Teacher attitudes and perceptions toward instructional computing in a K–5 math,science and technology school
Hyeon Ji Seo, University of Southern California, United States
University of Southern California . Awarded
Attitude-behavior theory suggests that the behavioral intention of individuals is a primary predictor of their behavior, and attitudes control behavioral intentions Therefore, to induce teachers to use computers in instruction (behavior), teacher attitudes toward computer use must be gauged. In addition, teacher confidence in applying computers to instruction is another factor predicting the use of computers in instruction. Based on these theoretical assumptions, this study examined the attitudes and confidence of teachers toward computers in a math, science, and technology elementary school as important variables to predict the future behavior of teachers with respect to instructional computing. Results of this study were similar to those found in previous research investigations regarding teacher attitudes and confidence toward instructional computing. The teachers in this study, as reported here, had positive attitudes toward instructional computing but moderate confidence in using computers. There was no difference between the lower and upper elementary grade teachers concerning computer attitudes. The lower grade teachers believed that they were competent in basic computer knowledge and skills such as word processing and web surfing; the upper grade teachers were confident in their ability to apply basic computer knowledge and skills to classroom instruction.
Importantly, teacher computer attitudes and confidence levels can change as a result of external factors, such as computer-related training and technical support. The relationship between teachers' computer attitudes and confidence levels was positive and moderate. Hence, the relationship between the two variables was stronger in the lower grade teachers than the upper grade teachers. It was inferred that the upper grade teachers were more experienced in using computers for instruction and therefore recognized that an external factor such as institutional support could influence their attitudes and confidence regarding instructional computing. As a result, the upper grade teachers' belief in the relationship between computer attitudes and confidence might be less strong than that of the lower grade teachers. Finally, the teachers were convinced that well-designed computer-related workshops can improve their computer attitudes and confidence, as well as their computer knowledge and skills.
Seo, H.J. Teacher attitudes and perceptions toward instructional computing in a K–5 math,science and technology school. Ph.D. thesis, University of Southern California.
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