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Tribal Preservice Teachers Attitude towards use of Computer

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					           Tribal Preservice Teachers’ Attitude towards use of Computer:
                                 An Indian Study

                                                 Rajendra Prasad Dasari
                                                   Kakatiya University
                                                          India
                                                dr_drajendra@yahoo.co.in

                                                  Aruna Devi Mallu
                                          ZPP Secondary School, Sripathipalli
                                                   Warangal, India
                                             prathyusha.das@gmail.com



                  Abstract: The aim of this study is to examine the attitudes of tribal preservice teachers
                  towards use of computer. For the purpose, a sample of 47 preservice teachers was
                  selected randomly from a Tribal College of Teacher Education and Computer Attitude
                  Scale was administered using a Likert type method with four factors: affective, perceived
                  usefulness, perceived control, and behavioural intention to use the computer. The results
                  of this study showed that tribal preservice teachers had a positive attitude towards use of
                  computer and no gender and sub-community differences were found among tribal pre-
                  service teachers in their computer attitudes.



Introduction

         Education Policies, Commissions and Committees in India stressed the need of tribal education and
consequently both Central and State governments formulated certain provisions to make ethnic groups come into
mainstream of development, as they are having unique culture and differ in their habitats. Thus, schools and colleges
have been established especially for tribes in India. In these schools teaching is mostly taken up by non-tribes having
culture bias. Hence, the teachers from the same ethnic groups need to be appointed to impart knowledge to the
younger tribal generation to make it more meaningful. For this purpose, steps have been taken up by the
Government of Andhra Pradesh in establishing a Tribal College of Teacher Education in the year 2000 in
Bhadrachalam of Khammam District.

          With the information and communication revolution taking place at global level, it has become important
for every individual to equip with necessary knowledge and skills of computer use. For the purpose, necessary
measures have to be taken up right from the school education. Therefore, the teacher’s computer literacy be given
high priority to empower him with new technologies for classroom instruction. India is a country where there is a
resistance for introduction of new technologies in the classroom teaching because of its cultural background of
strong convictions. Ethnic groups too living in natural habitats are indifferent towards new technologies. However,
looking into the challenges of teacher education National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) suggested a
curriculum framework with computer education as one of the components for the preparation of teachers at national
level initiating a change by imparting necessary knowledge and skills to the future teachers. With the introduction of
computer education as part of the curriculum in B.Ed. programme for the preparation of teachers and the demand for
use of technology, it has become important to know the attitudes of preservice teachers towards computer use as
they are being prepared to use technology in their classroom teaching. To understand the effectiveness of a course,
researcher must begin by formally analyzing preservice teachers’ attitudes which play an important role in
technology-related learning.

        This paper is an attempt to study the impact of identified factors on Tribal future teachers' sense of using
computers who have completed their instruction and going to appear the year-end examinations.
A Review
          Provision of computers in the schools cannot give expected results to literate the students unless there is
commitment on the part of the teacher to use computers in instructional system. Teachers’ attitudes toward
computers are significant determinants of behavior that may influence their success in high level use of computers in
instruction (Lawton and Gerschner 1982; Troutman 1991; Francis, Katz, and Jones 2000; Huang & Liaw, 2005; Jia
Rong & Wen Ling 2008). Koohang (1989) emphasized that teachers’ attitudes toward computers are an important
part in the effective investment in computer technology to support instruction and successful integration of
computers in teaching. Yuen and Ma (2001) study results revealed that affective attitudes, general usefulness,
behavioural control, and pedagogical use were significant in determining the use of Information and Communication
Technology (ICT). Teacher educators need to understand the dimensions that influence pre-service teachers’
attitudes towards computers as a means for effective development of teacher training curriculum that will prepare
teachers to face the challenges in the information age (Fisher, 2000).

