICT literacy and were able to create web pages for their courses. 

In 2007, there was no clear ICT curriculum in the school, seeing this, she published 11 books by considering ICT skills in the world and student levels in Turkey. Three of them are for ICT teachers as guide books, on how to teach and how to use student book, including all lesson plans and activities. The other eight books are for 1-8 grades students including one-to-one computer activities. Her books are still in use in many schools in Turkey.

Starting 2008, she started to work as an instructor at Bilkent University Graduate School of Education while she was still teaching Bilkent Schools. She offered many courses, some of which were computer teaching methods for computer teacher candidates, and educational technology and material development for English teacher candidates. She also supervised the teacher candidates in her classroom. Her positions at Graduate School of Education at Bilkent University and Bilkent Schools provided a strong feedback loop and connect theory and practice for teacher candidates and students. 

In February 2011, she went to Singapore for her husband’s research for five months. She took this time examining the education system of Singapore and she made some school visits to see different examples, and to see how to diversity work in the school. The feedbacks were also very useful for her. 

After coming back to Turkey from Singapore, she wanted to see business side of educational technology, and she worked as an instructional designer and then as a project manager at an e-learning firm, Enocta, in Ankara. She had a chance to work with several companies in their e-learning projects. Also for a short term, she worked and played a key role at Intel Turkey office as a pedagogical project manager for a nation-wide 1-to-1 tablet project (F@tih Project). She visited pilot schools and had interviewed principals, teachers, students.

Afterwards, from 2012 to 2015, she lived in USA, where she was employed by Providence College and where her daughter Esin was born. While continuing her position at Isikkent Egitim Campus as ICT Coordinator in 2016, She also worked as an Associate Consultant (e-learning) at Capacity Development of Employees and Employers via ICT (Bilge-Ä°ÅŸ) Project supported by European Union and Turkish Ministry of Labor. She is also a member of IBDP community as a ITGS examiner. She is the finalist of "Woman Leaders of Technology" as a "Successful Education Leader of Year 2017", chosen by Microsoft & Kagide & AydinDoganFoundation.


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How to Cite
Sari, S. T. (2019). The Role of School Leadership in the Implementation of Programming and Stem Concepts into Classroom Practice. International Journal of Computer Science Education in Schools, 2(5), 39-44.