THEORETICAL AND CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK OF THE STUDY

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THEORETICAL AND CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK OF THE STUDY

 

3.1 INTRODUCTION

The present study investigates the effect of information and technology (ICT) tools on the academic achievement, learning abilities and self-esteem on the students of Std X in the age group of 14 to 15 years. The purpose of this chapter therefore is to understand the concepts of key variables of the study namely ICT based teaching programme, academic achievement, learning abilities and self-esteem. The conceptual background helps to understand the development of these variables as defined and explained by various researchers and educationists over the years. This helps the researcher to get an in depth view of each variable and select and operationalize the variables for the present study.

3.2 INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES

The phrase Information and Communication Technologies’ (ICT) was originally coined by Stevenson (1997)1 in his report to the Government of United Kingdom. He described ICT in the context of education as the study of the technology used to handle information and aid communication. Since then, ICT has been described as traditional computer applications with the addition of communication tools such as e-mail, chat-rooms and other internet resources. Information and communications technology or ICT tools are known as means which enable students to communicate, collaborate, assimilate and exchange information, such as computers which are used for internet/web, e-mails, word processor, spread sheets, blogs, overhead projectors, LCD projectors, multimedia, cell phones and others as shown in figure 3.1.

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Technology available in classrooms today range from simple tool based applications such as sword processors, to online data, to handheld computers, closed circuit television channels and two-way distance learning classrooms. Even the cell phones that many students now carry with them can be used for learning. (Prensky, 2005)2  There are several educational software available that are the most widely used in schools today and is the primary form of what students learn ‘from’ computers. These are described as discrete educational software (DES), integrated learning systems (ILS), computer assisted instructions (CAI) and computer based instructions (CBI). (Murphy, Penuel, Means, Korbak and Whaley, 2001)3. The teachers use DES to introduce topics, provide means for self-study, and offer opportunity to learn concepts otherwise inaccessible to students.

Thus, it is observed from the earlier studies that the ICT tools have been successfully used since a long time to assist learning and that a number of new ICT devices are available to students in school and at home, offering teachers and students alike for improving student achievement and for meeting the demands of 21st century skills.   Hence the researcher designed a teaching programme using ICT tools to study the effect it would have on the academic achievement, learning abilities and self-esteem of students.

3.3 ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT OF SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS

According to Biswas A. and Aggarwal J.C.4 achievement is known as knowledge acquired and skills developed in school subjects generally indicated by marks attained in tests and examinations.

Achievement encompasses learner ability and performance. It is multi dimensional; it is intrinsically related to human growth and cognitive, emotional, social and physical development. It reflects the whole child. It is not related to a single instance, but occurs across time and levels, through a student’s life in school and on into post secondary years and working life (Steinberger, 1993)5

Merriam Webster6 defines achievement as the ‘quality and quantity of a student’s work’. Achievement is all about what learner can actually do when they have finished a course of study. Academic achievement will refer to success in academic tasks as measured by and external referent such as teacher ratings, self-reported grades, grades from school records or standardized achievement tests.

Glaser (1963)7 defined the measurement of student achievement as, ‘the determination of the characteristics of student performance with respect to specific standards’. Achievement is a measure of what a person has learned within or up to a given time. (Yaremko et al. 1982)8. It is a measure of the accomplished skills and indicates what a person can do at the present. (Atkin, 1995)9. The different styles of learning of students facilitate their performance on different kinds of achievement measures. Performance of the students is connected with the novelty or familiarity of the material. Some students are motivated to do well and are confident in dealing with familiar material but become less confident in dealing with novel materials. Thus they do better in examination that cover relatively more familiar material, but they do less well on standardized tests that are more likely to cover novel materials. Some students do better in standardized tests which offer more challenges but do less well in the traditional classroom examinations. A fair test in the classroom emphasizes what has been taught.

Achievement in school subjects is important for a student. The researcher has studied achievement in English and Geography in relation to a number of variables, both cognitive and affective.
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Why English? A Global Language in a Multilingual Country…

English in India today is a symbol of people’s aspirations for quality in education and a fuller participation in national and international life. The current status of English stems from its overwhelming presence on the world stage and the reflection of this in the national arena. It is predicted that by 2010, a surge in English language learning will include a third of the world’s people (Graddol 1997)10. The opening up of the Indian economy in the 1990s has coincided with an explosion in the demand for English in our schools because English is perceived to open up opportunities (Das 2005)11.