          A review of research in computer-mediated communication in education by Stefan and Christina (2007)
reported 117 studies over a period of four years in the four international journals (Computers & Education,
Educational Media International, Journal of Educational Computing Research and Journal of Educational Media)
and these research studies found to be relied heavily on empirical studies. The study suggested the need of more
research in the area. Sixth Survey of Educational Research (2006) in India reported no single study related to
computer attitude. In the survey the trend report concluded that the thrust areas in research should be on computer
based learning. The success of student learning with computer depends largely on the attitudes of teachers, and their
willingness to embrace the technology (Teo, 2006). Abdulkafi (2006) study results pointed out the importance of
teachers’ vision of technology, their experiences and the cultural conditions that surround its introduction into
schools in shaping their attitudes toward technology and its subsequent diffusion in their educational practice.
Kadijevich and Haapasalo (2008) found that computer attitude improved by means of experience. Zhao and Mishra
(2001) provided evidence to suggest that the attitudes of teachers are directly related to computer use in the
classroom. Margaret (1999) study found that behavioural characteristics of preservice teachers improved with
experience and instruction whereas affective characteristics remained relatively stable. Ching (1999) argued that use
computers in the classroom would not be successful without the commitment of the teachers who have accepted the
challenge to use computers in instructional and management tasks. Positive computer attitudes were found to be
correlated with an externally-oriented perception of locus of control. The external attribution of luck was most
highly correlated with positive computer attitudes. Among internally-oriented subjects, those who felt that effort
primarily determined academic success displayed the most negative attitudes towards computers. Locus of control
was found to account for more variation in computer attitudes than the factors of student age, gender, computer
experience and word processing experience (Woodrow, 1990). Hsieh and Pierson (2004) study results indicated that
preservice teachers had positive attitudes toward technology. Asan (2000) study results showed that gender had no
significant influence on attitude toward computers and the length of computer usage did influence attitudes toward
computers. Teo (2008) study found that the preservice teachers showed positive level of computer attitude and years
of computer use and level of computer confidence are positively correlated with positive computer attitude. The
study also found no significant relationship of gender and computer attitude. Rajasekar and Vaiyapuri Raja (2008)
study results revealed that there is significant difference among the teachers who have attended the computer classes
and those who did not attend the computer classes in respect of their computer anxiety. Yuen (2002) study found
significant gender differences in computer acceptance. Shapkaa and Ferrarib (2003) concluded that female teachers
were more anxious and less confident computer users. Bernard (1997) found gender differences in computer-related
attitudes and behavior. Female users were more inclined to hold negative reactions to computers compared to male
users (Campbell, 1990; Jackson, Ervin, Gardner and Schmitt, 2001). Rabaani (2008) study found that social studies
teachers lack computer skills but had positive attitudes towards their application in teaching. The study found that
the gender had no influence on their attitudes. Bakar and Mohamed (2008) study showed that trainee teachers were
quite confident of integrating ICT with teaching. The study also showed a significant difference in the level of
confidence between students with teaching experience and students without teaching experience.

          Sadik (2006) study revealed that teachers’ previous computer experience was significantly related to their
attitudes. Teachers who had lower anxiety, higher confidence, and more positive feelings and perceptions towards
the importance of computers tended to have satisfactory computer experience and seemed to use computers in
schooling more frequently. Savenye (1993) study found that participation in the computer literacy course improved
preservice teacher attitudes toward use of computers by raising their confidence level. Pope and others (2002) study
revealed that teaching preservice teachers about how to integrate specific technologies in their teaching methods
increased their level of confidence. Kumar and Kumar (2003) reported that most of the teachers believed that the
amount of computer experience had a positive effect on attitude towards computers. Ying-Chen and others (2000)
study found that the computer training of teachers received through their teacher education program fostered
positive computer affect. Gong and Cuper (2008) study found that course instruction as well as prior technology
experience had a significant influence on preservice teachers’ ability to understand the usefulness of integrating
technology in the classroom. Vandana Mehra and Dill Raj Newa (2009) study suggested that Information and
communication technology should be given priority in teacher education curriculum.

