Open Collections

UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Sex-related differences in attitudes toward computers at the grade 4 level Klassen, Wendy 1985

Your browser doesn't seem to have a PDF viewer, please download the PDF to view this item.

Item Metadata

Download

Media
831-UBC_1985_A8 K58.pdf [ 3.7MB ]
Metadata
JSON: 831-1.0096452.json
JSON-LD: 831-1.0096452-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): 831-1.0096452-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: 831-1.0096452-rdf.json
Turtle: 831-1.0096452-turtle.txt
N-Triples: 831-1.0096452-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: 831-1.0096452-source.json
Full Text
831-1.0096452-fulltext.txt
Citation
831-1.0096452.ris

Full Text

SEX-RELATED DIFFERENCES IN ATTITUDES TOWARD COMPUTERS AT THE GRADE 4 LEVEL by Wendy Lynn Klassen B.Ed., University of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1977 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of Mathematics and Science Education) We accept t h i s thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA May 1985 Wendy Lynn Klassen $935 In presenting t h i s thesis i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the Library s h a l l make i t f r e e l y available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of t h i s thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. I t i s understood that copying or publication of t h i s thesis for f i n a n c i a l gain s h a l l not be allowed without my written permission. Department of ftAdStfaz/nfta&Cs& asntfls S"g^yL-£d> £zjl4<^&Zis(r-yv' The University of B r i t i s h Columbia 1956 Main Mall Vancouver, Canada V6T 1Y3 Date jf'DB-M Page i i ABSTRACT Thesis Supervisor: Dr. David F. R o b i t a i l l e The purpose of t h i s study was to determine whether there were sex-related differences i n students' attitudes toward computers at the Grade 4 l e v e l . A questionnaire was constructed, consisting of twenty-five multiple choice items, two subjective items and eight background items. The multiple choice items were grouped into s i x reporting categories: (1) Interest i n and Enjoyment i n Using Computers, (2) Anxiety and Confidence About Computer Use, (3) Perceived Usefulness of Computers, (4) Perceived Sex Roles i n Attitudes Toward Computers, (5) Relationship Between Mathematics and Computers, and (6) Attitudes Toward Mathematics. The questionnaire was administered to a sample of 290 students. The sample consisted of 143 g i r l s and 147 boys. The data were analysed to determine any sex differences i n responses to each of the items i n each of the reporting categories. Attitudes toward i n d i v i d u a l items and reporting categories were defined to be p o s i t i v e i f 50% or more of the students/girls/boys responded to the item/category i n a manner established by the author as p o s i t i v e . To i d e n t i f y Page i i i s i g n i f i c a n t l y d i f f e r e n t responses, median p o l i s h was used on the item-by-gender tables. Results of the median p o l i s h revealed items that had been reacted to, by a l l students, i n a more strongly p o s i t i v e or negative manner i n comparison to the other items within the category. In addition, sex differences i n responses to each of the items and the reporting categories were indicated and any patterns related to e i t h e r items or gender were revealed. In addition to the analysis of i n d i v i d u a l items and reporting categories, r e s u l t s from the 25 items f o r g i r l s were compared based on whether or not t h e i r mothers use computers and also f o r a l l students based on whether or not they had computers at home. The r e s u l t s of the questionnaire indicate that there were no sex differences i n responses to f i v e of the s i x reporting categories. G i r l s and boys at t h i s age would seem to have comparable p o s i t i v e attitudes toward computers with regard to "Interest i n and Enjoyment i n Using Computers", "Anxiety and Confidence About Computer Use", "Perceived Usefulness of Computers" and "Relationship Between Mathematics and Computers", and "Attitudes Toward Mathematics". There were s i g n i f i c a n t sex-related differences i n one category, "Perceived Sex Roles i n Attiudes Toward Computers". I t was found that while both g i r l s and boys have a p o s i t i v e attitude i n t h i s Page i v category, 22% more g i r l s than boys displayed t h i s p o s i t i v e a t t i t u d e . However, i n view of the d i f f i c u l t y of i n t e r p r e t i n g these r e s u l t s , one cannot provide a strong argument fo r concluding that one gender has a stronger p o s i t i v e (less sexist) attitude than the other. G i r l s and boys at t h i s age f e e l i t i s j u s t as important f o r eit h e r sex to use and learn about computers. Page v CONTENTS Page ABSTRACT i i LIST OF TABLES v i i i ACKNOWLEDGEMENT X Chapter 1. INTRODUCTION 1 Major Questions Posed i n the Study 5 2. REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE 7 P a r t i c i p a t i o n 7 Soci a l Issues 17 Summary 23 3. METHOD 24 Sample Selection 24 Description of the Sample 24 Procedures 25 Student Data C o l l e c t i o n Instrument 25 Teacher Questionnaire 27 F i e l d Testing 28 Corrections to the Attitude Questionnaire Based on F i e l d Testing 29 Questionnaire Administration 3 0 Data Analysis 31 Methods of Analysis 32 Median Po l i s h 33 Page v i 4. FINDINGS 37 Teacher Questionnaire 37 Student Questionnaire 39 Background Data 39 Reporting Categories 44 Interest i n and Enjoyment i n Using Computers 44 Anxiety and Confidence About Computer Use 48 Perceived Usefulness of Computers 51 Perceived Sex Roles i n Attitudes Toward Computers 54 Relationship Between Mathematics and Computers 60 Attitudes Toward Mathematics 62 G i r l s and Their Mothers 64 Home Computers 66 Open-Response Items 68 5. SUMMARY/ CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS ... 70 Introduction 70 Reporting Categories 71 Individual Items 72 Further Findings 74 Conclusions 76 Recommendations 78 BIBLIOGRAPHY 80 Page v i i APPENDIXES 83 A Directions f o r Administering the Attitude Questionnaire 83 B Student Questionnaire 84 C Teacher Questionnaire 88 Page v i i i LIST OF TABLES TABLE Page 1 D i s t r i b u t i o n of Subjects by Grade and Gender 25 2 Summary Analysis of Background Item 2 40 3 Summary Analysis of Background Item 3 40 4 Summary Analysis of Background Item 4 41 5 Summary Analysis of Background Item 5 42 6 Summary Analysis of Background Item 6 43 7 Summary Analysis of Background Item 7 43 8 Summary Analysis of Background Item 8 44 9 Interest i n and Enjoyment i n Using Computers 4 6 10 Interest i n and Enjoyment i n Using Computers (Results a f t e r Median Polishing) 47 11 Anxiety and Confidence About Computer Use 49 12 Anxiety and Confidence About Computer Use (Results a f t e r Median Polishing) 50 13 Perceived Usefulness of Computers 52 14 Perceived Usefulness of Computers (Results a f t e r Median Polishing) 53 15 Perceived Sex Roles i n Attitudes Toward Computers 55 16 Perceived Sex Roles i n Attitudes Toward Computers (Results a f t e r Median Polishing) 56 17 Comparison of Items 7 and 14 58 18 Relationship Between Mathematics and Computers 60 19 Relationship Between Mathematics and Computers (Results a f t e r Median Polishing) 61 20 Attitudes Toward Mathematics 63 Page i x 21 Attitudes Toward Mathematics (Results a f t e r Median Polishing) 63 22 G i r l s and t h e i r Mothers 64 23 Home Computers 66 Page x ACKNOWLEDGEMENT I wish to thank members of my thes i s committee, Dr. David R o b i t a i l l e , Dr. James S h e r r i l l and Dr. Gaalen Er ickson for t h e i r guidance. I t has been a p r i v i l e g e for me to work with them. I o f f e r my thanks to Dr. Paul ine Weinstein who encouraged me as a female mathematics educator. My thanks are a lso due to the teachers and students i n the Richmond School D i s t r i c t who w i l l i n g l y p a r t i c i p a t e d i n the study. F i n a l l y , I would l i k e to thank my col league, Ken Corbett for h i s guidance, my family for t h e i r support and e s p e c i a l l y my husband Bob for h i s constant encouragement. Page 1 Chapter 1 INTRODUCTION The use of computers i n elementary and secondary schools i s increasing r a p i d l y . The issues of concern to educators regarding the r o l e of the computer i n the classroom are numerous. Computer equity i s one issue that has received much attention (Alvarado, 1984; Anderson, Welch & Harris, 1984; Johnson, M.L., 1983; Komoski, 1984; Lautenberg, 1984; Lipkin, 1984; Schubert & Bakke, 1984; Winkle & Mathews, 1982). Educators are concerned about the a c c e s s i b i l i t y of computers to c e r t a i n groups of people based on economics, race, sex, i n t e l l i g e n c e , physical d i s a b i l i t i e s , and community s i z e and region. Of p a r t i c u l a r i n t e r e s t to t h i s author was the top i c of gender equity with regard to computers. This t o p i c has also received attention (Fisher, 1984a, 1984b; G i l l i l a n d , 1984; K i e s l e r , Sproulls & Eccles, 1983; Kolata, 1984; Lockheed & Frakt, 1984; Marrapodi, 1984; Miura & Hess, 1984; Sanders, 1984). The authors l i s t e d suggest that the computer may be becoming a male domain and that g i r l s may be being l e f t behind. They suggest a v a r i e t y of reasons for t h i s state of a f f a i r s which may be loosely grouped as follows: (1) g i r l s Page 2 have no i n t e r e s t i n using computers and see l i t t l e further usefulness f o r themselves, (2) g i r l s do not have access to computers, and (3) g i r l s lack the inherent a b i l i t y to use and be successful with computers. Whether these views have been adopted by females themselves, or nurtured by males, parents, teachers, the media or society i n general i s not known. Some conjectures imply that factors, inherent to the sexes, may be a cause of g i r l s ' d i s i n t e r e s t (Kiesler, Sproull, & Eccles, 1984; Lockhead and Frakt, 1984). Others suggest that while t h i s difference i n in t e r e s t i s not apparent i n elementary school, i t does appear around the onset of puberty. Sanders (1984) suggests some s o c i a l l y related reasons f o r lack of female p a r t i c i p a t i o n at t h i s age. G i r l s , she suggests, are very s o c i a l , and prefer people to things. G i r l s lead a more active s o c i a l l i f e than boys at t h i s age. I t i s also acceptable f o r g i r l s of t h i s age to give up i n the face of d i f f i c u l t y and to avoid competition with boys at the computer for fear of winning and appearing unfeminine and unattractive to boys (Sanders, 1984) . Boss (1982) concurs with the l a t t e r and states, Females tend to defer to males when both want to use a computer i n order to avoid h o s t i l i t y and seek friendship - e s p e c i a l l y when females are ju s t "discovering" boys. (p.56) Page 3 Other authors suggest that i t i s not that computers themselves do not i n t e r e s t g i r l s but rather that the atmosphere where computers are kept and the software that i s avai l a b l e do not i n t e r e s t g i r l s . The aggressive, competitive games that are often found i n the video arcade as well as the classroom have t r a d i t i o n a l l y held greater i n t e r e s t for boys than f o r g i r l s (Kiesler, Sproull, & Eccles, 1983; Fisher, 1984). Future usefulness i s perhaps the most important concern to students today who are learning to use computers. Career choices and s a l a r i e s w i l l be l i m i t e d to those g i r l s and boys who opt out of learning about computers i n school (Lipkin, 1984; Johnson, B., 1983; Sanders, 1984). The best way to increase female p a r t i c i p a t i o n , p a r t i c u l a r l y at the secondary school l e v e l , may be to make students more aware of the future implications of t h e i r present choices regarding computers. Although numbers vary, there i s general agreement that as our society becomes increasingly technological, career „ q u a l i f i c a t i o n s w i l l undoubtedly involve some experience with computers (Lipkin, 1984, Nordman, 1984; Sanders, 1984; Johnson, B.D. 1983; Schubert & Bakke, 1984; Alvarado, 1984). The question of access to computers goes beyond the classroom walls to include computer clubs, summer camps and classes and i n d i v i d u a l homes. Generally, boys are encouraged Page 4 'more, and more often f i n a n c i a l l y supported to attend optional sorts of computer a c t i v i t i e s (Miura & Hess, 1984; Fisher, 1984; Sanders, 1984). As well, the media tends to be more male-oriented with regard to computer advertising (Lockheed & Frakt, 1984; Fisher, 1984a). The f i n a l theory for the gender inequity i n computer use i s centred around mathematics. Some people believe that g i r l s inherently have less a b i l i t y than boys i n mathematics. I t i s easy to transfer such a b e l i e f regarding mathematics to computers ( C o l l i s , 1984; Sanders, 1984; Alvarado, 1984; Winkle, 1982) . However, the computer need not be s o l e l y associated with mathematics. For example, C o l l i s (1984) suggests u t i l i z i n g the p o s i t i v e feelings g i r l s have about w r i t i n g to introduce the use of computers through word processing as part of English classes. While the p o t e n t i a l reasons for the lower rate of female i n t e r e s t i n and p a r t i c i p a t i o n with computers are numerous, so are the suggested remedies to equalize the rate. As educators are becoming more aware of the problems regarding a c c e s s i b i l i t y , i n t e r e s t , and a b i l i t y i n regard to computers, and are w i l l i n g to act upon them, the gender equity issue i n the f i e l d of computers may become an unnecessary area of concern. Page 5 Major Questions Posed i n the Study Most studies reporting on sex-differences and computers have been c a r r i e d out at the secondary school l e v e l . The intent of t h i s study was to determine i f any sex-differences appear at an e a r l i e r age. In p a r t i c u l a r , information was sought and differences examined i n the stated a t t i t u d e of Grade 4 g i r l s and boys i n regard to computer use. The t o p i c of attitude was sub-divided into s i x categories. These categories were formed on the basis of information that had been reported at the secondary school l e v e l . The s i x reporting categories were: (1) Interest i n and Enjoyment i n Using Computers, (2) Anxiety and Confidence about Computer Use, (3) Perceived Usefulness of Computers, (4) Perceived Sex Roles i n Attitudes Toward Computers, (5) Relationship Between Mathematics and Computers, and (6) Attitude Towards Mathematics. The primary purpose was to use information received from a sample of Grade 4 students to generalize on the attitudes of that age group with regard to each of the above mentioned reporting categories and to determine i f there were any sex-related differences at such a young age. Page 6 A secondary o b j e c t i v e was t o c o l l e c t b a s e l i n e data, from Grade 4 students, r e g a r d i n g computers and t o determine any s e x - r e l a t e d d i f f e r e n c e s . Examples of b a s e l i n e data would be data gathered by the f o l l o w i n g type o f q u e s t i o n s : 1. Have you ever used a computer a t s c h o o l b e f o r e ? 