Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Home Economics


The project was designed to assess attitudes of South Dakota secondary home economics teachers toward computers. Attitude was assessed using an instrument developed by David Ahl for measuring public feeling toward computers. Hypotheses relating attitude to educational background, size of school, years of teaching experience, and exposure to and availability of computers were tested. A secondary purpose was to determine teacher preference for learning how to use computers. A random sample of home economics teachers in 108 schools received the survey instrument. The sample was stratified according to school size. The majority of schools, 90 percent, had computers. However, only 12 percent of the home economics teachers are currently using computers. Of the 89 respondents, 86 percent indicated interest in using computers for instruction in home economics. Possible attitude score ranged from 30, indicating an extremely positive attitude, to 210, indicating an extremely negative attitude. Mean attitude score for the teachers in this study was 81.78. Using analysis of variance, attitude score was compared with several demographic variables. No significant relationships were evident. In an additional analysis, no significant relationship was found between teacher commitment to computer use and attitude score. There was a significant difference in attitude when educational background and availability of computers were considered. There was also a significant difference found when educational background was considered with the length of time computers had been in teachers' schools. Results of this study do not confirm that new teachers are more oriented to classroom computer use than their more experienced colleagues. Teachers holding higher degrees and teachers from larger schools did not have an attitude advantage. There is lack of documentation on the use of computers for secondary home economics. No observations have been reported which detail the needs home economists have in implementing computers in their instruction. Workshops was the method subjects preferred for learning how to use computers in instruction. They further specified the inclusion of hands-on experiences. Implications from this study are: 1) teachers are not fearful of using computers, 2) computers are available and home economics teachers are willing to use them, and 3) there is a need for hands-on training to enable home economics teachers to effectively use computers.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Home economics -- Computer-assisted instruction

Home economics teachers -- Attitudes

South Dakota State University Theses



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University