Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: An investigation into the effects of microcomputers on primary school children's learning of mathematics and classroom relationships
Author: Al-Binali, H. H.
Awarding Body: University College of Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 1991
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
This study has three major aims: how microcomputer activities affect pupils' performance and understanding in primary mathematics, how they influence the social behaviour of pupils working in groups and classrooms interactions, and how microcomputers compare with other classroom equipment in terms of their impact on the teaching and learning process. In the initial phase questionnaires were sent to all 158 primary infant and junior schools in the local authority studied. The five sections of the questionnaire covered hardware, software, curriculum, training courses and support groups. 79 useful replies were received (from 13 infant, 11 junior, and 55 primary schools). It was found that the attitudes of the school and its computer co-ordinator influenced the number of computers and peripherals and the choice of software. Having a computer co-ordinator as well as teacher attendance at computer courses were influenced by the school's attitude. Organisation of the use of micro-computers depends on a number of factors. Those were the number of pupils per computer, whether the school introduced all age ranges to such activities, the attitudes of the school and whether it had a co-ordinator, as well as the general organisation of its daily activities. For the next part of the study, eight schools were selected, based on responses to the questionnaire. 18 groups of pupils were chosen from them, each mixed ability, and totalling in all 21 boys and 21 girls, so as to cover the age range 6 to 11+. Each group was observed engaged in a variety of microcomputer activities for 25 minute sessions on four successive days. Finally, observation questionnaires for the pupils and their teacher were conducted. The teachers' questionnaire covered training courses, their computer-related experience and views, the pupils questionnaire dealt with attitudes to computers and to mathematics. Five main types of microcomputer activities were distinguished in mathematics. They were found to cover between them the objectives listed in 'lq Mathematics from 5 to 16 (Categories B, C, D and E), except objective 7, relating to practical work. (Only Logo work covered most of the objectives by itself). The type of program, and the nature of the feedback offered were found to be important in supporting group interactions. Most pupils liked to work in groups and co-operated, but some preferred individual work. Both the groups and their teachers benefitted from having a good leadership or helpful partnerships within the groups. Teachers said they wanted more training courses. Increased attendance resulted in improved attitude and somewhat increased confidence. Hardware difficulties were the main source of teacher discouragement. Most pupils had positive attitudes towards computers and appreciated their potential for helping learning. Pupils found them easy and fun to use, and many would work for long periods with them. A majority of pupils had access to home computers, but more boys than girls. Other attitude differences were found, for example girls preferred easier software with feedback, while boys showed the same level of interest all round. In the final part of the study the author attempts to set out a programme for the introduction of microcomputer work into schools in a developing country.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available