2 . Do you have a computer a t home? A f i n a l o b j e c t i v e was t o determine p o t e n t i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s between the b a s e l i n e data and the s i x main r e p o r t i n g c a t e g o r i e s . The f o l l o w i n g q u e s t i o n s were asked: 1. I s t h e r e a r e l a t i o n s h i p between ha v i n g a computer at home and a t t i t u d e as measured i n the s i x r e p o r t i n g c a t e g o r i e s ? 2 . I s t h e r e a r e l a t i o n s h i p between g i r l s ' mothers u s i n g computers and a t t i t u d e as measured i n the s i x r e p o r t i n g c a t e g o r i e s ? From the f o l l o w i n g two open response q u e s t i o n s , a d d i t i o n a l i n f o r m a t i o n was sought r e g a r d i n g the students• p e r c e p t i o n s o f f u t u r e u s e f u l n e s s o f computers and i n f l u e n c e from home. 1. How do you t h i n k you c o u l d use a computer when you are an a d u l t ? 2 . Do you t h i n k t h a t your mother and f a t h e r a re e n t h u s i a s t i c about you l e a r n i n g t o use a computer? T e l l why or why not. Page 7 Chapter 2 REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE Because the topics of computer equity and sex differences i n regard to computers are r e l a t i v e l y new, the review of rel a t e d l i t e r a t u r e only dates back a few years. The review has been organized into two sections. The f i r s t section, " P a r t i c i p a t i o n " , deals with the enrollment i n computer-related a c t i v i t i e s and curriculum content of computer courses. In p a r t i c u l a r the r e l a t i o n s h i p between mathematics and computers i s discussed. The, future relevance f o r children learning about computers now i s also discussed. In the second section, "Social Issues", a f f e c t i n g female p a r t i c i p a t i o n with computers are presented. Also, the atmosphere of where computers are used and the software employed are discussed. P a r t i c i p a t i o n Educators concerned with gender equity and the computer believe there are a v a r i e t y of factors that produce inequitable access to computers and computer knowledge for females. This gender gap i n access w i l l eventually lead to a gender gap not only i n computer knowledge, but also i n experience and comfort of use for females. The consequences of Page 8 the sex differences become more meaningful when one considers that the occupational and career choices of the computer i l l i t e r a t e w i l l be reduced i n an increasingly technological society. The problem of a person l i m i t i n g h i s or her future because of choices made i n high school regarding computers, has summoned attention at the school d i s t r i c t as well as the national l e v e l . Recent reports from l o c a l school boards and the Science Council of Canada show that many g i r l s are jeopardizing t h e i r future job prospects by deciding i n t h e i r teens that math, science and computers are best l e f t to the boys. And a national study by the Canadian School Trustees Association warns that those g i r l s w i l l be forced to enter low-paying jobs, many of which w i l l be phased out within the next decade. Indeed, by 1990 most jobs w i l l require some computer s k i l l s . (Johnson, B.D., 1983 p.45) The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that by the time our children enter the job market, 50 -70% of the jobs w i l l involve computers i n some way. (Sanders, 1984, p.32) Not only i s the choice to get involved i n computers an important one, but so also i s the form that involvement takes. Nordman (1984) asks, "Why i s i t so common to f i n d a Computer Science 11 class with 24 boys and 1 g i r l and Data Processing with 24 g i r l s and 1 boy?" He continues to say that " G i r l s seem to be b l i n d to the implications of t h e i r choices." Lipkin of the Mid-Atlantic Centre for Sex Equity concurs. While working with the Project on Equal Rights, PEER, Lipkin found that g i r l s Page 9 tended to take computer courses that would lead them to s e c r e t a r i a l or computer operator jobs; jobs Lipkin terms as servants of the computer. Boys, he found, predominated i n the courses that led to higher paying jobs i n the computer f i e l d s such as accounting and d r a f t i n g (Zakariya, 1984). While few studies have been conducted to provide actual numbers regarding computer course choices of boys and g i r l s , many authors stress the importance of that choice i n our increasingly technological society (Sanders, 1984; Winkle & Mathews, 1982; Schubert & Bakke, 1984; Fisher, 1984; Alvarado, 1984) . From a p o s i t i v e viewpoint, some studies have shown that g i r l s are aware of the importance computers play i n t h e i r furture. In C a l i f o r n i a , where the majority of studies on computer equity seem to be taking place, three reports, i n p a r t i c u l a r , stated very p o s i t i v e r e s u l t s with regard to g i r l s ' awareness of the importance of computers (Lockheed & Frakt, 1984) . In a statewide study of 17 861 C a l i f o r n i a students, nearly three-quarters of the twelfth grade g i r l s and two-thirds of s i x t h grade g i r l s agreed that a knowledge of computers w i l l help to get a better job. The 1983 Gallup Youth Survey reported that 65 percent of g i r l s aged 13-19 planned to take computer courses i n college and over h a l f of that group thought i t l i k e l y that they would have a computer-related major i n college. And i n a recent survey of high school students Page 10 enrolled i n a mandatory computer science course, 80% of the g i r l s (as compared to 82% of the boys) agreed that knowing about computers would be important for t h e i r own future. While some authors (Kolata, 1984; K i e s l e r , Sproull & Eccles, 1983) suggest that sex differences with regard to computers appear as early as elementary school, others f i n d computer use i n early grades to be f a i r l y equal but begins to change around puberty. At t h i s age (outset of puberty), female students show les s i n t e r e s t i n computing and tend to avoid e l e c t i v e classes i n computing and i n higher-level mathematics. (Alvarado, 1984, p.47) The s t a t i s t i c s that are avai l a b l e for the secondary school l e v e l , where computer courses are chosen, show d e f i n i t e differences between the number of males and females enrolled. In a C a l i f o r n i a study (Kolata, 1984), only thirty-seven percent of students enrolled i n high school computer classes were g i r l s ; a nationwide (U.S.) p o l l of 17-year-olds shows that nearly twice as many boys as g i r l s take computer programming courses. In h i s project r e s u l t s , Lipkin (Zakariya, 1984, p.31) states that i n academic courses such as mathematics-related computer science courses, boys outnumber g i r l s two to one. However, he views that p o s i t i v e l y i n that as recently as f i v e years ago the r a t i o of boys to g i r l s was eight to one. The Page 11 Toronto Board of Education found that by Grade 13, twice as many boys as g i r l s were enrolled i n both algebra and computer science (Johnson, B.D., 1983). The lower enrollment figures f o r females e x i s t at the college, u n i v e r s i t y and career l e v e l s as well. At Berkeley only 23 percent of the computer science majors are women. The 1980 census (U.S.) found that j u s t 23 percent of systems analysts and 31 percent of computer programmers are women. The more advanced the computer t r a i n i n g , the fewer women e n r o l l . At MIT, the male graduate students i n Computer Science outnumber the females nearly ten to one. (Kolata, 1984, p.24) Course content of secondary school computer classes i s one possible cause of low female enrollment. Many authors suggest that the mathematics oriented c u r r i c u l a of introductory courses tends to discourage females. While many high schools require algebra as a prerequisite for programming, unnecessary emphasis on math r e s t r i c t s g i r l s ' i n t e r e s t i n programming classes. (Fisher, 1984a, p.26) Similar concerns have been voiced by EQUALS i n Computer Technology, an inservice program developed at the Lawrence H a l l of Science at University of C a l i f o r n i a , Berkeley, to increase educators' awareness of the importance to females of acquiring technological competence. They pose the following questions: Page 12 Is advanced math, a subject more frequently taken by boys, used as a prerequisite f o r programming classes? Would English serve j u s t as constructively? Is i t possible to base some of the programming on language content rather than on mathematics content? ( G i l l i l a n d , 1984, p.43) C e r t a i n l y these are v a l i d questions and the answers could prove quite revealing. I t may be possible that i t i s not the computer courses themselves that discourage female enrollment, but the lack of prerequisite courses and s k i l l s that a c t u a l l y l i m i t female p a r t i c i p a t i o n . A number of authors have suggested that the focus of introductory computer courses should not be programming, but rather, should present an array of more meaningful topics to s u i t a v a r i e t y of students. (Lockheed & Frakt, 1984; Fisher, 1984a) Studies show that g i r l s f i n d l i t t l e immediate p r a c t i c a l use for simple programming s k i l l s and would rather learn applications programs fo r word processing, database use or graphics. (Lockheed & Frakt, 1984, p.17) To promote more self-confidence and p a r t i c i p a t i o n for females, remove computer studies experiences from a mathematical or s c i e n t i f i c context. U t i l i z e the p o s i t i v e feelings about w r i t i n g to introduce computer use through word processing as part of English classes. ( C o l l i s , 1981, p.2) Page 13 BASIC programming, i n p a r t i c u l a r , has been c r i t i c i z e d as being too algebraic for beginners, p a r t i c u l a r l y females (Marrapodi, 1984). Logo, a computer language designed f o r the elementary and secondary school student, has been suggested as an a l t e r n a t i v e (Zakariya, 1984; Alvarado, 1984; Sanders, 1984; Marrapodi, 1984; Nordman, 1984; K i e s l e r , Sproull & Eccles, 1984). Logo i s based on manipulating a c u r s o r - l i k e ' t u r t l e 1 , making shapes on the screen by means of simple vocabulary commands. I t s graphic nature seems to be more appealing to female students (Marrapodi, 1984), and may i n turn increase female enrollment (Lockheed & Frakt, 1984; Sanders, 1984). The Cupertino Union School D i s t r i c t finds a maximum of 3 0% g i r l s i n BASIC classes, but up to 50% i n Logo Classes. (Fisher, 1984a, p.26) I t i s possible, then, to increase female p a r t i c i p a t i o n i f courses o f f e r topics of greater i n t e r e s t to them. S p e c i f i c applications might include a greater emphasis on graphics, word processing, personal f i l i n g systems and programs involving language, art and music. Besides computer classes, the computer has been used extensively i n the mathematics classroom (Lockheed & Frakt, 1984; Lipkin, 1984; Sanders, 1984). Mathematics has t r a d i t i o n a l l y been deemed a male domain and at the secondary Page 14 school l e v e l , t h i s can be supported by data. The b e l i e f i s also present at the elementary school l e v e l and while not supported by data, the b e l i e f remains a popular one. I f computers are associated with mathematics, w i l l these perceived general negative feelings of in t e r e s t and attitude and supposed i n a b i l i t y of females with regard to mathematics tra n s f e r automatically to computers? In her study C o l l i s (1984), found a p o s i t i v e answer to that question, when she surveyed 1293 grade 12 students and 1606 grade 8 students. Students' attitudes toward mathematics and science are mildly p r e d i c t i v e of t h e i r attitudes toward computers. Females are more l i k e l y than males to transfer negative feelings about mathematics to negative assumptions about computer use and users. (1984, p.2) Winkle and Mathews (1982) also see a d i r e c t r e l a t i o n s h i p between attitudes toward mathematics and attitudes toward computers. "Feelings of anxiety (by women) when confronting anything 'mathematical' r e a d i l y s p i l l over to computers" (p.315). Besides r e l a t i n g to mathematics, there are c o n f l i c t i n g views on how females' inherent a b i l i t y or i n a b i l i t y r e l a t e s to s u i t a b i l i t y of computer use. "There i s absolutely no question that women are equally q u a l i f i e d to learn about computers" (Kolata, 1984, p.24), says Stage, an educational psychologist Page 15 at the Lawrence H a l l of Science at Berkeley. Fennema, an education researcher at the University of Wisconsin, claims Some of the very t r a i t s often considered feminine are p a r t i c u l a r l y suitable for computer s p e c i a l i s t s : patience and attention to d e t a i l f o r example. (Kolata, 1984, p.24) There may be nothing i n t r i n s i c to computing to discourage g i r l s (Kiesler, Sproull & Eccles, 1983) but there may be s o c i a l factors that do. Winkle and Mathews (Lawton & Gerschner, 1982) wrote