          Doering and others (2003) study revealed that the preservice teachers had a fear that they were not experts
in the use of technology. Rosen and Weil (1995) study results indicated that many teachers, particularly elementary
teachers and secondary humanities teachers were technophobic and they worried about dealing with the computers
in their classroom. The study also found that age, gender, teaching experience, computer availability, ethnicity, and
school socioeconomic status also played an important role in predicting technophobia. Harris and others (1998)
study examined the computer anxiety and involvement with personal computers (PCs) of six groups of computer-
using students from China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, New Zealand, Tanzania and Thailand. The study found
differences between some of the groups which could be attributed to demographic and ethnic factors. Guice and
Leah (2001) study revealed that deeper cultural issues underlying the reasons for tribal choices relating to computer
use and tribes’ attitude affected technology use.

         The research studies on the whole indicate that preservice teachers undergoing computer course had
improved attitude towards computer use. In some of the studies, males found to be more comfortable with
computers than females and the other studies reported no significant difference in gender computer attitude. The
review of studies shows that the computer attitude of preservice teachers belonging to tribal community need
attention as many of them go back to their native places to serve the educational needs of tribal community who
influence tribal children attitude towards use of new technologies .

Method and Procedure
         A sample of 47 students was randomly selected from Tribal Teacher Education College in Bhadrachalam of
Khammam District of Andhra Pradesh, established especially to prepare teachers of Tribal community. It included
male (21) and female (26) teachers of Koya (21), Lambada (12) and Primitive Tribes (14). The category primitive
tribes include most backward tribes belonging to Gond, Gadaba, Konda dora, Konda reddy, Toti, Kolam and
Chenchu. The sample was homogenous - Indians of same age group with bachelor’s degree which is a prerequisite
for admission into the Tribal Teacher Education College. The sample population had been given same instruction in
computer education with same content in the same academic year. A brief introduction of the study had been given
by the researcher before the questionnaire was served to the participants at the end of the course. Their queries had
been answered by the researcher. They took about 30 minutes on an average to respond to the items.

          The instrument included personal data of the participant (Name, Gender, Marital status, Tribal Community,
Academic qualifications and Subject-methodology) and Computer Attitude Scale (CAS) developed by Selwyn
(1997). CAS included 21 items categorized into four subscales (table 1): Affective (6), Perceived usefulness (5),
Perceived control (6) and Behavioural intention (4). The participants responded to it using Likert type five-point
scale of strongly disagree (1), disagree (2), neutral (3), agree (4), and strongly agree (5). Analysis of the data was
performed in SPSS 11.5. Mean, standard deviation, alpha, Pearson coefficient of correlation, independent t test, F
test and one way multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) were applied in the study.

