The sociocultural factors that influenced the success of non-traditional, Latina, pre-service teachers in a required online instructional media and technology course



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Kansas State University


Home computer ownership and Internet access have become essential to education, job security and economic opportunity. The digital divide, the gap between those who can afford and can use computer technolgies remains greatest for ethnic/racial groups placing them at a disadvantage for economic and eductional opportunties. The purpose of the study was to gain understanding and insight into the sociocultural factors influencing the digital divide as related to Latinos as a group, specifically a group of non-traditional Latina pre-service teachers from Southwestern Kansas in a required online instructional media and technology course. The folowing sociocultural factors 1) generational status, 2) English language ability, 3) educational attainment, 4) socioeconomic status and 5) gender identity are defined and identified in relationship to the success of eight Latina non-traditional, pre-service teachers in a required online instructional media and technology course as a requirement in their pursuit of a degree in elementary education. Four of the five sociocultural factors explored in this study; generational status, educational attainment, socioeconomic status, and gender roles appeared to influence the success of Hispanic, non-traditional pre-service teachers enrolled in the required online instructional media and technology course. Only one of the factors, English language ability, did not appear to have any direct influence on the success of these particular students. Although many of the students struggled with conventional use of English and this undoubtedly influenced their success in other courses, it did not inhibit their success in the on-line media and technology course. Participants were most expressive in their personal interviews about the influence of gender roles, both as a motivator and an inhibitor of success. These sociocultural factors also influence one another, particularly as generational status influences, English language ability, educational attainment, gender roles, and ultimately socioeconomic status. Socioeconomic status, in turn, highly influences computer ownership and Internet access which leads to reduced familiarity with computer and technology terminology, prior experience with computers, and the participant’s perceived self-efficacy in using computer technology for teaching. These factors all then influence the digital divide and the gaps that exist between Hispanics and other racial / ethnic groups.



Sociocultural factors in education, Distance education and Latinos, Technology in education

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Doctor of Philosophy


Department of Curriculum & Instruction

Major Professor

M. Gail Shroyer