that women's s o c i a l i z a t i o n make them less receptive toward computers, and therefore they may require s p e c i a l treatment to reduce anxiety and enhance learning. Some authors view the computer as a mechanical toy and believe that to be a reason for female d i s i n t e r e s t . Computer stores are also an a l i e n environment f o r most g i r l s and women by v i r t u e of the very products they stock. Most women are not f a m i l i a r with e l e c t r o n i c s equipment, wires, and rela t e d accessories. (Kiesler, Sproull & Eccles, 1983, p.43) A common conjecture i s that young boys are more apt to tin k e r and be more comfortable with machines. I f the computer i s viewed simply as a machine, the sex differences i n i n t e r e s t may be explained. Others look at the software component of the Page 16 computer industry and l i n k i t with more t y p i c a l l y female a c t i v i t i e s such as following a recipe or pattern (Kiesler, Sproull & Eccles, 1983). To determine whether sex differences are caused by nature or nurture could provide d i r e c t i o n for decreasing these differences or accepting them for what they are. Some people claim that l i t t l e can be done to increase g i r l s ' i n t e r e s t , because of sex differences i n early s o c i a l i z a t i o n . (Kiesler, Sproull & Eccles, 1983, p.47) Information available about enrollment i n computer-re l a t e d a c t i v i t i e s , other than school courses, varies and the numbers given are often estimates. But the underlying pattern i s that there i s a lack of female representation i n optional school courses, summer classes and computer camps. In a study by Miura and Hess (1984) data were c o l l e c t e d from 5533 students to determine enrollment differences i n computer camps and summer classes. Some of t h e i r r e s u l t s showed: The r a t i o of boys to g i r l s i s roughly three to one (74% boys to 26% g i r l s ) . The proportion of g i r l s i s highest i n day classes sponsored by the public schools and lowest i n private r e s i d e n t i a l camps. The proportion of g i r l s decreased as cost and grade l e v e l increased. Page 17 The proportion of females enrolled i n beginning and intermediate classes was 28% i n advanced programming classes i t was 14%; only 5% of those enrolled i n the more advanced assembly language courses were female. (p.22) K i e s l e r , Sproull, and Eccles (1983) state that u n t i l recently, boys outnumbered g i r l s i n programming courses and computer camps by as much as eight to one. More recently, that figure i s approaching three to one. Social Issues Many s o c i a l issues have been l i s t e d as contributors to the gender gap i n computer use. One of those i t that males are more aggressive computer users. Fisher, a computer s p e c i a l i s t i n Hayward, C a l i f o r n i a , has c i t e d a number of personal observations where boys have p h y s i c a l l y intervened when a g i r l ( s ) was using a computer or where a 'pack' of boys have intimidated g i r l s (Fisher, 1984). Another s o c i a l issue i s that g i r l s w i l l v o l u n t a r i l y avoid using computers. Sex segregation' i s p a r t i c u l a r l y common i n the middle grades. As a general r u l e , boys and g i r l s do not do things together. This can greatly a f f e c t computer use. Even i f g i r l s are interested i n using computers, pre-existing habits of sex segregation can i n h i b i t t h e i r desires. I f the boys go to the computer center, then the g i r l s may l i k e l y decline to enter there. (Lockheed & Frakt, 1984) Page 18 Sanders, Director for The Computer Equity Training Project i n New York, suggests the following as influences of female p a r t i c i p a t i o n , p a r t i c u l a r l y around the age of puberty: 1. G i r l s at middle school age are very s o c i a l and prefer people to things. Computers are s o l i t a r y a c t i v i t i e s and non-human. 2. Boys aggressively capture computer time; g i r l s are reluctant to i n s i s t on time f o r themselves. 3. I t i s acceptable for g i r l s at t h i s age to give up i n the face of d i f f i c u l t y . S o c i a l l y approved helplessness i s at i t s strongest at puberty. 4. G i r l s avoid competition with boys at the computer for fear of winning and appearing unfeminine and unattractive to boys. 5. G i r l s prefer human rather than machine rewards for r i g h t answers of choice. 6. As compared to boys, g i r l s at t h i s age have many more in t e r e s t s that compete for t h e i r free time. (Sanders, 1984, p.32) The issue of computer usage, then, can be looked at from two perspectives: male dominance and female r e s t r a i n t . Both concepts r e s u l t i n fewer females using computers. However, an equally important issue may be that boys have greater access to computers, both i n time and number. Some of the determinants for computer usage, by sex, at school have been i d e n t i f i e d . Generally, i n a con t r o l l e d s i t u a t i o n , males and females have equal access to computers. In any sort of voluntary s i t u a t i o n , males outnumber females. Page 19 In a study of Princeton High School students, Educational Testing S e r v i c e 1 s Marlaine Lockheed found that while 60 percent of the boys had used the school's computers v o l u n t a r i l y - before, during and/or a f t e r school - only 8 percent of the g i r l s had availed themselves of the same opportunity. (Sanders, 1984, p. 31) Tucker's observations (Zakariya, 1984) are i n agreement as she states that female students are not j o i n i n g computer-related e x t r a c u r r i c u l a r a c t i v i t i e s as frequently as boys, but she says that g i r l s appear to be ju s t as comfortable with computers i n the classroom. Teachers are not exempt from having stereotypic attitudes about computers and t h e i r influence can be immense. C o l l i s found i n her survey that: There seems to be a tendency for schools with more extensive computer studies programs and more a c t i v e l y involved teachers, a l l of whom happen to be male, to promote p o s i t i v e attitudes among male students but r e l a t i v e l y negative attitudes among female students i n grade 8. (1984, p.2) Stage (Kolata, 1984) states her opinion i n stronger terms and says that elementary school teachers are the key to getting g i r l s involved with computers. I t i s important for the teacher's attitude to be as non-sexist and encouraging as possible to a l l students: choose both boys and g i r l s as computer volunteers. Very often the computer teacher i s a Page 20 male, mathematics teacher who does not serve as a r e a l i s t i c r o l e model f o r the majority of g i r l s . For the male teacher, i t i s important to provide those r o l e models, by means of discussion and guest speakers (Alvarado, 1984; G i l l i l a n d , 1984). I f the gender gap i s given due attention at school, there i s s t i l l the home environment to consider. Do boys have greater access to computers at home? Very l i t t l e data are avail a b l e . Fisher (1984b) reports data from a C a l i f o r n i a survey i n May of 1984 of s i x t h grade students. Twenty-one percent of the boys had access to computers at home while 15% of the g i r l s did; t h i s does not appear to be a vast difference. Schubert and Bakke (1984) are involved i n an ongoing study i n Palo Alto, C a l i f o r n i a which i s looking further into the influence from home. The study at the American I n s t i t u t e for Research i s looking to provide some insight with answers to the following questions: Under what circumstances do parents support t h e i r children's desires to learn about computers? Do parents attempt to discourage t h e i r daughters from t h i s f i e l d f or one reason or another, and what are these reasons? Do some parents attempt to get t h e i r daughters interested i n educational technology? Is there a difference between the way parents encourage t h e i r children i n families with both male and female children? (p.30) Page 21 Some studies have reported that parents have a biased attitude i n regards to computers toward t h e i r sons (Fisher, 1984a; Schubert & Bakke, 1984). Parents are more i n c l i n e d to encourage t h e i r sons to take computer classes and they are more w i l l i n g to spend money on t h e i r sons with regard to computers. Parental involvement can be invaluable f o r children of both sexes. By having a computer at home, children can have more in d i v i d u a l hands-on time on a computer. They can also view both t h e i r parents as ro l e models. While some students have access to micro-computers at school and others are fortunate enough to have home computers, for some, t h e i r i n i t i a l and perhaps sole contact with computers are with video games at t h e i r nearest grocer or video arcade. I f that i s the case, i t may not be computers that are turning the g i r l s o f f , but the atmosphere where the computers are. Attendance at video arcades i s predominantly male. Like the poolroom of yesterday, i t (the video arcade) i s la r g e l y a male preserve, a place where boys and young men gather. (Kiesler, Sproull & Eccles, 1984, p.42) If i t i s not the atmosphere of the arcades, i t may be the s u i t a b i l i t y of the games themselves to g i r l s ' i n t e r e s t s and a b i l i t i e s . Benbow and Stanley (1980) favour the hypothesis that males have superior mathematical a b i l i t y which may be Page 22 r e l a t e d to greater male a b i l i t y i n s p a t i a l tasks. This may add f u e l to the f i r e of male domination of video arcades. Alongside hand-eye coordination, a b i l i t y i n s p a t i a l v i s u a l i z a t i o n would appear to be an asset i n the arcade world of shooting objects i n space and journeying through mazes (Maccoby & J a c k l i n , 1974). I f i t i s not t h e i r a b i l i t y that dissuades g i r l s from playing these video games, perhaps i t i s d i s i n t e r e s t . Once inside a video arcade, a g i r l has a choice of playing a game based on a b a t t l e , a bombing or some other form of destructive, aggressive game. T r a d i t i o n a l l y , these topics have not been as e n t i c i n g to g i r l s as to boys. Most games, according to Dan Gutman, edi t o r of VIDEO GAMES PLAYER are 'designed by boys f o r other boys'. (Kiesler, Sproull & Eccles, 1984,p.42) G i r l s often prefer more cooperative, as opposed to competitive, programs (Fisher, 1984a; Sanders, 1984; Marrapodi, 1984). In addition to the game format, often the characters, symbols and language with a program are male oriented (Fisher, 1984a,). Being aware of these biases and o f f e r i n g a broader v a r i e t y of programs within a classroom or computer centre may a t t r a c t more females. Page 23 One of the most noticeable and most correctable issues i n the long l i s t of issues about sex differences i n computers i s the media version that "computers are for boys" (Lockheed & Frakt, 1 9 8 4 ; Fisher, 1 9 8 4 ; Marrapodi, 1 9 8 4 ) . Too often, advertisements i n magazines and t e l e v i s i o n use men exclusively or as t h e i r f o c a l points, while women are cast as "onlookers". I f women remain "onlookers" i n today's computer society, they may also be cast as "Second-Class C i t i z e n s " as the t i t l e of one a r t i c l e suggests (Kiesler, Sproull SE Eccles, 1 9 8 4 ) . Summary There i s an increasing awareness of the issue of gender equity with regard to computers. Many studies and many personal anecdotes may indicate a general increase i n female i n t e r e s t i n t h i s f i e l d . However, the data show a lower rate of female p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n a l l computer-related a c t i v i t i e s . Some of the reasons have been i d e n t i f i e d and mentioned. Remedies are being developed to a l l e v i a t e the discrepancies. Certainly, the thrust i s not to encourage female p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n exclusion to male p a r t i c i p a t i o n but rather to make the f i e l d of computers a t t r a c t i v e and accessible to as many students as possible. P a g e 2 4 C h a p t e r 3 METHOD T h e p u r p o s e o f t h i s s t u d y w a s t o d e t e r m i n e i f t h e r e w e r e a n y s e x - r e l a t e d d i f f e r e n c e s a t t h e G r a d e 4 l e v e l w i t h r e g a r d t o c o m p u t e r s t h r o u g h t h e u s e o f a n a t t i t u d e q u e s t i o n n a i r e . A d e s c r i p t i o n o f t h e s a m p l e , q u e s t i o n n a i r e d e v e l o p m e n t a n d f i e l d t e s t i n g a r e f o u n d i n t h i s c h a p t e r . T h e d e t a i l s o f a d m i n i s t r a t i o n a r e a l s o p r e s e n t e d . F i n a l l y , t h e m e t h o d s o f d a t a a n a l y s i s a r e e x p l a i n e d . S a m p l e S e l e c t i o n T h e s a m p l e u s e d i n t h e s t u d y w a s s e l e c t e d f r o m t h e p o p u l a t i o n o f a l l G r a d e 4 c l a s s e s i n a s u b u r b a n c o m m u n i t y a d j o i n i n g t h e c i t y o f V a n c o u v e r , B . C . A w i d e r a n g e o f s o c i o - e c o n o m i c l e v e l s a n d e t h n i c b a c k g r o u n d s a r e r e p r e s e n t e d i n t h e c o m m u n i t y . D e s c r i p t i o n o f t h e S a m p l e S i n c e a p p r o x i m a t e l y 3 0 0 s t u d e n t s w e r e t o b e u s e d f o r t h e s t u d y a n d t h e a v e r a g e c l a s s s i z e w a s e s t i m a t e d t o b e 2 3 , 1 3 c l a s s e s w e r e r a n d o m l y s e l e c t e d f r o m t h e p o p u l a t i o n o f 6 5 Page 25 classes. A l l 13 teachers were requested by phone to p a r t i c i p a t e and a l l agreed. The sample consisted of 290 students, 143 g i r l s and 147 boys. Although the intent was to employ Grade 4 students, the actual class breakdown, due to s p l i t classes, i s displayed i n Table 1. Table '1 D i s t r i b u t i o n of Subjects by Grade and Gender Grade G i r l s Boys Total 3 12 9 21 4 113 101 214 5 18 37 55 Total 143 147 290 Procedures Student Data C o l l e c t i o n Instrument The study was descriptive i n nature and u t i l i z e d the survey method of obtaining data. The data gathering instrument for students was a questionnaire, designed by the author (see Appendix B). The questionnaire