Results
         The attitude of tribal preservice teachers towards computer use was measured in terms of affective,
perceived usefulness, perceived control and behavioural intention. Table 1 represents the tribal preservice teachers
mean scores for each item in the CAS. The scores revealed that except for one item in the scale, the tribal preservice
teachers scored more than midpoint of the scale (mean=3) for all items. The highest mean score obtained was 4.11.
Hence, for almost all of the items on the scale the tribal preservice teachers found to be positive in their attitudes.
                  Table 1: Mean Scores of Tribal Preservice Teachers for items on Computer Attitude Scale
    Sub scale                                                          Items                                             Mean
                             1.    If given the opportunity to use a computer, I am afraid that I might damage it in
                     AFF1                                                                                                3.02
                                   some way*
     Affective       AFF2    2.    I hesitate to use a computer for fear of making mistakes I can't correct*             3.55
   Component         AFF3    3.    I don't feel apprehensive about using a computer                                      3.11
    (six items)      AFF4    4.    Computers make me feel uncomfortable*                                                 3.72
                     AFF5    5.    Using a computer does not scare me at all                                             3.19
                     AFF6    6.    I hesitate to use a computer in case I look stupid*                                   3.57
                     PU1     7.    Computers help me improve my work better                                              4.11
                     PU2     8.    Computers make it possible to work more productively                                  3.94
    Perceived
                     PU3     9.    Computers can allow me to do more interesting and imaginative work                    3.96
   Usefulness
   (five items)      PU4     10.   Most things that a computer can be used for I can do just as well myself*             3.26
                             11.   Computers can enhance the presentation of my work to a degree which justifies the
                      PU5                                                                                                3.51
                                   extra effort
                      PC1    12.   I could probably teach myself most of the things I need to know about computers       3.49
                      PC2    13.   I can make the computer do what I want it to                                          3.34
    Perceived         PC3    14.   If I get problems using the computer, I can usually solve them one way or the other   3.40
     Control
    (six items)       PC4    15.   I am not in complete control when I use a computer*                                   3.79
                      PC5    16.   I need an experienced person nearby when I use a computer                             3.23
                      PC6    17.   I do not need someone to tell me the best way to use a computer                       2.91
                      BI1    18.   I would avoid taking a job if I knew it involved working with computers*              3.32
   Behavioural        BI2    19.   I avoid coming into contact with computers in school*                                 3.89
    Intention
   (four items)       BI3    20.   I only use computers at school when l am told to*                                     3.34
                      BI4    21.   I will use computers regularly throughout school                                      3.02
                                  Total Scale                                                                            3.46
SD – Strongly Disagree (1), D – Disagree (2), N – Neutral (3), A – Agree (4), and SA – Strongly Agree (5)
* Item for which scoring is reversed.

          Table 2 represents the tribal preservice teachers mean scores, standard deviation and alpha of four
subscales of CAS. The participants scored the highest in perceived usefulness (mean=3.75) followed by beahvioural
intention (mean=3.40). The mean scores found to be the same for affective and perceived control (3.36). The scores
suggest that the tribal preservice teachers were more positive in their perceptions of usefulness of computers than
affect, control of computers and their intention to use computers. The overall computer attitude score (mean=3.46) is
found to be well above the midpoint of the scale (mean=3.0) showing their positive attitude towards the computer
use. The reliability co-efficient (alpha for internal consistency) of each of the subscale is found to be high (ranging
from .71 to .90) and for the overall CAS is .80 (alpha value above .70 indicates reliability of the tool). Earlier
studies on CAS reported reliability coefficient above .86. (Selwyn, N. 1997; Sexton, King, Aldridge and Goodstadt-
Killoran. 1999; Teo, T. 2008). The validity coefficient of the scale found to be .90 (item analysis of extreme groups:
correlation is significant at 0.01 level, 2-tailed).

                     Table 2: Descriptive statistics and reliability coefficient for each sub scale (n=47)
         S.No.                Sub scale                  No. of items          Mean             SD               alpha
           1        Affective                                 6                3.36             .29               .76
           2        Perceived usefulness                      5                3.75             .36               .81
           3        Perceived control                         6                3.36             .29               .71
           4        Behavioural intention                     4                3.40             .36               .90
                  Overall computer attitude                   21               3.46             .34               .80

          Table 3 represents the correlation matrix of the subscales. All the subscales correlate significantly at 0.01
(2-tailed) level and their coefficients ranged from .16 to 1.00 indicating that they are fairly independent to examine
the computer attitude of preservice teachers by each subscale.
                                            Table 3: Correlation Matrix of the Subscales
                                 Sub scale                    Affective             PU                PC
                     Perceived usefulness(PU)                    .25
                     Perceived control(PC)                       .92                .46
                     Behavioural intention(BI)                  1.00                .42               .16

         Table 4 and 5 shows descriptive statistics with t and F values for each of the four subscales of CAS
based on gender and tribal community of preservice teachers, respectively. The values show that the variables
gender and tribal community had no significant difference in the attitudes of the preservice teachers on the four
subscales- affective, perceived usefulness, perceived control and behavioural intention. However, the mean
values revealed that male preservice teachers had more positive attitude than female teachers in their attitude
towards perceived usefulness, perceived control and behavioural intention. Lambada preservice teachers scored
higher mean for all the sub scales than Koya and Primitive tribes. Preservice teachers of Koya tribe scored higher
than Primitive tribes in all sub scales except behavioural intention. The mean scores of overall computer attitude
found to be high for Lambada followed by Koya and Primitive tribes.

