Computer use in senior high school science instruction : a survey of senior high school science teachers in southern Alberta

Thumbnail Image
Orr, Douglas Robert
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Education
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Education, 1991
This project is concerned with the ways in which senior high school science teachers use microcomputer technology in their regular science instruction programs. The focus of this study is the classroom teacher - teacher attitudes and behaviors, and some of the underlying factors connecting what teachers think and do about innovation and change, specifically concerning the applications of micro-computers to senior high school science classroom instruction and management. The intent of this project is to provide some specific information about the ways in which senior high school science teachers in southern Alberta utilize microcomputer technology in their classes; and to identify some of their attitudes about microcomputer technology in senior high school science instruction. The study itself consisted of two components: a survey of high school science teachers, and interviews with four of the survey respondents. The survey component comprised a questionnaire to determine to what extent micro-computers are actually being used in high school science classrooms, the nature of this use, and a simple experience and attitude profile of both users and nonusers. The second facet of this study consisted of interviews with four volunteers from the survey sample, to provide a broader and deeper portrait of the situational and attitudinal environments associated with different degrees of microcomputer use in senior high school science instruction. Primarily, this project focused on determing what senior high school teachers in this region are doing with microcomputers, and what factors appear to influence or predicate these uses. Forty-five teachers responded to the survey. The primary computer use reported by these respondents was word-processing and grade calculation. Only very limited use of computers by students in science classes was reported. While a majority of teachers reported endorsement of the integration of computers into the high school science program, most also reported receiving little or no support from administrations for such integration. Teachers cited shortages of funds, restricted access to hardware, and lack of quality software as major hindrances to implementation of microcomputer technology in senior high school science classrooms. While the impetus for technological innovation may come from the grassroots, implementational momentum must come from the educational hierarchy.
viii, 152 leaves ; 29 cm.
Education -- Data processing , Science -- Study and teaching (Secondary) -- Alberta , Science teachers -- Alberta