was four pages i n length. The f i r s t two pages contained twenty-five items i n a L i k e r t Page 26 response format. Each item had f i v e response choices ranging from "Strongly Disagree" to "Strongly Agree". Some of the items were stated p o s i t i v e l y : "I would l i k e to learn more about computers". Others were stated i n the negative: "I don't enjoy using computers at school". The t h i r d page contained two open response questions and the l a s t page contained background questions with multiple choice responses. Authorization was obtained to use nine items from the MECC Computer Literacy Questionnaire (Anderson, Hansen, Johnson & Klassen, 1979). The remaining 16 attitude items were constructed by the author, for a t o t a l of 25 items. Wording of the items was taken into consideration to make them suitable f o r Grade 4 students. The intent of these 25 items was to obtain information about the following t o p i c s : Interest i n and Enjoyment i n Using Computers, Anxiety and Confidence About Computer Use, Perceived Usefulness of Computers, Perceived Sex Roles i n Attitudes Toward Computers, Relationship Between Mathematics and Computers and Attitudes Toward Mathematics. Each item was placed i n a s p e c i f i c category f o r reporting purposes. The s i x reporting categories and respective items are given below. The numbers r e f e r to the item number given i n Appendix B. Item 18 was the only item used i n two reporting categories. Page 27 1. Interest i n and Enjoyment i n Using Computers: 1, 10, 11, 16, 22 2. Anxiety and Confidence About Computer Use: 2, 8, 15, 21, 23, 25 3. Perceived Usefulness of Computers: 5, 9, 12, 18 4. Perceived Sex Roles i n Attitudes Toward Computers: 3, 7, 14, 19, 24 5. Relationship Between Mathematics and Computers: 4, 13, 18 6. Attitudes Toward Mathematics: 6, 17, 2 0 Two questions requiring subjective responses were included to determine students' perception of future use of computers, sex differences i n those perceptions, and to determine the extent of parental support for the use of computers and any differences between "mother" and "father". The background items on the fourth page were included to provide baseline data with regard to computers and to aid i n the analysis of r e s u l t s . Teacher Questionnaire The teachers were asked to complete a questionnaire about computer content taught i n t h e i r class during the year, the number of computers i n t h e i r school, and t h e i r view of Page 28 themselves as r o l e models i n regard to computers. Of the t h i r t e e n teachers, eleven were female and two were male. Two of the teachers f a i l e d to complete t h e i r questionnaires. I t was not possible to contact one of the teachers and another questionnaire was s t i l l not returned a f t e r making contact. The "Teacher Questionnaire" can be found i n Appendix C. F i e l d Testing The attitude questionnaire was f i e l d tested i n A p r i l , of 1984, f o r the following reasons: to t e s t format for ease of completion; to discover any confusing items; to determine length of time needed to complete the questionnaire; to discover any confusion or misunderstanding associated with items containing negative words: #10, 13, 18, 21, 23 Teachers of classes used i n the f i e l d t e s t were asked to note any questions raised by students regarding the questionnaire. Because the majority of f i e l d t e s t i n g was done i n the author's own school, many of the comments were simply relayed v e r b a l l y . Page 29 The attitude questionnaire was f i e l d tested with one class at each of the following grade l e v e l s : 4, 4/5, 6, 7, 8, and 9. The o r i g i n a l intent was to c o l l e c t data from a v a r i e t y of grades, thus the extensive p i l o t i n g . However, i n reviewing r e l a t e d a r t i c l e s and studies, i t became apparent that most referred to sex differences occuring around the age of puberty and continuing through high school. A few a r t i c l e s referred s p e c i f i c a l l y to younger children and stated that the gap between g i r l s and boys started i n elementary school (Kolata, 1984; Winkle & Mathews, 1982). The refined purpose of the study became to gather information from the youngest age group, who were l i k e l y to have had some contact with computers. Corrections to the Attitude Questionnaire Based on F i e l d Testing  Item 1 was o r i g i n a l l y worded, "I would very much l i k e to have my own computer". Because of the nearly unanimous reaction of "Strongly Agree" to t h i s item, i t was noted that the phrasing may have been leading, p a r t i c u l a r l y because i t was the f i r s t item. The words "very much" were omitted i n the f i n a l questionnaire so that Item 1 read, "I would l i k e to have my own computer". Page 3 0 In response to the comments made by p i l o t teachers, the author constructed a supplement e n t i t l e d , "Directions for Administering the Attitude Questionnaire". This can be found i n Appendix A. Directions ranged from monitoring the noise l e v e l i n the classroom to encouraging students to respond from t h e i r own point of view, p a r t i c u l a r l y for the sex-related items. In the Background Items, some students questioned the d e f i n i t i o n of computer. But for lack of a better word or phrase, or naming brands, the word computer was l e f t i n . Item 8 i n the Background Items, "Have your every played computer games for fun?" appeared to be redundant and served no purpose. I t was therefore omitted i n the f i n a l form. For more s p e c i f i c information, an additional item was placed i n Background Items, "Have you ever used a computer at school before?" Questionnaire Administration In May, 1984, the questionnaires were sent through inter-school mail to each of the p a r t i c p a t i n g classes i n the sample. Each teacher was responsible for administering them at Page 31 h i s or her l e i s u r e , but as soon as possible. A l l completed student questionnaires were returned i n the mail by the end of May, 1984. The only necessary follow-up required were phone c a l l s to encourage completion of teacher questionnaires. Two teacher questionnaires were not submitted and attempts to get i n contact with one of the teachers f a i l e d . Another questionnaire was l o s t i n the mail and the teacher was not w i l l i n g to complete another. Data Analysis A t o t a l of 290 students p a r t i c i p a t e d i n the survey. There were three information sources used to c o l l e c t data to aid i n understanding students' attitudes toward computers at t h i s age l e v e l : 25 attitude items, two open response questions and eight background items. Background data consisted of information regarding the following: (1) Student Gender, (2) Computer Experience, (3) Home Computers, (4) Parental Use of Computers, and (5) Video Arcade Experience. Background data were analyzed and are reported i n the form of tables, comparing g i r l s ' and boys' responses i n percentages. Page 32 A l l comments for the open response items were read and grouped. Recurring comments were reported. A l l comments were examined for differences between g i r l s ' and boys' responses i n percentages. The attitude items dealt with the following computer-related categories: (1) Interest i n and Enjoyment i n Using Computers, (2) Anxiety and Confidence About Computer Use, (3) Perceived Usefulness of Computers, (4) Perceived Sex Roles i n Attitudes Toward Computers, (5) Relationship Between Mathematics and Computers, (6) Attitudes Toward Mathematics. Each attitude item was to be responded to using a f i v e - p o i n t scale with 'a' being defined as 'Strongly Disagree', 'b' as 'Disagree' 'c' as 'Can't Decide', 'd' as 'Agree' and *e' as 'Strongly Agree'. For a n a l y t i c a l purposes, the l e t t e r s a, b, c, d and e were given the values 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 respectively. A l l student data were entered into a f i l e at the University of B r i t i s h Columbia's Computing Centre. Methods of Analysis To in t e r p r e t educational s i g n i f i c a n c e , the author established c e r t a i n c r i t e r i a to define p o s i t i v e attitudes for i n d i v i d u a l items and reporting categories. I f 50% or Page 33 more of the g i r l s and/or boys responded to an i n d i v i d u a l item i n a manner that r e f l e c t e d the predefined p o s i t i v e attitude, i t could be said that g i r l s and/or boys, i n general, have a p o s i t i v e attitude toward that item. In the same manner, i f 50% or more of the g i r l s and/or boys responded p o s i t i v e l y to the reporting category, then i t could be said that g i r l s and/or boys, i n general, at t h i s age l e v e l , have a p o s i t i v e attitude toward the said reporting category. In addition to determining p o s i t i v e attitudes by percentage, s i g n i f i c a n c e of i n d i v i d u a l items and reporting categories were determined using a method c a l l e d Median Polish. Median P o l i s h The item-by-gender tables form the basis f o r the majority of analyses presented i n the following chapter. Without additional analysis, however, i t i s d i f f i c u l t to describe what patterns are i n the data or what, i f any, differences e x i s t . In order to detect patterns and h i g h l i g h t important differences, an exploratory data analysis technique c a l l e d median p o l i s h was used (Vellemann & Hoaglin, 1981). This procedure p a r t i t i o n s two-way tables into four interpretable pieces: a grand e f f e c t , row e f f e c t s , column e f f e c t s and the interactions of rows and columns. The example below i s designed to show how t h i s procedure works. Page 34 Suppose the p a r t i c i p a t i n g Grade 4 g i r l s and boys had responded to three d i f f e r e n t items and the percentages of students responding p o s i t i v e l y to each item were placed i n a table. Items 1. Computers are useful i n many subject areas. 2. Computers are best used f o r mathematics. 3. Computers help you become a better writer. Students Items G i r l s Boys 1. 80 85 2. 65 70 3. 75 55 The r e s u l t s of a median p o l i s h of these data would be: Students Items G i r l s Boys Row E f f e c t s 1. 0.0 0.0 15.0 2. 0.0 0.0 0.0 3. 12.5 -12.5 -2.5 Column E f f e c t s - 2.5 2.5 67.5 Grand E f f e c t Page 35 One could interpret these r e s u l t s i n the following way. The Overall E f f e c t i s 67.5% i n d i c a t i n g that the median or t y p i c a l response across a l l items by both g i r l s and boys was that 67.5% of the students responded p o s i t i v e l y to these uses of the computer. That i s a strong p o s i t i v e endorsement of the ideas portrayed by the items. The Row E f f e c t s indicate the extent to which each item was endorsed by the students. In t h i s case, Item 1 has a Row E f f e c t of +15%. This i s a moderate sized e f f e c t which shows that a l l students, g i r l s and boys, responded more p o s i t i v e l y , 15% above the t y p i c a l , to t h i s item. The Column Ef f e c t s indicate the extent to which each gender responded more or less p o s i t i v e l y to the three items. In t h i s case, boys affirmed the notion of the usefulness of computers, as measured by these three items, s l i g h t l y more than the t y p i c a l student's response, while g i r l s were s l i g h t l y below the t y p i c a l response. The e f f e c t s , plus and minus 2.5%, are small. F i n a l l y , the c e l l s contain the Residual E f f e c t s . These represent the extent to which the l e v e l s of endorsement of these items cannot be explained by students of t h i s age l e v e l i n general or by item differences but represent unique Page 3 6 patterns of response by g i r l s or boys to items of a p a r t i c u l a r nature. In t h i s example, g i r l s responded much more p o s i t i v e l y than the t y p i c a l response to the not ion that computers help you become a bet ter w r i t e r , while boys responded much more negat ive ly than the t y p i c a l response to the same item. For each category t a b l e , the i n i t i a l responses were determined by t o t a l l i n g the percentage of "Agree" and "Strongly Agree" answers from the student quest ionnaires . In items stated i n a negative form, the responses were determined by t o t a l l i n g the percentage of "Disagree" and "Strongly Disagree" answers. For example, the item "Computer sometimes scare me" i s s tated i n the negative form. For t h i s item, the t o t a l percentages of "Disagree" and "Strongly Disagree" responses would cons t i tu te the i n i t a l tab le entry . In the fo l lowing tables of data, the items stated i n the negative form w i l l be noted by a (-) for c l a r i f i c a t i o n purposes. Cer ta in responses for each item, whether p o s i t i v e or negative, were predefined by the author as r e f l e c t i n g a p o s i t i v e a t t i tude toward the item. These w i l l be c l e a r l y i d e n t i f i e d for each report ing category and reported i n the fo l lowing chapter. In add i t ion to the report ing categories , responses were viewed from the g i r l s based on whether or not t h e i r mothers used computers and on responses from a l l students, d i v i d i n g them into students who had a computer at home, and those who d i d not. Page 37 Chapter 4 FINDINGS In t h i s chapter, f i n d i n g s are p r e s e n t e d from the t e a c h e r q u e s t i o n n a i r e which s e t a g e n e r a l background from which the sample was taken. Background data are then presented, f o l l o w e d by r e s u l t s of the r e p o r t i n g c a t e g o r i e s and i n d i v i d u a l items from the student a t t i t u d e q u e s t i o n n a i r e where r e l e v a n t . Teacher Q u e s t i o n n a i r e Teachers were asked the f o l l o w i n g f i v e q u e s t i o n s t o determine the g e n e r a l atmosphere from which the s t u d e n t s , who had answered the a t t i t u d e q u e s t i o n n a i r e , had come: 1. Have you taught any computer u n i t s i n c l a s s t h i s year? I f so, b r i e f l y e x p l a i n . 2. Have you used a computer a t a l l i n your classroom or have the students had access t o a computer d u r i n g c l a s s time? 3. How many computers do you have a t your s c h o o l ? 