ICT NON-AVAILABILITY AT HOME AS A POTENTIAL BARRIER FOR EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Institute of Sociology (CZECH REPUBLIC)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2009 Proceedings
Publication year: 2009
Conference name: 3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 9-11 March, 2009
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:Many scholars have already analyzed and showed that educational and occupational career of children is usually significantly determined by educational and occupational status of their parents. According to several recent findings (e.g. Shavit and M?ller 2000), the aim of this paper is to analyze effect of family background on computer literacy of fifteen-year-old pupils, with a particular focus on a different level of ICT possession at home (possession of a computer and of an internet access). The fact is that although the level of ICT possession has increased gradually, there are still significant differences among families and also among countries. It has long been discussed that access to computers is not equal (Angus et al. 2004), this being usually described as ‘digital divide’.
This paper deals with the effect of family background on computer literacy using data files from OECD PISA 2003 and 2006 that enable both to analyze changes between these years and to analyze situation in the Czech Republic in comparison with Finland and Slovakia. Finland was chosen to represent countries with higher total level of ICT possession at home (compared to the Czech Republic) and Slovakia was selected to represent countries with lower level of ICT possession at home.
The analytical approach used within this paper is based on the idea that effect of family background on computer literacy can be transmitted in two ways - either directly (without any intervening factor) or indirectly through ICT possession at home. In other words, the aim is to test which effect of family background on computer literacy (the direct one or the indirect one) is stronger. The research question is specified in two hypotheses: (1) The direct effect of family background on computer literacy is stronger than the indirect one. (2) The extent of the direct effect is the higher the higher is the total level of ICT possession at home in a country.
The structural modelling approach and the AMOS software are used for the analyses. On the basis of the causal model and my hypotheses, I developed a structural model of the effect of family background on student`s computer literacy.
It can be generally stated that the ability of the model to explain differences in computer literacy is good. All the analyses indicated much stronger indirect effect of family background on computer literacy than the direct one.
Although there was some development in PC and internet access possessions between the years 2003 and 2006, the indirect effect prevailed in both years. To conclude, my analyses proved that ICT tools possession at home plays a significant role when discussing the effect of family background on computer literacy of children.
Angus, L., I. Snyder, W. Sutherland-Smith. 2004. „ICT and Educational (Dis)advantage: Families, Computers and Contemporary Social and Educational Inequalities.“ British Journal of Sociology of Education 25 (1): 3-18.
Shavit, Y., W. Müller. 2000. „Vocational Secondary Education, Tracking, and Social Stratification“. Pp. 437-452 in Hallinan, M. T. (ed.) Handbook of the Sociology of Education. New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers.
Keywords: computer literacy, family background, pisa, ict availability.