Title

Exploring social studies teachers' attitude towards computers in education

Date of Award

8-1-2009

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Master of Education (M. Ed.)

Department

Institute for Educational Development, Karachi

Abstract

Teachers play a vital role in creating a technology-based learning environment in schools where students become knowledge generators and active participants in their own learning and teachers are the facilitators. We understand that teachers' attitude plays a significant role in acceptance and adoption oftechnology for teaching. Several studies in the developed as well as in the developing worlds have focused on training of teachers for computer use; however, there is a need to explore the attitude of teachers towards computer use. Few studies have been conducted in the developed world for exploring teachers' attitude such as Christensen (1999) and Pelgrum and Plomp (1993), and there is a need to explore attitude of teachers in Pakistan. In this regard this study focused on exploring social studies teachers' attitude towards computer use. The major aim of the study was to determine the attitudes of Social Studies teachers from Government, Private and Community schools in Karachi, Pakistan towards the use of computers in education. A subsidiary aim was to explore the demographic characteristics which contribute to their attitude towards the computers use in education. The study employed quantitative design. Stratified random sampling was used where social studies teachers from three school systems in Karachi were surveyed. Pelgrum and Plomp's (1993) Attitudinal Questionnaire was adapted to collect data from the respondents. Data were collected regarding their demographic information and attitudes related to the educational and social impact, training needs, self-confidence and other general attitudes towards computers. The findings inform that majority of the social studies teachers were female of 40 years or less. Most teachers (82%) owned a personal computer and 51o/o teachers have prior computer training. The teachers exhibited very positive attitude towards educational impact and attributed high value to the need for training in order to use computers. This was in contrast to their attitude towards the social impact and their self-confidence in using computers. Furthermore, it was found that the government school teachers show a less positive attitude overall and their attitude towards training needs and their self-confidence were low. Young teachers have more positive overall attitude towards computers. They also exhibit a positive attitude towards the educational impact. However, in regression models age does not contribute significantly to their attitude towards training needs and self-confidence. Teachers with prior trainings exhibit a more positive attitude towards the educational impact. The study findings provide important insights into social studies teachers' attitude towards computers in education. A need for appropriate Information Communication Technology (ICT) training for government teachers has been highlighted. It is recommended that ICT component should be included in the teachers' education prograrnmes for Social Studies teachers.

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