The visible impact of this presence of English is that it is today being demanded

by everyone at the very initial stage of schooling. The demand for English may well peak by 2050, with more people having learnt it already. A 2003 NCERT study shows that English is introduced in Std. I or Std. III by 26 states or union territories out of 35 states. Only seven states or union territories introduce it in Std. IV or Std. V (Khan 2005)12. Private English medium schools may differ in the learning opportunities they offer, and this may be reflected in differential language attainment. (Nag-Arulmani 2005)13 Traditionally, English was taught by the grammar translation method. In the late 1950s, structurally graded syllabi were introduced as a major innovation into the state systems for teaching English. The idea was that the teaching of language could be systematised by planning its inputs, just as the teaching of a subject such as arithmetic or physics could be. The emphasis thus shifted to teaching use of language in meaningful contexts.

Grammatical competence and communicative competence was introduced to signify this extra dimension. The attempt to achieve communicative competence assumes the availability of a grammatical competence to build on, and indeed the communicative method succeeds best in the first category of schools described above, introducing variety and learner involvement in classrooms where teachers and learners have confidence in their knowledge of the language. However, for the majority of our learners, the issue is not so much of communicative competence as the acquisition of a basic or fundamental competence in the language (Prabhu 1987)14

Achievement in English

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Some of the factors of low achievement in English are imparting of limited knowledge, textbooks which are not sufficient to teach such a wide curriculum, blind use of rules, insufficient practice work, and absence of methodical approach in teaching.

In the present study, the factors considered to measure achievement in English are comprehension skills for prose and poetry, creativity in composition writing, analysis, understanding and summarizing of comprehension, concepts of grammar, vocabulary, proper sentence construction and ability to appreciate literature in true sense. The techniques like group projects, group presentations, group discussions and brain storming are used to teach the subject.

Why Geography? Important for Effective Participation in Nation Building…

             In 2010, ‘National Centre for Educational Statistics’ administered a Geography assessment to 9,500 Std. VIII students and 10,000 Std. XII students. In their executive summary they reported that among Std. VIII students, 74% of the students had basic proficiency level of geographic understanding, 27% of the students had proficiency level of geographic understanding and only 3% of the students had advanced level of geographic understanding. Among Std. XII graders, 70% of the students had basic level of geography understanding, 20% of the students had proficiency level of geographic understanding and only 1% of the students had advanced level of geographic understanding. (www.educabilia.in)15

It is a misconception that Geography is only about finding nation capitals on a map. Matt Rosenberg inA Basic Overview of the Discipline of Geography,16  states that the ancient Greeks created the word ‘geography’ from the roots ‘ge’ for earth and ‘grapho’ for ‘to write.’ These people experienced many adventures and needed a way to explain and communicate the differences between various lands. Today, researchers in the field of geography still focus on people and cultures (cultural geography), and the planet earth (physical geography). The features of the earth are the domain of physical geographers and their work includes research about climates, the formation of landforms, and plant and animal distribution. Working in closely related areas, the research of physical geographers and geologists often overlaps.

Religion, languages, and cities are a few of the specialties of cultural (also known as human) geographers. The research conducted by cultural geographers, into the intricacies of human existence is fundamental to our understanding of cultures. Cultural geographers want to know why various groups practice certain rituals, speak in different dialects, or organize their cities in a particular way.

Geographers plan new communities, decide where new highways should be placed, and establish evacuation plans. Computerized mapping and data analysis is known as Geographic Information Systems (GIS), a new frontier in geography. Spatial data is gathered on a variety of subjects and input onto a computer. GIS users can create an infinite number of maps by requesting portions of the data to plot.

There’s always something new to research in Geography. New nation-states are created, natural disasters strike populated areas, the world’s climate changes, and the Internet brings millions of people closer together. Knowing where countries and oceans are on a map is important but Geography is much more than the answers to trivia questions. Having the ability to geographically analyze allows us to understand the world in which we live.

The depth of knowledge, curiosity and intelligence of today’s students is enhancing and hence Geography as a subject is gaining importance more and more in the studies of social sciences. As students are the foundations of a nation, it is important to develop the necessary skills amongst them so that they can effectively participate in the process of nation building. The understanding and knowledge of physical and political divisions, crustal movements, environment, natural resources, marine life, biomes, biodiversity and natural and man-made disasters are incorporated in the study of Geography. Observation, reading and analysis of maps gives a knowledge and understanding of the features of earth to the students

Considering the above factors, the researcher selected the Geography subject to develop and implement an ICT tools based teaching programme and study its effect on the academic achievement, learning abilities and self-esteem of the students.

Achievement in Geography

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Some of the factors of low achievement in Geography are imparting of limited knowledge, textbooks which are not sufficient to teach such a wide curriculum, blind use of rules, insufficient practice work, and absence of methodical approach in teaching the subject. Low achievement could also be attributed to not enough use of globes, maps, atlases, 3 dimensional figures and diagrams for teaching as the pictures, diagrams and figures in the textbooks are not enough to give a clear three dimensional view of physiographic features or maps in Geography.

In the present study, the factors considered to measure achievement in Geography are physiographic divisions in India, natural resources, map study, physiographic features and climatic conditions. The previous knowledge of students in these topics is considered and a teaching programme using ICT tools is designed to teach students of Std. X.

