Explaining different types of computer use among primary school teachers

  • Johan van Braak
  • Jo Tondeur
  • Martin Valcke


In order to identify differences in determinants of supportive and class use of computers, path modelling was applied in a sample of 468 primary school teachers. Independent variables were categorised in three levels: demographics (age and gender), computer experience (computer training, computer experience expressed over time, intensity of computer use), and attitude measures (general computer attitudes, attitudes toward computers in education, and technological innovativeness).

Supportive and class use of computers are not related to the same set of variables. Supportive computer use was mainly predicted by computer experience variables and general computer attitudes. Strongest predictors of class use were technological innovativeness and gender. Yet, the degree of explained variance for class use of computer was considerably lower compared to supportive computer use. These results indicate the limitations of explaining complex forms of professional computer use on the basis of both individual determinants and quantitative models. The article concludes with some practical implications and recommendations for further research.

Key words

Class use of computers Computer attitudes Primary education Path modelling Supportive computer use Technological innovativeness 


A fin d’identifier les différences dans les déterminants de l’utilisation de l’ordinateur comme support et en classe, path modelling a été appliqué au moyen d’un échantillon de 468 instituteurs.

Les variables indépendantes ont été catégorisées en trois niveaux: démographie (âge et sexe), expérience avec l’ordinateur (apprentissage d’informatique, expérience informatique exprimée en fonction du temps et de l’intensité de l’utilisation de l’ordinateur), et mesures d’attitude (attitudes générales vis-à-vis de l’ordinateur, attitudes vis-à-vis de l’emploi d’ordinateurs dans l’enseignement et de l’innovation technologique).

L’utilisation de l’ordinateur comme support et celle en classe ne sont pas relatées au même ensemble de variables. L’emploi comme support est principalement prédit par les variables qui expriment l’expérience avec l’ordinateur et les attitudes générales vis-à-vis de l’ordinateur. Les prédicateurs les plus forts pour l’emploi en classe sont l’attitude par rapport à l’innovation technologique et le sexe. Mais le degré de la variance expliquée est considérablement plus faible pour ce qui concerne l’utilisation en classe que pour l’utilisation comme support. Ces résultats indiquent les limitations à expliquer des formes complexes de l’utilisation professionnelle de l’ordinateur à base de déterminants individuels et de models quantitatifs. L’article conclue avec quelques implications pratiques et recommandations pour des recherches futures.


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Copyright information

© Instituto Superior de Psicologia Aplicada, Lisbon, Portugal/ Springer Netherlands 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Johan van Braak
    • 1
  • Jo Tondeur
    • 1
  • Martin Valcke
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EducationGhent UniversityGhentBelgium

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