4 . Do you have a computer c l u b a t your s c h o o l ? I s i t r e s t r i c t e d t o c e r t a i n grades? 5. Do your view y o u r s e l f as a r o l e model as a computer programmer or a computer user? Page 38 Eleven of the t h i r t e e n teachers completed and returned the questionnaire. One of the teachers who did not return the questionnaire was contacted, but the form was s t i l l not returned. The author was unable to get i n touch with the other teacher. Ten of the eleven teachers had taught some sort of computer unit to t h e i r c l a s s ; the unit topics varied. Example topics are computer l i t e r a c y (basic vocabulary and d i r e c t i o n s for use), graphics, typing, LOGO, word processing, math d r i l l and problem solving, and some commercial software for a v a r i e t y of unnamed subjects. Eight out of the eleven teachers mentioned mathematics as one of the uses of computers i n t h e i r classrooms. Five teachers have used LOGO i n t h e i r classrooms and four mentioned word processing. The sing l e teacher who had not taught a computer unit i n class did state that the computer was used i n her classroom. A l l the schools used i n the study have at l e a s t one computer. Four of the eleven schools have only one computer, four schools have three computers, one school has four computers, and two schools have s i x computers. A l l p a r t i c i p a t i n g classes had scheduled time for classroom use of the school computer(s). Page 39 Four of the eleven schools have computer clubs; two of those are r e s t r i c t e d to the intermediate grades. Five of the eleven teachers view themselves as r o l e models. They use the computer for themselves and to aid i n schoolwork, eg. report cards, worksheets. Discussions are held i n most classes about computers and computer users. Student Questionnaire Background Data The data derived from the background questions are presented i n tables i n t h i s section. Percentages are given for each of the three possible responses for g i r l s and boys. The percentage of students who have used computers before i s extremely high, with no s i g n i f i c a n t difference between g i r l s and boys (See Table 2 ). The percentage of students who have used a computer at school i s almost as high, with only 6% of the students claiming never to have used a computer at school (See Table 3 ) . Page 40 Table 2 Summary Analysis of Background Item 2 "Have you ever used a computer before?" (Responses i n %) Yes No I don't Know No Response Students G i r l s Boys 97 97 97 2 4 Table 3 Summary Analysis of Background Item 3 "Have you ever used a computer at school before?" (Responses i n %) I don't No Yes No Know Response Students 91 6 - 2 G i r l s 92 6 - 1 Boys 9 0 6 - 3 Page 41 Almost one-third of the students have computers at home (See Table 4). I t was unreasonable to delve into d e f i n i t i o n s and/or brands of computers on the questionnaire; thus the meaning of the word computer was l e f t to the student 1s judgement. I t i s the author's opinion that most students of t h i s age would view a computer as comparable to one of the micro-computers at t h e i r school eg. Apple and Commodore. Only 4% more boys than g i r l s stated that they have a computer at home. Table 4 Summary Analysis of Background item 4 "Do you have a computer at home?" (Responses i n %) I don't No Yes No Know Response Students 3 0 68 - 2 G i r l s 28 72 Boys 32 63 1 4 Of the students who do not have computers at home, almost one-half stated t h e i r family has considered buying one (See Table 5). About one-fourth stated "no" and approximately one-third d i d not know. Page 42 Table 5 Summary Analysis of Background Item 5 "I f you do not have a computer at home, has your family considered buying one?" (Responses i n %) I don't No Yes No Know Response Students - 3 2 16 19 32 G i r l s 28 20 24 28 Boys 36 12 14 37 With respect to parental use of computers, there seem to be no obvious differences when comparing use by mother or father nor i n responses by g i r l s and boys (see Tables 6 and 7). Thr e e - f i f t h s of the students stated that t h e i r mothers did not use computers while j u s t under one-half stated that t h e i r fathers d i d not use computers. Approximately o n e - f i f t h of the students claimed that t h e i r mothers d i d use computers while about one-third claimed that t h e i r father did. However, while only 6% more g i r l s stated t h e i r fathers used computers than t h e i r mothers, 17% more boys stated t h e i r fathers used computers than t h e i r mothers. Almost o n e - f i f t h of the students did not know i f eith e r t h e i r father or mother used computers at Page 43 home or work. This i s quite a large percentage but reasonable considering t h i s age group's knowledge of t h e i r parents' work. Table 6 Summary Analysis of Background Item 6 "Does your mother use computers at work or at home?" (Responses i n %) I don't No Yes No Know Response Students 22 60 15 3 G i r l s 25 58 15 1 Boys 19 62 14 5 Table 7 Summary Analysis of Background Item 7 "Does your father use computers at work or at home?" (Responses i n %) Yes No I don't Know No Response Students G i r l s Boys 33 31 36 46 49 42 19 20 18 Page 44 A high percentage of the students have played games i n a video arcade (see Table 8). While 83% of the students answered "yes" to t h i s question, i t i s i n t e r e s t i n g to note that 12% more boys than g i r l s have played games i n a video arcade. Only 7% of the boys claimed to have never played games i n a video arcade while 2 0% of the g i r l s have not. Table 8 Summary Analysis of Background Item 8 "Have you ever played games in a video arcade?" (Responses i n %) I don't No Yes No Know Response Students 8 3 13 2 2 G i r l s 77 20 3 Boys 89 7 - 4 Reporting Categories  Interest i n and Enjoyment i n Using Computers The items i n t h i s category were used to determine i f students i n the study were interested i n and enjoyed using Page 45 computers, and to determine any sex differences i n that i n t e r e s t . I t was anticipated that there would be a high l e v e l of stated i n t e r e s t and enjoyment i n using computers by students of t h i s age. However, i t was not known i f there would be any s i g n i f i c a n t differences i n the responses between g i r l s and boys. Based on the related l i t e r a t u r e , i t might be anticipated that more boys would indicate a higher l e v e l of i n t e r e s t than g i r l s . Given that i n t e r e s t i s one of the highest motivational factors i n any learning s i t u a t i o n , i f eithe r g i r l s or boys are not interested i n computers, they w i l l not be motivated to use them or learn more about them. I f more g i r l s d i d state a lower i n t e r e s t i n computers, that could be one explanation for the gender inequity i n computer use. A student was deemed to have a p o s i t i v e attitude i n the "Interest i n and Enjoyment i n Using Computers" category i f he or she agreed with items 1, 11, 16 and 22 and disagreed with item 10. I f 50% or more of the g i r l s or boys responded i n the defined p o s i t i v e manner, than i t can be sa i d that g i r l s or boys, i n general, at t h i s age l e v e l display a p o s i t i v e a t t i t u e i n t h i s reporting category. The f i v e items grouped to form t h i s category are presented with t h e i r r e s u l t s i n Table 9. Page 46 T a b l e 9 I n t e r e s t i n and Enjoyment i n U s i n g Computers (% P o s i t i v e A t t i t u d e ) G i r l s Boys 1. I would l i k e t o have my own computer . 92. 0 94. 0 10. I d o n ' t en joy u s i n g computers i n s c h o o l . 90. 0 86. 0 (-) 11. I would l i k e t o l e a r n more about computers . 87. 0 90. 0 16. I would en joy u s i n g computer games t o l e a r n . 66. 0 67. 0 22. I e n j o y w o r k i n g w i t h computers . 92. 0 94. 0 (-) I n d i c a t e s i tems s t a t e d i n the n e g a t i v e form R e s u l t s , a f t e r median p o l i s h i n g , f o r a l l i t ems i n t h i s c a t e g o r y can be found i n T a b l e 10. I t was e s t a b l i s h e d p r i o r t o a n a l y s i s t h a t the a u t h o r would l o o k o n l y a t t h o s e d i f f e r e n c e s g r e a t e r t h a n 10. There was a v e r y s t r o n g p o s i t i v e r e a c t i o n t o t h i s c a t e g o r y as a whole . A lmost a l l o f the s t u d e n t s , 88%, d i s p l a y an i n t e r e s t i n and enjoyment i n u s i n g computers . Of the f i v e i t ems c o n s t i t u t i n g t h i s c a t e g o r y , one i t e m r e c e i v e d a s i g n i f i c a n t l y weaker r e a c t i o n i n compar i son t o t h e o t h e r f o u r . Page 47 The item was, "I would enjoy using computer games to learn". Two percent of the students did not answer t h i s item, 18% disagreed, 13% couldn't decide and 66% agreed with the item. While i t i s c e r t a i n l y a p o s i t i v e r e s u l t , i t i s weak i n comparison to the other four items, i . e . the p o s i t i v e reactions to the other four items were a l l greater than 85%. Table 10 Interest i n and Enjoyment i n Using Computers (Results a f t e r Median Polishing) G i r l s Boys Row 1. I would l i k e to have my own computer. 0. 0 -0. 0 4.5 10. I don't enjoy using computers i n school. -3. 0 -3 . 0 -.5 (-) 11. I would l i k e to learn more about computers. • 5 • 5 0.0 16. I would enjoy using computer games to learn. • 5 • 5 -22.0 * 22 . I enjoy working with computers. 0. 0 -0. 0 -4.5 Column -1. 0 1. 0 88.5 Grand * Indicates s i g n i f i c a n t r e s u l t - set at absolute values 10. (-) Indicates items stated i n the negative form Page 48 The reaction to the item, "I would, enjoy using computer games to learn", i s d i f f i c u l t to i n t e r p r e t because of the ambiguous wording. One doesn't know whether students are disagreeing with using a computer to learn, using games to learn, or using a computer for games. None of the differences between g i r l s and boys for the items i n t h i s category were s i g n i f i c a n t . G i r l s and boys at t h i s age display a comparably high i n t e r e s t and enjoyment i n using computers. Anxiety and Confidence About Computer Use The items i n t h i s category were used to determine i f the students i n the study were anxious or confident about using or learning to use computers. Self-confidence often leads to p a r t i c i p a t i o n as anxiety does to seclusion. At such a young age, do children already have strong feelings about t h e i r a b i l i t i e s and ease with computers? The s i x items that made up the category and the r e s u l t s for each item are presented i n Table 11. A student's attitude was defined as p o s i t i v e i n the "Anxiety and Confidence About Using Computers" category i f he or she agreed with items 2 and 23 and disagreed with items 8, 15, 21 and 25. Page 49 Table 11 Anxiety and Confidence About Computer Use (% Pos i t i v e Attitude) G i r l s Boys 2. I am able to work with computers as well as most others my age. 71. 0 72. 0 8. Computers sometimes scare me. 81. 0 88. 0 ( ") 15. Working with a computer would probably make me f e e l uneasy or tense. 66. 0 68. 0 ( ~) 21. I t i s my guess that I am not the kind of person who works well with computers. 64. 0 67. 0 ( -) 23 . I have no trouble using computers. 50. 0 53. 0 25. Learning to use a computer would be harder for me than for most people 64. 0 74. 0 ( ") (-) Indicates items stated i n the negative form Results, a f t e r median polishing, f o r a l l items i n the category can be found i n Table 12. Reaction to t h i s category was p o s i t i v e with 68% of the students displaying a confident f e e l i n g about using computers. Of the s i x items c o n s t i t u t i n g t h i s category, two items revealed s i g n i f i c a n t r e s u l t s . One item was, "Computers sometimes scare me". The s i g n i f i c a n t r e s u l t a f t e r the median p o l i s h i n g indicates that i n Page 50 comparison to the other items i n t h i s category, students responded to "Computers sometimes scare me" i n stronger terms. Since the item was i n the negative form the i n d i c a t i o n i s that computers c e r t a i n l y did not scare the students used i n the study. In fact, 84% of the students disagreed that computers sometimes scared them. Table 12 Anxiety and Confidence About Computer Use (Results a f t e r Median Polishing) G i r l s Boys Row 2. I am able to work with computers as well as most others my age. -1. 0 -1. 0 3.5 8. Computers sometimes scare me. -2. 0 2. 0 16.5 ( " ) * 15. Working with a computer would probably make me f e e l uneasy or tense. • 5 • 5 -1.0 ( ") 21. I t i s my guess that I am not the kind of person who works well with computers. 0. 0 0. 0 -2.5 ( -) 23. I have no trouble using computers. 0. 0 -0. 0 -16.5 * 25. Learning to use a computer would be harder for me than for most people. -3 . 5 3. 5 1.0 ( Column -1. 5 1. 5 68 . 0 Grand * Indicates s i g n i f i c a n t r e s u l t - set at absolute values 10. (-) Indicates items stated i n the negative form Page 51 The following item, "I have no trouble using computers", also produced a s i g n i f i c a n t l y negative reaction i n comparison to the other items i n t h i s category. Only 51% agreed with the item, while 26% disagreed and 22% could not decide. Thus, while h a l f of the students have no trouble using computers, one-quarter of the students say they do, and another one-quarter could not decide. Because the i n t e r e s t and enjoyment l e v e l i s so high at t h i s l e v e l , i t would seem that the r e s u l t s of t h i s item indicate two possible interpretations. Children at t h i s age may lack experience and knowledge of computers as opposed to actual d i f f i c u l t y i n using them or secondly, they may have d i f f i c u l t y using computers, but are motivated to t r y . None of the differences between g i r l s and boys f o r the items i n the category were s i g n i f i c a n t . G i r l s and boys at t h i s age are equally confident about using and learning to use computers. Perceived Usefulness of Computers The four items i n t h i s category were used to determine i f students thought computers were useful now and would be i n the future. Two items related usefulness d i r e c t l y to video games and mathematics, but otherwise, the intent was to gather information with respect to general usefulness of computers. A student's attitude was defined as p o s i t i v e i n the "Perceived Page 52 Usefulness of Computers" category, i f he or she agreed with items 9 and 12 and disagreed with items 5 and 18. The four items and the r e s u l t s for each are presented i n Table 13. Table 13 Perceived Usefulness of Computers (% Po s i t i v e Attitude) G i r l s Boys 5. Computers are best used for playing video games. 