3.4 LEARNING ABILITIES

 

‘Learning is both a process and outcome concerned with knowledge, skill and insight’. (Mumford and Gold) 17 A study on ‘Designing Systems that Train Learning Ability: From Theory to Practice’ by Sharon J. Derry, Debra A. Murphy, (1986)18 Florida State University, University of Mississippi Medical Center was reported in the Journal of Review of Educational Research. Empirical and theoretical evidence was presented in the study to support the conclusion that improvement in learning ability is an important and viable educational goal. The improvement of learning ability necessitates development of specific learning skills, which can be taught. Learning skills cannot be trained easily or by direct instruction alone, but must be developed gradually and automated over an extended period of time. The genuine improvement of academic aptitude is likely to result from a thoughtful, systematic curriculum that complements direct training in learning strategies, and thereby ‘engineers’ the gradual evolution of important skills.

Researcher and organizational psychologist David Kolb19 developed a learning theory based on the value of reflecting on new learning experiences. This is often referred to as learning by doing or experiential learning. David Kolb asserts that knowledge results from the interaction between theory and experience. He states that learning takes place in four stages in a cycle which continues the more as one learns. There are two dimensions to the learning process: grasping and transforming experience. Students grasp experience by feeling/doing (concrete experience) and by thinking/ theorizing (abstract conceptualization). They transform experience by watching / reflecting  (observation/reflection) and by doing/applying (active experimentation).

Figure 3.2

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This learning cycle in figure 3.2 shows a model of learning through experience. For complete learning to occur, one must proceed through all four parts of the cycle. As interpreted by educators at Iowa State University, “Experiential learning takes place when a person is involved in an activity, looks at it critically, determines what was useful or important to remember, and uses this information to perform another activity. Experience alone does not create experiential learning. The learning comes from the thoughts and ideas created as a result of the experience.” (Iowa State University Extension, www.exnet.iastate.edu)20

A teacher’s role in developing learning abilities of students is very important. He/she should be a role model, project him/herself as an enthusiastic learner, be a conscious provider of learning and development opportunities, build learning with the system to integrate it in the normal work process and insist on importance of learning. (Honey and Mumford, 1995)21

The term learning abilities can be defined as learning skills or knowledge gained through the teaching learning process. Some of the components of learning abilities can be seen as abilities of communication, team work, problem solving and critical thinking. Communication skills are the skills of interacting and articulating in an effective manner. Team work means the organized effort as a group. Problem solving is the ability to solve the problems, something that is difficult to deal with or understand. Critical thinking is the ability to analytically think in a situation that has a decisive importance

Communication skills (or the lack of communication skills) can have a large impact on the success of an individual. Communication skills learned at an early age develop the skills that one needs to interact successfully with a wide variety of people and situations, while a lack of communication skills will make it more difficult to get what one wants out of life. (Psychology Applied to Life) 22 Communication training is vitally important for school students. Communication skills help students develop healthy interpersonal relationships, evaluate messages, and learn to present themselves in effective and competent ways to others. For the secondary school students, communication training at an early age can help small problems from becoming large in later years. Yet, communication skills are vastly underemphasized in the school curriculum. Figure 3.3 shows the four communication skills.

Figure 3.3

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In today’s day and age, communication is lacking amongst students. In order to be successful, young minds should be taught thinking skills along with speaking skills. Thinking skills will help students to effectively speak to teachers, peers and parents. This also can lead to student taking responsibility for his/her own learning. Not only thinking and speaking skills are vital but written communication is also equally important. A good writer is able to communicate his or her thoughts on paper. Therefore, to prepare a student for the future, the researcher felt that communication skills like thinking, listening, speaking and writing must be taught at the secondary school level in an effective manner.

Team work helps students develop leadership skills and the ability to work with others.  During their studies students are likely to use teamwork to collaborate with other students on various projects. These experiences help to sharpen leadership skills and prepare students to succeed in the future when they are expected to use teamwork in the workplace to complete assignments. “When you’re in a team you’re able to tackle larger scale projects because you can bring in the strengths of different people’s skill sets,” says Jonathan Winbush, a 2006 Visual Effects and Motion Graphics graduate of The Art Institute of Pittsburgh.23 Winbush, Anthony Avvento, a 2001 Computer Animation graduate of The Art Institute of Pittsburgh and John Harman, a 2008 Video Game Art and Design graduate of The Art Institute of Pittsburgh – Online Division, agree that working on group projects while they were in school helped to prepare them to use teamwork in the workplace. “When I was working on group student projects I made some good friends that I have kept in touch with to this day and have even worked on a feature length film with one of them, I still keep in contact with some of the people I worked on group projects with, while they were in school together”.

