Perceptions of technology : a Malaysian primary education perspective : a thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Education at Massey University

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Massey University
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This study investigates the perceptions of technology held by Malaysian in primary education. In particular, the study looks into students' understandings of and attitudes towards technology. The study was carried out with 521 primary students, 272 girls and 249 boys, and 28 of their teachers in the Malaysian state of Sarawak. A case study design, using a measure of student perceptions of technology consisting of a writing/drawing activity, a picture quiz, and a technology questionnaire, teacher interviews and curriculum content analysis was employed in this study. The findings from this study show that students' understandings of technology are low. Like the findings obtained elsewhere, students associate technology with products, especially high-tech products and electrical appliances. A comparison by gender, however, shows that there is significant difference in the understanding of technology between boys and girls. Meanwhile, in the comparison related to ethnicity, native students' understandings of technology are slightly lower than those of non-native students. In the comparison by location, the findings show that rural students tend to associate technology with building and low-tech products, while urban students tend to associate technology with computers. Malaysian students' attitudes towards technology, however, are positive. This finding parallels findings obtained in Australia, England, New Zealand and elsewhere. Comparison by gender, ethnicity and location shows that there is no apparent difference between boys and girls and between urban and rural students interest in technology. However, native students are more interested in technology as compared to non-native students, while urban students are more positive about the social aspects of technology. This view about technology among students corresponds to the views held by teachers and as stated in the technology curriculum documents.
Malay language throughout.
Technology -- Study and teaching (Primary), Study and teaching (Primary), Malaysia