55. 0 50. o (-) 9. Learning about computers w i l l help me i n the future. 80. 0 90. 0 12. Computers can be useful i n many subject areas. 88. 0 92. 0 18. Computers are not useful i n learning mathematics. 85. 0 88. 0 (-) (-) Indicates items stated i n the negative form The percentage of students who can see the usefulness of computers i s very high. Almost a l l of the students, 86%, displayed a p o s i t i v e attitude i n t h i s category. That i s , they responded p o s i t i v e l y to a l l four items. Results for a l l items i n t h i s category, a f t e r median p o l i s h i n g can be found i n Table 14. Page 53 Table 14 Perceived Usefulness of Computers (Results a f t e r Median Polishing) G i r l s Boys ROW 5. Computers are best used for playing video games. 4.3 -4.2 -33.2 (-)* 9. Learning about computers w i l l help me i n the future. -3.2 3 . 3 -.7 12. Computers can be useful i n many subject areas. -.2 . 3 4.3 18. Computers are not useful i n learning mathematics. .3 -.2 .8 (-) Column -1.7 1.8 85.8 Grand * Indicates s i g n i f i c a n t r e s u l t - set at absolute values 10. (-) Indicates items stated i n the negative form Of the four items i n the category, only one had a s i g n i f i c a n t l y negative response i n comparison to the other items. For the item, "Computers are best used f o r playing video games", 52% of the students disagreed, 29% agreed and 18% could not decide. Almost one-third of the students agreed that computers are best used for playing video games. Only Page 54 approximately h a l f of the students responded with the response r e f l e c t i n g a p o s i t i v e attitude, to disagree or strongly disagree. While i t i s a p o s i t i v e r e s u l t , i t i s weak i n comparison to the other three items, i . e . the p o s i t i v e reactions to the other three items i n t h i s category were a l l greater than or equal to 80%. None of the differences between g i r l s and boys for the items i n the category were s i g n i f i c a n t . G i r l s and boys at t h i s age have comparable attitudes towards the usefulness of computers. Perceived Sex Roles i n Attitudes Toward Computers I t was of i n t e r e s t i n t h i s study, not only to determine sex differences i n how g i r l s and boys responded to s p e c i f i e d items, but also to obtain information on students 1 perceptions of each gender with regard to computers. The items i n t h i s category asked students to look at " g i r l s " and "boys" i n general, as opposed to any i n d i v i d u a l s . The f i v e items that constituted t h i s category and the r e s u l t s f o r each item are presented i n Table 15. Page 55 Table 15 Perceived Sex Roles i n Attitudes Toward Computers (% Pos i t i v e Attitude) G i r l s Boys 3. Boys learn more by using a computer than g i r l s do. 87. 0 61. 0 ( -) 7. I t i s more important for boys to learn about computers than for g i r l s . 86. 0 64. 0 ( ~) 14. I t i s more important f o r g i r l s to learn about computers than for boys. 69. 0 84. 0 ( ") 19. I t i s easier for g i r l s to learn to use computers than for boys. 64. 0 82 . 0 ( ~) 24. Using computers i s more in t e r e s t i n g for boys than for g i r l s . 81. 0 53 . 0 ( (-) Indicates items stated i n the negative form A p o s i t i v e attitude i n t h i s category of items was defined as a non-sexist atti t u d e . Students who responded negatively to items that favoured eit h e r sex were deemed to have p o s i t i v e attitudes; i n t h i s category, that consisted of a l l f i v e items. Over 50% of the g i r l s and boys disagreed with each item, leading to the conclusion that students of t h i s age have a p o s i t i v e , non-sexist attitude regarding computers. The boys' responses to Item 24 came very close to not r e f l e c t i n g a Page 56 p o s i t i v e a t t i t u d e . Only 53% of the boys disagreed that using computers i s more i n t e r e s t i n g for boys than for g i r l s , while 81% of the g i r l s disagreed. Results for a l l items i n t h i s category, a f t e r median po l i s h i n g can be found i n Table 16. Table 16 Perceived Sex Roles i n Attitudes Toward Computers (Results a f t e r Median Polishing) G i r l s Boys Row 3. Boys learn more by using a computer than g i r l s do. 2. 0 -2 . 0 0.0 (-) 7. I t i s more important f o r boys to learn about computers than f o r g i r l s . 0. 0 0. 0 1.0 (-) 14. I t i s more important f o r g i r l s to learn about computers than fo r boys. -18. 5* 18. 5* 2.5 (-) 19. I t i s easier f o r g i r l s to learn to use computers than for boys. -20. 0* 20. 0* -1.0 (-) 24. Using computers i s more in t e r e s t i n g for boys than for g i r l s . 3. 0 -3 . 0 -7.0 (-) Column 11. 0* -11. 0* 74.0 Grand * Indicates s i g n i f i c a n t r e s u l t - set at absolute values 10. (-) Indicates items stated i n the negative form Page 57 There were no s i g n i f i c a n t r e s u l t s i n comparison of the items within the category; the students i n general responded to a l l items with approximately the same i n t e n s i t y . However, two of the f i v e items, as well as the reporting category as a whole, produced s i g n i f i c a n t r e s u l t s between g i r l s and boys. The two items were " I t i s more important f o r g i r l s to learn about computers than for boys" and " I t i s easier f o r g i r l s to learn to use computers than for boys". For both of these items, both g i r l s and boys responded i n a p o s i t i v e manner. However, i t i s i n t e r e s t i n g to note that for the f i r s t of these items, 84% of the boys disagreed with the item while only 69% of the g i r l s did, and for the second item, 82% of the boys disagreed and 64% of the g i r l s disagreed. Both items were stated i n terms that favoured g i r l s and i n both cases, approximately 15% more boys than g i r l s disagreed with the item. For comparison purposes the following two items, i d e n t i c a l except for sex reversals, were included i n the questionnaire: 7. I t i s more important for boys to learn about computers than for g i r l s . 14. I t i s more important for g i r l s to learn about computers than for boys. The r e s u l t s are presented i n Table 17. Page 58 Table 17 Comparison of Items 7 and 14 (Responses i n %) G i r l s Boys Disagee Can't Decide Agree Disagee Can't Decide Agree Item 7 (In favour of Boys) 86 10 3 64 22 14 Item 14 (In favour of G i r l s ) 69 14 17 84 13 2 For eit h e r g i r l s or boys to have a p o s i t i v e ( i . e . non-sexist) attitude, the percent of disagreement with both items should be high. That i s , a student should disagree with items that are i n favour of both g i r l s and boys. From the above table, one can see that t h i s i s so. However, i t i s i n t e r e s t i n g to note the following observations. Both g i r l s and boys reacted i n a stronger negative way to items that favoured the opposite sex. That i s , more g i r l s than boys responded negatively to items that favoured boys. And more boys than g i r l s responded negatively to items that favoured g i r l s . The two items that resulted i n s i g n i f i c a n t r e s u l t s f o r sex differences were stated i n a manner that read p o s i t i v e l y for g i r l s . Page 59 Looking at the "Perceived Sex Roles i n Attitudes Toward Computers" category as a whole, sex differences were also found to be s i g n i f i c a n t . At the s t a r t of t h i s section i t was stated that attitudes were deemed to be p o s i t i v e i f students disagreed with a l l items. This was found to be so. In terms of the purposes of the present study the data show that both g i r l s and boys have p o s i t i v e attitudes (non-sexist) i n the "Perceived Sex Roles i n Attitudes Toward Computers" category. I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g , though, that 85% of the g i r l s displayed a p o s i t i v e attitude compared to 63% of the boys. One possible i n t e r p r e t a t i o n would be that although boys have a p o s i t i v e attitude i n t h i s categroy, i t i s a more s e x i s t one than g i r l s . However, without further interviews, t h i s cannot be claimed. A second interpretation, based on stronger evidence i s that Grade 4 boys and g i r l s tended to respond i n a defensive manner when items were worded negatively about t h e i r own gender. The s i g n i f i c a n t r e s u l t s of the median p o l i s h , then, are r e f l e c t i v e of the f a c t that 3 of the 5 items were worded i n favour of boys. The two items that revealed s i g n i f i c a n t differences - items worded i n favour of g i r l s -were ones that fewer g i r l s and more boys tended to disagree with. In view of the d i f f i c u l t y of i n t e r p r e t i n g these r e s u l t s , one cannot provide a strong argument fo r concluding that one gender has a stronger p o s i t i v e (less sexist) attitude than the other. The indications from the r e s u l t s are that g i r l s and Page 60 boys at t h i s age f e e l i t i s j u s t as important f o r eith e r sex to use and learn about computers. I t was noted that each sex responded i n a stronger defensive manner when items were worded negatively about t h e i r own gender. Relationship Between Mathematics and Computers determine i f students perceived any r e l a t i o n s h i p between mathematics and computers. A student's attitude was defined as p o s i t i v e i n t h i s category i f he or she agreed with item 4 and disagreed with items 13 and 18. The three items and the r e s u l t s f o r each are presented i n Table 18: The three items i n t h i s category were used to Table 18 Relationship Between Mathematics and Computers (% P o s i t i v e Attitude) G i r l s Boys 4. Using a computer w i l l help me become better at mathematics. 75.0 78.0 13. I would rather not use computers to learn mathematics. 69.0 67.0 (-) 18. Computers are not useful i n learning mathematics. 85.0 88.0 (-) (-) Indicates items stated i n the negative form Page 61 Table 19 Relationship Between Mathematics and Computers (Results a f t e r Median Polishing) G i r l s Boys Row 4. Using a computer w i l l help me become better at mathematics. 0. 0 0. 0 0.0 13. I would rather not use computers to learn mathematics. 2. 5 -2 . 5 -8.5 (-) 18. Computers are not useful i n learning mathematics. 0. 0 0. 0 10.0 (-) Column -1. 5 1. 5 76.5 Grand (-) Indicates items stated i n the negative form Results for a l l items i n the category, a f t e r median p o l i s h i n g can be found i n Table 19. The percentage of p o s i t i v e responses r e l a t i n g mathematics and computers were high. Seventy-six percent of the students saw a r e l a t i o n s h i p between mathematics and computers. None of the differences between g i r l s and boys for the items i n the category were s i g n i f i c a n t . G i r l s and boys at t h i s Page 62 age have a comparable view of the p o s i t i v e r e l a t i o n s h i p between mathematics and computers. Attitudes Toward Mathematics The three items i n t h i s category concerning attitudes toward mathematics were used to determine students' confidence i n mathematics and t h e i r enjoyment of i t . A student's attitude was defined as p o s i t i v e i n t h i s category i f he or she agreed with items 6 and 20 and disageed with item 17. The three items and the r e s u l t s for each are presented i n Table 20. Results f o r a l l items i n the category, a f t e r median po l i s h i n g can be found i n Table 21. Seventy-four percent of the students responded p o s i t i v e l y to t h i s category as a whole. There were no s i g n i f i c a n t r e s u l t s among the items or between g i r l s and boys for any item. Both g i r l s and boys have a good atti t u d e toward mathematics. I t i s d i f f i c u l t to generalize beyond the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n that students of t h i s age have a p o s i t i v e attitude about mathematics. Page 63 Table 20 Attitudes Toward Mathematics (% Pos i t i v e Attitude) G i r l s Boys 6. I usually expect to do well i n mathematics. 69.0 74.0 17. Math i s hard for me to understand. 74.0 74.0 (-) 20. I l i k e mathematics. 77.0 73.0 (-) Indicates items stated i n the negative form Table 21 Attitudes Toward Mathematics (Results a f t e r Median Polishing) G i r l s Boys Row 6. I usually expect to do well i n mathematics. -2.5 2.5 -2.5 17. Math i s hard f o r me to understand. 0.0 0.0 0.0 (-) 20. I l i k e mathematics. 