                         Table 4: Gender based descriptive statistics and t values for each subscale
                                                 (Male=21, Female=26)
                                                                                                      t Significance
         S.No.                  Sub scale               Variable          Mean            SD
                                                                                                        (2-tailed)*
                                                          Male            3.36            .39
            1       Affective                                                                               .97
                                                         Female           3.37            .30
                                                          Male            3.83            .50
            2       Perceived usefulness                                                                    .61
                                                         Female           3.69            .27
                                                          Male            3.45            .25
            3       Perceived control                                                                       .40
                                                         Female           3.29            .38
                                                          Male            3.46            .39
            4       Behavioural intention                                                                   .64
                                                         Female           3.34            .35
                                                          Male            3.53            .40
                 Overall computer attitude                                                                  .38
                                                         Female           3.42            .34
*p> 0.05 - not significant

                     Table 5: Sub-community based descriptive statistics and F value for each subscale
                                     (Koya=21, Lambada=12 Primitive tribes=14)
                                                                                                        F Significance
     S.No.                   Sub scale                  Variable            Mean                SD
                                                                                                          (2-tailed)*
                                                         Koya                3.37               .25
        1        Affective                              Lambada              3.51               .53           .45
                                                     Primitive tribes        3.22               .32
                                                         Koya                3.72               .28
        2        Perceived usefulness                   Lambada              3.86               .64           .88
                                                     Primitive tribes        3.71               .44
                                                         Koya                3.30               .36
        3        Perceived control                      Lambada              3.57               .21           .25
                                                     Primitive tribes        3.27               .34
                                                         Koya                2.75               1.5
        4        Behavioural intention                  Lambada              3.50               .68           .60
                                                     Primitive tribes        3.27               .41
                                                         Koya                3.45               .35
             Overall computer attitude                  Lambada              3.61               .50           .16
                                                     Primitive tribes        3.36               .40
*p> 0.05 - not significant
          Further, Table 6 shows the results of one way multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) of the four
dependent variables (affective, perceived usefulness, perceived control and behaviour intention) for gender and
tribal community of preservice teachers. The values of Wilks’ Lambda and the significance associated to it for all
the two independent variables are greater than .05 indicating that male and female, Koya, Lambada and Primitive
tribal preservice teachers were similar in their attitudes towards computer use.

                              Table 6: Wilks’ Lambda and its associated Significance Level
                                                                                                Partial Eta
          Variable                 Wilks’ Lambda Value          F          Significance*
                                                                                                 Squared
           Gender                          .888                .221            .918                .166
      Tribal community                     .712                .555            .803                .156
*p > 0.05 – not significant

Discussion
          On the whole, the tribal preservice teachers exhibited positive attitude towards computer use as their mean
score for each subscale (affective, perceived usefulness, perceived control and behavioural intention) was 3.36 and
above. Their overall computer attitude was also positive standing at 3.46 supporting the earlier research studies.
Hence, the instruction in theory and practical, availability and accessibility to computers contributed positively
towards preservice teachers’ computer attitude. Gender and tribal community had no significant influence on the
computer attitude of preservice teachers. However, Male and Lambada preservice teachers had shown more positive
attitude towards computer use than Female and Koya and Primitive tribes, respectively.

Conclusion
          The positive attitude of the tribal preservice teachers of B.Ed. programme has to be further strengthened
through instruction and practical work on computers and by improving the accessibility to computers in the Tribal
College of Teacher Education thus empowering the teacher educators in the field of information and communication
technologies. The college administration has to take necessary steps in this direction so that conducive environment
is prevailed and peer-learning is strengthened in computer education. Teacher educators have to take special interest
in improving computer skills of female, Koya and Primitive tribes by providing more accessibility to computers and
guiding them in practical classes.

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