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Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)



First Advisor

R. Ann Finck

First Committee Member

Thomas C. Coleman

Second Committee Member

Robert R. Hopkins

Third Committee Member

Beth Breneman

Fourth Committee Member

Deann Christianson


Purpose. The purpose of this study was to identify factors that related to the acquisition of computer skills in California high schools. Procedures. The first part of the study was examination of data from a sample of 63 California schools: scores from computer skills tests, achievement tests, and other pertinent information. The second part was an in-depth study of four schools taken from the sample of 63 schools with high or low scores on computer skills tests. Case study methodology was used with the sample of the two high scoring and two low scoring schools to examine other factors that may have contributed to the differences in scores. Findings. Significant statistical relationships were found between the high scores on computer skills tests and parents' educational attainment. High percentages of recipients of Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) showed a negative correlation with the test scores. Significant statistical relationships were also found between scores on reading and math tests and computer skills tests. The case studies revealed differential access to computers based on ability, and a lack of integration of computer skills into the curriculum in the low scoring schools. The importance of teacher training, and the commitment of school and community to computer programs with high quality hardware and software were important factors in schools with high computer skills scores. Recommendations. (1) Districts desiring to implement successful comprehensive computer programs should secure involvement of, and commitment from all aspects of the school and the community. (2) Administrators of programs should utilize additional resources in computer classes for those who have low reading and math scores. (3) Districts need to be wary of the relationship between sources of funding for computer programs and their classroom utilization, as this study indicates that categorical funding tends to result in "narrow" categorical use. (4) A recommendation for further study is the extent to which there is a division among the school districts of the state into "have" and "have-not" districts with regards to access to computer literacy courses for all students. Such a division, if it exists, might be of interest to the legislature as a matter of State Policy.



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