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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Impacts of computer use upon primary classroom routines Campbell, Stephen


The study investigated some of the difficulties of integrating a single computer into the curriculum of the primary classroom. It described, from the point of view of primary teachers, the nature and range of unanticipated impacts of computer use on classroom routines (both management and instructional routines) and on instructional purposes. These impacts were examined in the light of an hypothesis that they are barriers to successful implementation. Four primary teachers (Kindergarten through grade three) and one computer helping teacher in one elementary school were interviewed five times each over a four month period to gather their perceptions on the impacts of computer use on their routines and purposes. The school was located in a large metropolitan school district in British Columbia. The interview transcripts were analyzed for similarities and differences in the teachers' reported experiences. It was found that, although unanticipated impacts on routines and purposes occurred, they were not described by the interviewees as the only deterrents to implementation. A range of circumstantial, institutional, and attitudinal factors were also influential in shaping a particular level of computer integration for each teacher. Those teachers who held simple goals for the computer (such as drill and practice, and student motivation) reported fewer unexpected impacts upon their classroom routines and instructional purposes, whereas those teachers with more complex goals (such as word processing) experienced more pervasive impacts. The study has implications for a school-based computer helping teacher whose role it is to facilitate computer implementation with colleagues.

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