Using Activity Theory to Analyse Contradictions in English Teachers’ Technology Integration

Ardi Marwan, Trudy-Ann Sweeney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


This paper reports on a qualitative research project investigating the integration of technology by three English teachers in a public secondary school in Indonesia. Third generation activity theory and Engeström and Sannino’s (J Organ Change Manag 24(3):368–387, 2011) methodological framework for the identification and analysis of different types of discursive manifestations of contradictions are used to identify tensions within and between the activity systems of the teachers and school management related to the expectation that teachers make use of the school’s investment in technology. Four types of contradictions are identified: a dilemma related to teachers’ perceived value and use of technology for personal and professional purposes; a conflict focused on the support required for teachers’ technology integration; a conflict related to teachers’ workload and a critical conflict related to the silencing of teachers in decision making. The identification of these contradictions highlights the necessity for policy makers, school leaders, teachers and the research community to work collaboratively to ensure that students have opportunities to use technology for their social, civic and economic well-being.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-125
Number of pages11
JournalThe Asia-Pacific Education Researcher
Issue number2
Early online date27 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2019


  • Activity theory
  • Contradictions
  • English
  • ICT
  • Integration
  • Teachers
  • Technology


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