2.0 -2.0 1.0 Column 0.0 0.0 74.0 Grand (-) Indicates items stated i n the negative form Page 64 G i r l s and Their Mothers In reponse to the background item, "Does your mother use computers at work or at home?", 25% of the g i r l s responded "Yes", 58% responded "No", and 15% did not know. Data were reviewed to see i f there were any differences between the responses to the reporting categories of g i r l s whose mothers use computers (potential r o l e models) and g i r l s whose mothers do not use computers. These r e s u l t s can be found i n Table 22. Table 22 G i r l s and Their Mothers (Results i n %) Mothers Mothers do use do not use computers computers Interest i n and Enjoyment i n 86 85 Using Computers Anxiety and Confidence About Computer Use 75 61 Perceived Usefulness of Computers 82 74 Perceived Sex Roles i n Attitudes Toward Computers 87 75 Relationship Between Mathematics and Computers 80 75 Attitudes Toward Mathematics 79 72 Page 65 A p o s i t i v e attitude f o r each group of g i r l s was defined using the equal to or greater than 50% c r i t e r i a , explained e a r l i e r . Thus, p o s i t i v e attitudes were r e f l e c t e d i n a l l s i x reporting categories, f o r both sets of respondents. In a l l s i x reporting categories percentages were higher i n favour of g i r l s whose mothers do use computers and i n two cases, those differences were greater than 10%. These were "Anxiety and Confidence About Computer Use" and "Perceived Sex Roles i n Attitudes Toward Computers". Results indicate that the g i r l s whose mothers use computers may have been influenced by such a r o l e model. These g i r l s are more confident about using and learning to use computers and have stronger p o s i t i v e views about the appropriateness of computers for both sexes than g i r l s whose mothers do not use computers. However, because the samples of respondents are small, i t may not be possible to generalize these attitudes to a greater population. The sample of respondents f o r t h i s background item consisted of 3 6 g i r l s whose mothers do use computers and 83 g i r l s whose mothers do not use computers. Twenty-two g i r l s did not know whether t h e i r mothers used computers. Page 66 Home Computers In response to the background item, "Do you have a computer at home?", 30% of the students responded "Yes" and 68% responded "No". Data were reviewed to see i f there were any differences between the responses to the reporting categories of the students based on whether or not they had a computer at home. These r e s u l t s can be found i n Table 23. Table 23 Home Computers (Results i n %) Students Students with home without home computers computers Interest i n and Enjoyment i n 87 85 Using Computers Anxiety and Confidence About Computer Use 77 65 Perceived Usefulness of Computers 81 77 Perceived Sex Roles i n Attitudes Toward Computers 73 72 Relationship Between Mathematics and Computers 58 75 Attitudes Toward Mathematics 76 71 Page 67 I t was found that reponses i n a l l s i x reporting categories, f o r both sets of students, r e f l e c t e d a p o s i t i v e attitude, based on the equal to or greater than 50% c r i t e r i a . In two reporting categories the differences i n responses were greater than 10%. In the "Anxiety and Confidence About Computer Use" category, 12% more students who have a home computer responded p o s i t i v e l y than students who do not have a home computer. In the "Relationship Between Mathematics and Computers" category, 17% more students who do not have a home computer responded p o s i t i v e l y than students who have a home computer. I t would make sense to assume that students who have a computer at home would have more hands-on time and experience with computers, leading to a less anxious, more confident a t t i t u d e about using them. Also, because those students may have greater access to a computer, they may be using them fo r a greater v a r i e t y of purposes. They may have interpreted the items i n the "Relationship Between Mathematics and Computers" category as exclusively l i n k i n g mathematics and computers which may have le d to the differences i n responses by the two groups of students for that category. Page 68 Open-Response Items Students were asked to answer the following two open response questions: 1. How do you think you could use a computer when you are an adult? 2. Do you think that your mother and father are enthusiastic about you learning to use a computer? T e l l why or why not. There were no apparent sex differences i n response to e i t h e r question. Students related a number of ways that they thought they could, as adults, use a computer. The most common intended uses included using a computer fo r t h e i r business or work, finances such as b i l l s and taxes, typing and writing, fun (games) and keeping records and f i l e s . A v a r i e t y of careers was mentioned; the most common by f a r was a teacher. Other careers noted were a doctor, banker, policeman, worker i n a law firm, l i b r a r i a n , forest f i r e ranger, naval o f f i c e r and f l i g h t manager. A large majority of students f e l t that t h e i r parents were enthusiastic about them learning to use a computer. The primary reason given was that learning to use a computer would be h e l p f u l i n the c h i l d ' s future. More s p e c i f i c responses were, as stated by students, that computers helped the student Page 69 learn and become smarter. A number of students mentioned "math" i n p a r t i c u l a r . Some of the students who responded "no" to t h i s second question, commented that t h e i r parents f e l t that the student should do h i s or her own thinking. Others who responded "no" stated that t h e i r parents themselves did not know much about computers or "were not the type". Conversely, a number of students who responded "yes" to t h i s question relayed t h e i r parents' i n t e r e s t to also learn about computers, perhaps through t h e i r children. Page 70 Chapter 5 SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS Introduction The purpose of t h i s study was to determine i f there were any sex-related differences at the Grade 4 l e v e l i n attitudes toward computers. Data were obtained from two hundred and ninety students by means of a questionnaire containing 25 attitude-determining questions. Items had been grouped previously, but not as part of the questionnaire format, into s i x reporting categories. In addition, two questions requiring subjective comments and eight background information items were included i n the questionnaire. Educational s i g n i f i c a n c e was determined f o r i n d i v i d u a l items and reporting categories. The author predefined responses to the items that were to r e f l e c t p o s i t i v e attitudes. I f 50% or more of the g i r l s or boys, or students i n general, responded i n that manner, then i t could be said that g i r l s or boys or students had a p o s i t i v e attitude toward that item. P o s i t i v e attitudes i n reporting categories were determined as well, using a greater than or equal to 50% c r i t e r i a . For additional analysis, median p o l i s h i n g was used Page 71 i n analysing the data to determine any s i g n i f i c a n t differences among the responses to each reporting category as a whole as well as each i n d i v i d u a l item within a reporting category. With respect to a l l s i x reporting categories, data were analysed comparing g i r l s whose mothers use computers to g i r l s whose mothers do not. Also, responses of students who have computers at home were compared to responses of students who do not. In addition to the analysis of i n d i v i d u a l items and reporting categories, other r e s u l t s from the questionnaire were viewed and compared. Background data were analysed using raw data percentages f o r g i r l s ' and boys* responses. The subjective comments were read and grouped and recurring comments were reported. Responses to the teacher questionnaire provided information that set the general background of the students completing the questionnaire. Reporting; Categories The r e s u l t s of the attitude items on the questionnaire indicate that there were no sex-related differences i n responses to f i v e of the s i x reporting categories. G i r l s and boys at t h i s age have comparable p o s i t i v e attitudes toward Page 72 computers with regard to "Interest i n and Enjoyment i n Using Computers", "Anxiety and Confidence About Computer Use", "Perceived Usefulness of Computers", and "Relationship Between Mathematics and Computers" and "Attitudes Toward Mathematics". There were also no sex-related differences i n the reporting category, "Attitudes Toward Mathematics". There were s i g n i f i c a n t sex-related differences i n one category, "Perceived Sex Roles i n Attitudes Toward Computers". I t was found that while both g i r l s and boys have a p o s i t i v e attitude i n t h i s category, 22% more g i r l s than boys displayed t h i s p o s i t i v e a t t i t u d e . However, i n view of the d i f f i c u l t y of i n t e r p r e t i n g these r e s u l t s , one cannot provide a strong argument fo r concluding that one gender has a stronger p o s i t i v e (less sexist) a t t i t u d e than the other. G i r l s and boys at t h i s age f e e l i t i s j u s t as important f o r e i t h e r sex to use and learn about computers. Individual Items Two i n d i v i d u a l items revealed sex-related differences i n responses. These were both from the "Perceived Sex Roles i n Attitudes Toward Computers" reporting category: " I t i s more important f o r g i r l s to learn about computers than for boys" and " I t i s easier f o r g i r l s to learn to use computers than f o r boys". For both of these items, both g i r l s and boys responded i n a p o s i t i v e manner. However, i t i s i n t e r e s t i n g to note that Page 73 for the f i r s t of these items, 84% of the boys disagreed with the item while only 69% of the g i r l s did, and f o r the second item, 82% of the boys disagreed and 64% of the g i r l s disagreed. Both items were stated i n terms that favoured g i r l s and i n both cases, approximately 15% more boys than g i r l s disagreed with the item. I t i s cl e a r that the students are responding defensively to the wording. S i g n i f i c a n t r e s u l t s for students, of t h i s age i n general, were found on four items. Although the responses to each of these items were p o s i t i v e , they were reacted to i n stronger terms, either p o s i t i v e or negative, when compared to the responses of the other items within the category. One item i n the "Interest i n and Enjoyment i n Using Computers" category was "I would enjoy using computer games to learn". This was reacted to i n a s i g n i f i c a n t l y weaker manner, although s t i l l p o s i t i v e , than the other items i n t h i s category. Thus, while students would enjoy using computer games to learn, t h e i r endorsement of t h i s idea i s not as strong as that of the other items within t h i s category. There were s i g n i f i c a n t r e s u l t s for two items i n the "Anxiety and Confidence About Using Computers" category. In comparison to the other items i n t h i s category, students responded to "Computers sometimes scare me" i n stronger terms. Since the item was i n the negative form, the i n d i c a t i o n i s that computers c e r t a i n l y did not scare the students used i n the study. The other item i n t h i s category Page 74 that produced a s i g n i f i c a n t r e s u l t was "I have no trouble using computers". Only 51% of the students agreed with t h i s item. The f i n a l item i n which the responses were found to be s i g n i f i c a n t was i n the "Perceived Usefulness of Computers" category. The r e s u l t s were much weaker for the item "Computers are best used f o r playing video games". Only 53% of the students agreed with t h i s item, i n comparison to over 80% for a l l other items within t h i s category. Further Findings Responses of g i r l s whose mothers do use computers and g i r l s whose mothers do not use computers were compared. In view of the small samples i t i s d i f f i c u l t to generalize beyond the sample used i n t h i s study. Po s i t i v e attitudes f o r both g i r l s whose mothers do and do not use computers were r e f l e c t e d i n a l l s i x reporting categories. In a l l s i x reporting categories percentages were higher i n favour of g i r l s whose mothers do use computers and i n two cases, those differences were greater than 10%. These were "Anxiety and Confidence About Computer Use" and "Perceived Sex Roles i n Attitudes Toward Computers". Page 75 Results indicate that the g i r l s whose mothers use computers may have been influenced by such a r o l e model. These g i r l s are more confident about using and learning to use computers and have stronger p o s i t i v e views about the appropriateness of computers for both sexes than g i r l s whose mothers do not use computers. Results were viewed and compared f o r students based on whether or not they had a computer at home. I t was found that reponses i n a l l s i x reporting categories, f o r both sets of students, r e f l e c t e d a p o s i t i v e attitude, based on the equal to or greater than 50% c r i t e r i a . In two reporting categories the differences i n responses were greater than 10%. In the "Anxiety and Confidence About Computer Use" category, 12% more students who have a home computer responded p o s i t i v e l y than students who do not have a home computer. In the "Relationship Between Mathematics and Computers" category, 17% more students who do not have a home computer responded p o s i t i v e l y than students who have a home computer. I t would make sense to assume that students who have a computer at home would have more hands-on time and experience with computers, leading to a less anxious, more confident attitude about using them. Also, because those students may have greater access to a computer, they may be using them for a greater v a r i e t y of purposes. They may have interpreted the Page 76 items i n the "Relationship Between Mathematics and Computers" category as exclusively l i n k i n g mathematics and computers which may have led to the differences i n responses by the two groups of students for that category. Conclusions The r e s u l t s of t h i s study show that there appear to be very few sex-related differences i n attitudes toward computers among ten year olds. Both g i r l s and boys display a strong i n t e r e s t and enjoyment i n using computers. Both show a confident attitude about learning to use and using computers. The usefulness of computers i s p o s i t i v e l y viewed by both sexes. G i r l s and boys r e a l i z e the importance of computers to both sexes although approximately 20% more g i r l s than boys displayed t h i s p o s i t i v e attitude. I t was noted that each sex tended to respond defensively to items worded negatively about t h e i r own gender. Both g i r l s and boys perceive a p o s i t i v e r e l a t i o n s h i p between the use of computers and mathematics as well as exh i b i t i n g a p o s i t i v e attitude about mathematics i t s e l f . Students suggested a v a r i e t y of ways that they, as adults, could use a computer. The most common stated purpose was f o r use i n t h e i r work or business. Most students thought t h e i r parents were enthusiastic about them learning to use a computer. Again, the reasons given varied widely but common Page 77 responses included: i t would help i n the student's future, and i t would help them learn