Date of Award:

2002

Document Type:

Dissertation

Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department:

Family, Consumer, and Human Development

Advisor/Chair:

Nancy E. Thompson

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate and analyze the preparation of Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) preservice teachers to teach FACS content using computer technology, a study that had not previously been undertaken. The focus of the study was FACS methods classes and activities, as reported by FACS teacher educators. A survey instrument was developed to determine how computer technology is incorporated into, modeled by the teacher, and required of students in FACS methods courses. The support FACS teacher educators receive from their college or university for teaching with technology, teacher educators' perceived computer skill and comfort levels, and importance placed by teacher educators on technology in secondary and college methods courses were also investigated. Respondents were asked their knowledge of the International Society for Technology in Education technology standards for teachers and their perceptions of preservice students' abilities to meet those standards.

The survey was prepared in both printed/mailed and on-line formats to investigate the reliability of using the Internet to conduct survey research with this population. The survey was sent to 208 teacher educators nationwide and information was obtained from 86 respondents for a 41% response rate.

Eleven research questions were answered. FACS teacher educators felt the inclusion of computer technology in both secondary classrooms and their own classrooms was important. While the majority reported average computer skills, they expressed confidence in their ability to teach and demonstrate technology in the classroom. FACS teacher educators were not aware of the ISTE standards but still rated their preservice students high on most standards.

Four hypotheses were tested. No differences were found in reported preservice student computer technology abilities and characteristics of the college or university, FACS department, or teacher educator characteristics. There were no differences in responses and characteristics of teacher educators who completed the survey in the print/mailed format and those completing it on-line. Statistically significant differences were found in response rates for printed/mailed versus on-line surveys. FACS teacher educators were more likely to return surveys they received through the mail than complete surveys available on-line. Implications for teacher educators, administrators, and professional organizations are drawn.

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