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ERIC Number: ED283513
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Microcomputer Education in an Elementary School: The Rhetoric vs. the Reality of an Innovation.
Woodward, Arthur; Mathinos, Debra A.
In order to discover the extent to which the rhetoric surrounding computers in schools is matched by reality, a study of computer use and teacher acceptance was undertaken in a large upper elementary school (grades 4-6) in an affluent, semi-rural community near a major metropolitan area. The school was near the end of its five year instructional computer plan, which included an extensive inservice component consisting of summer computer literacy workshops, training of newly hired teachers, and training in specialized computer applications. Thirty-four teachers and two administrators completed a questionnaire on their computer use and attitudes toward computers. Logs were kept of student use of computers, documents relating to computer use and policy were analyzed, teachers and administrators were interviewed, and teachers and students were observed using computers. Data analysis indicated that the microcomputer-based innovation has a long way to go before it could be claimed that computers are fully integrated into the school and curriculum. Three major problems are perceived by teachers: (1) limited amount of time in the school day; (2) teacher accountability for student performance on standardized achievement tests which do not include computer skills; and (3) limited availability of hardware. It is recommended that administrators act as mediators of the innovation to create a bridge that would allow teachers to move from very utilitarian, familiar computer applications to those that would truly effect fundamental change in how teachers teach and students learn. (MES)
Descriptors: Computer Literacy, Computer Uses in Education, Curriculum Development, Educational Planning, Equal Education, Inservice Teacher Education, Intermediate Grades, Microcomputers, Program Effectiveness, Programed Instruction, Teacher Attitudes, Teacher Responsibility, Time Factors (Learning)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Washington, DC, April 20-24, 1987).