more. Very few generalizations could be drawn from the two open response questions. The background information provided some baseline data f o r t h i s population. Ninety-seven percent of the students have used a computer before while ninety-one percent have used a computer at school. About one-third of the students have a computer at home and approximately h a l f of those who do not, report that t h e i r families have considered buying a computer for the home. Twenty-two percent of the students answered that t h e i r mothers use computers at work or at home and 33% say that t h e i r father do. Eighty-three percent of the students claimed to have played games i n a video arcade. Twelve percent more boys than g i r l s have played games i n a video arcade and while 7% of the boys have never done so, 2 0% of the g i r l s have not. The r e s u l t s i n the preceding paragraphs indicate that students at t h i s age c e r t a i n l y have exposure to computers and are very interested i n them. The fi n d i n g of so few sex-related differences at t h i s age i s a good one. But the r e s u l t s i n the area "Perceived Sex Roles i n Attitudes Toward Computers" where sex-related differences did appear, suggest that educators should be aware of the possible beginning of a difference i n attitudes toward computers between g i r l s and boys. Page 78 Recommendations To interpret the information from the 25 attitude items and two open-response questions was a d i f f i c u l t task. There were few s i g n i f i c a n t differences among the r e s u l t s and where there were, i t was d i f f i c u l t to generalize. I t i s recommended that with students of t h i s age, a more thorough, i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c study including interviews and observations be done which may produce more r e a l i s t i c and s p e c i f i c information. Results of t h i s study have shown some s i g n i f i c a n t r e s u l t s i n the area of sex differences with regard to computers at t h i s age l e v e l and those areas where s i g n i f i c a n t r e s u l t s were found may be pursued by further research. Although both g i r l s and boys displayed a p o s i t i v e (non-sexist) attitude, there was a 22% difference i n the responses by each gender. Ei g h t y - f i v e percent of the g i r l s displayed a p o s i t i v e a ttitude compared to 63% of the boys. I t would, be i n t e r e s t i n g to f i n d out exactly what t h i s difference i n responses means. Interviews may be needed to f i n d out i n more d e t a i l how both g i r l s and boys view t h e i r own gender i n general, as well as the opposite gender i n r e l a t i o n s h i p to computers. A further in-depth study i s suggested to view the e f f e c t s of mothers as r o l e models with regard to computers. Page 79 This could be extended to include children of both sexes and the impact of t h e i r parents, teachers and others who may serve as r o l e models, giving consideration to t h e i r gender. There was no attempt made to delve into the strategies and remedies being developed to a l l e v i a t e gender inequity at the secondary school l e v e l i n the f i e l d of computers. An examination of these may be extremely useful, p a r t i c u l a r l y i f educators are aware of them and incorporate them with students of a young age as a preventative measure. As educators become more aware of the issues of a c c e s s i b i l i t y , i n t e r e s t , and a b i l i t y with regard to computers, and are w i l l i n g to act upon the issues, the gender equity question i n the f i e l d of computers may become an unnecessary area of concern; c e r t a i n l y among students of the age i n t h i s study. Page 80 Bibliography Alvarado, A.J., Computer Education f o r A l l Students. The  Computing Teacher, 1984, 11 (8), 14-15. Anderson, R.E. ; Hansen, T.P.; Johnson, D.C; and Klassen, D.L.; Minnesota Computer Literacy and Awareness Assessment; Form 8; St. Paul, MN: Special Projects, Minnesota Educational Computing Consortium; 1979. Anderson, R.E., Welch, W.W., and Harris, L.J. Inequities i n Opportunities for Computer Literacy. The Computing  Teacher, 1984, 11 (8), 10-12. Benbow, C. and Stanley, J . , "Sex Differences i n Mathematical A b i l i t y : Fact or A r t i f a c t ? " Science, 12 Dec. 1980, pp.1262-64 Borg, W.R. and G a l l , M.D. Educational Research (3rd E d i t i o n ) • New York: Longman Inc., 1979. Boss, J.A. Sexism among the micros. The Computing Teacher, 1982, 9(5) pp.55-57. Carey, D. and Carey, R. Reviews: Jenny of the P r a i r i e . Rhiannon/Computer Games for G i r l s . The Computing  Teacher. 1984, 11 (8), 35-38. C o l l i s , B. Summary of Attitudes Toward Computers Survey. Paper presented at B.C.A.M.T. 11th Summer Mathematics  Conference, Richmond, B.C., May, 1984, 1-3. Edwards, C. Achieving Equity. The Computing Teacher, 1984, 11 (8), 62-64. Fisher, G. Access to Computers. The Computing Teacher. 1984a, 11 (8), 24-27. Fisher, G. Acess to Computers. Paper presented at 62nd  N.C.T.M. Annual Meeinq, San Fransisco, C a l i f . , A p r i l , 1984, 1-3. G i l l i l a n d , K. EQUALS i n Computer Tehcnology. The Computing  Teacher, 1984, 11 (8), 42-44. Hopkins, K.D. and Glass, G.V. Basic S t a t i s t i c s For The Behavioral Sciences. Englewood C l i f f s : Prentice-Hall Inc., 1978 Page 81 Johnson, B.D. Female t e r r o r at the terminal. Maclean's, July, 1983. Johnson, David C , Anderson, Ronald E. Hansen, Thomas P., and Klassen, Daniel, L. Computer Literacy - What i s i t ? Mathematics Teacher, February, 1980. Johnson, M.L. Mathematics Equity: Computers. Arithmetic  Teacher, November, 1983, 2. Ki e s l e r , S., Sproull, L., and Eccles, J.S. Second-Class Citizens? Psychology Today, March, 1983. Kolata, G., Equal Time for Women. Discover, January, 1984, 24-27. Komoski, K. Guest E d i t o r i a l . The Computing Teacher, 1984, 11 (8), 5-6. Lautenburg, Senator F.R. Equity i n Computer Education. The  Computer Teacher, 1984, 11 (8), 13-14. Lawton, J . and Greschner, V.T. A Review of the L i t e r a t u r e on Attitudes Towards Computers and Computerized Instruction. Journal of Research and Development i n Education. 1982, 16 (1), 50-55. Lipkin, J . Computer Equity and Computer Educators (You). The  Computing Teacher, 1984, 11 (8), 19-21. Lockheed, M.E. and Frakt, S.B. Sex Equity: Increasing G i r l s ' Use of Computers. The Computing Teacher, 1984, 11 (8), 16-18. Maccoby, E. and J a c k l i n , C. p.23 "The Psychology of Sex Differences". Psychology Today Marrapodi, M.R. Females and Computers? Absolutely! The  Computing Teacher, 1984, 11 (8), 57-58. Miura, I.T. and Hess, R.D. Enrollment Differences i n Computer Camps and Summer Classes. The Computing Teacher, 1984, 11 (8), 22. Nordman, R. Women and Computers...The Educationally Disadvantaged. The Journal of CUEBC, 3 (3), 1984, 37-38. Sanders, J.S. The Computer: Male, Female or Androgynous? The  Computing Teacher, 1984, 11 (8), 31-34. Page 82 Schubert, J.G. and Bakke, T.W. P r a c t i c a l Solutions to Overcoming Equity i n Computer Use. The Computing  Teacher. 1984, 11 (8), 28-30. Tenbrink, T.D., EVALUATION a p r a c t i c a l guide f o r teachers. McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1974. Velleman, P.P. and Hoaglin, David C. Applications, Basics, and  Computing of Exploratory Data Analysis. Dusbury Press, Boston, Masschusetts, 1981 Winkle, L.W. and Mathews, W.M. Computer Equity Comes of Age. Phi Delta Kappan, January, 1982, 314-315. Zakariya, S.B. In school (as elsewhere), the r i c h get computers; the poor get poorer. The American School Board Journal, March, 1984. Page 83 APPENDIX A DIRECTIONS FOR ADMINISTERING THE ATTITUDE QUESTIONNAIRE 1. Indicate to your students that t h i s questionnaire was designed at the University of B r i t i s h Columbia. I t s intent i s to f i n d out how school children f e e l about computers. 2. I t i s not a t e s t ! Encourage students to answer honestly. 3. Read over the dire c t i o n s and example together. 4. Encourage c a r e f u l reading of the items as some items are worded s i m i l a r l y but have quite d i f f e r e n t meanings. Watch for double negatives i n some question-answer combinations. 5. Encourage continual reading of the scale to make sure that answers are appropriately placed. 6. Encourage students to write the questionnaire q u i e t l y . Their shouts, or moans and groans may influence others. 7. I f students f e e l that they do not know the answer to a p a r t i c u l a r question, they should make a good guess. Remember, t h i s questionnaire i s not t e s t i n g how much students know about computers, but rather, what they think, and how they f e e l . 8. Boys should answer questions from t h e i r point of view rather than anticipate a g i r l ' s reaction, and vice-versa. 9. The questionnaire should not take longer than 15 to 20 minutes. I f possible, allow a l l students to f i n i s h . The questionnaire has a t o t a l of 4 pages. 10. Students should check t h e i r papers over to ensure that they have not omitted any questions and that they have c i r c l e d only one answer for each question. 11. You may use your judgement i n answering any questions or defining any vocabularly or phrasing. Try not to sound biased, or leading, i n your d e f i n i t i o n s . THANK-YOU FOR YOUR COOPERATION IN ADMINISTERING THIS QUESTIONNIARE! YOUR TIME AND EFFORT ARE GREATLY APPRECIATED! Page 84 APPENDIX B Date Name Grade Age ATTITUDES ABOUT COMPUTERS This i s a scale to measure how you f e e l about computers. Below you w i l l f i n d some statements about computers. Read each statement and then CIRCLE the choice which best describes how you f e e l about i t . EXAMPLE: Soccer i s a fun sport to play a b c d Please be as honest as possible i n ra t i n g each statement. There i s no correct answer1 1. I would l i k e to have my own computer... a b e d 2. I am able to work with computers as well as most others my age a b c d 3. Boys learn more by using a computer than g i r l s do a b c d 4. Using a computer w i l l help me become better at mathematics a b e d 5. Computers are best used for playing videos a b e d 6. I usually expect to do well i n mathematics a b e d 7. I t i s more important for boys to learn about computers than for g i r l s . . . a b e d 8. Computers sometimes scare me a b c d Page 85 9. Learning about computers w i l l help me i n the future a b e d 10. I don't enjoy using computers i n school a b e d 11. I would l i k e to learn more about computers a b e d 12. Computers can be useful i n many subject areas a b e d 13. I would rather not use computers to learn mathematics a b c d 14. I t i s more important f o r g i r l s to learn about computers than for boys a b c d 15. Working with a computer would probably make me f e e l uneasy or tense a b c d 16. I would enjoy using computer games to learn a b c d 17. Math i s hard f o r me to understand a b e d 18. Computers are not useful i n learning mathematics a b c d 19. I t i s easier for g i r l s to learn to use computers than f o r boys a b c d 20. I l i k e mathematics a b e d 21. I t i s my guess that I am not the kind of person who works well with computers... a b e d 22. I enjoy working with computers a b e d 23. I have no trouble using computers a b e d 24. Using computers i s more i n t e r e s t i n g f o r boys than f o r g i r l s a b c d 25. Learning to use a computer would be harder f o r me than most people a b c d Page 86 COMMENTS 1. How do you th ink you could use a computer when you are an adult? 2. Do you th ink that your mother and father are enthus ias t i c about you l earn ing to use a computer? T e l l why or why not. Page 87 BACKGROUND INFORMATION 1. Are you a boy or a g i r l ? 2. Have you ever used a computer before? Boy G i r l Yes No I don't know 3. Have you ever used a computer at school before Yes No I don't know 4. Do you have a computer at home? Yes No I don't know If you do not have a computer at home, has your family considered buying one? (Don't answer t h i s one i f you already have a computer at home.) Yes No. I don't know Does you mother use computers at work or at home? Yes No I don't know Does you father use computers at work or at home? Yes No I don't know 8. Have you ever played games i n a video arcade? Yes No I don't know THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR HELP IN COMPLETING THIS QUESTIONNAIRE! Page 88 APPENDIX C Teacher Questionnaire The following questions r e l a t e only to the class(es) to which the Computer Attitude Questionnaire was administered: 1. Have you taught any computer units i n class t h i s year? I f so, b r i e f l y explain. 2 . Have you used a computer at a l l i n your classroom or have the students had access to a computer during c l a s s time? eg. Bank Street Writer, other commercial software 3 . How many computers do you have at your school? 4. Do you have a computer club at your school? Is i t r e s t r i c t e d to c e r t a i n grades? Page 89 Do you view yourself as a r o l e model as a computer programmer or a computer user; i e . ; do you ever t a l k about yourself using a computer; do your students ever see you using a computer; do you run the computer club; etc.? 

Cite

Citation Scheme:

        

Citations by CSL (citeproc-js)

Usage Statistics

Share

Embed

Customize your widget with the following options, then copy and paste the code below into the HTML of your page to embed this item in your website.
                        
                            <div id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidgetDisplay">
                            <script id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidget"
                            src="{[{embed.src}]}"
                            data-item="{[{embed.item}]}"
                            data-collection="{[{embed.collection}]}"
                            data-metadata="{[{embed.showMetadata}]}"
                            data-width="{[{embed.width}]}"
                            async >
                            </script>
                            </div>
                        
                    
IIIF logo Our image viewer uses the IIIF 2.0 standard. To load this item in other compatible viewers, use this url:
http://iiif.library.ubc.ca/presentation/dsp.831.1-0096452/manifest

Comment

Related Items