Without a team it becomes difficult to see what needs to be improved upon. With others in the team to contribute to the ideas and to collaborate on the given project, a student can perform better and do something that is likely to appeal to more people in the end. Some students are strong in areas that others are not, so using teamwork in projects can help to pull everyone’s strengths together. In a team effort one gets the best of each person and usually all the elements are combined together in the end.

Problem Solving- All the students solve problems on a daily basis, in academic situations and in their day-to-day lives. Some of the problems that are typically faced by students include putting together an argument for an essay, collecting information to prepare a power point presentation, trying to understand or learn a concept, completing projects or assignments. Solving these problems involves both analytical and creative skills. Which particular skills are needed will vary, depending on the problem. Some of the skills to problem-solving are analytical ability, lateral thinking, initiative, logical reasoning and persistence.24  Analytical and critical thinking skills help to evaluate the problem and to make decisions. A logical and methodical approach is best in many situations. The fundamental steps to problem solving are:

It is important to teach a student to develop the right skills to resolve these problems and the personal resilience to handle the challenges and pressure the problems may bring. This can be achieved by planning and implementing the teaching programme in such a way that students develop a positive approach to problem solving.

Critical thinking skills help to evaluate the problem and to make decisions using a logical and methodical approach. Critical thinking is a rich concept that has been developing throughout the past 2500 years.  The term critical thinking has its roots in the late middle 20th century. Michael Scriven and Richard Paul presented a statement on critical thinking at the 8th Annual International Conference on and Education Reform, in 198725. According to them critical thinking is the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skilfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action. In its exemplary form, it is based on universal intellectual values that transcend subject matter divisions: clarity, accuracy, precision, consistency, relevance, sound evidence, good reasons, depth, breadth, and fairness.

Critical thinking is, in short, self-directed, self-disciplined, self-monitored, and self-corrective thinking. It presupposes assent to rigorous standards of excellence and mindful command of their use. It entails effective communication and problem solving abilities. Everyone thinks, it is human nature to do so. But much of the thinking, left to itself, is biased, distorted, partial, uninformed or down-right prejudiced. Yet the quality of life and that of what is produced, make or build depends precisely on the quality of our thought. Shallow thinking is costly, both in money and in quality of life. Excellence in thought, however, must be systematically cultivated.

Critical thinking is that mode of thinking – about any subject, content, or problem in which the thinker improves the quality of his or her thinking by skillfully taking charge of the structures inherent in thinking and imposing intellectual standards upon them. As a result a well cultivated critical thinker:

  • Raises vital questions and problems, formulating them clearly and precisely;
  • Gathers and assesses relevant information, using abstract ideas to interpret it effectively, comes to well-reasoned conclusions and solutions, testing them against relevant criteria and standards;
  • Thinks open-mindedly within alternative systems of thought, recognizing and assessing, as need be, their assumptions, implications, and practical consequences; and
  • Communicates effectively with others in figuring out solutions to complex problems. (Richard Paul and Linda Elder, 2008)26

Based on David Kolb’s learning cycle and other theories on learning abilities the researcher has focussed the present study on the above mentioned four components namely communication skills, team work, problem solving of learning abilities of the students. Not everyone has the above components of learning abilities skills in equal measure. For this reason, team working is often a key component in problem-solving. Further, skills such as communication and critical thinking are important in finding solutions to the problems. The ICT based interactive teaching programme is designed in such a way that it works to help improvement in the leaning abilities of students.

3.5 SELF –ESTEEM

Self-esteem is defined as holding a good opinion of your own character and abilities. It is also defined as the feeling that you are someone who deserves to be liked, respected, and admired. According to Coopersmith (1967)27, self-esteem involves an attitude of approval or disapproval that indicates the extent to which the individual believes himself to be capable, significant, successful, and worthwhile. In short, self-esteem is a personal judgment of worthiness that is expressed in the attitudes the individual holds toward himself. In an educational context, some studies have suggested that there is a relationship between student achievement and self-esteem and that improvement in self-esteem will lead to improvement in achievement. There is a general agreement amongst the researchers that students who are underachieving at school are also likely to have low self-esteem. (Burns, 1982) 28. However, there is still a debate that is it low self-esteem that causes underachievement or is it underachievement that causes low self-esteem? If the former case is true then the teacher’s role in students’ achievement is critical. In that case, perhaps the implementation of the curriculum, assessment criteria and methods of instruction needs a rethinking.

Morris Rosenberg (1965)29 developed a self-esteem scale (RSE) which is a widely used measure of global self-esteem. The sample/participants for this study consisted of 150 adolescents randomly drawn in equal numbers and equated by gender from grades 8 to 12. Along with the RSE, Harter’s Self-Perception Profile for Adolescents was administered to assess the adolescents’ self-concept in nine separate domains. Correlation and cross-validation multiple regression analyses found that the RSE total score and both its factor scores were strongly related to Global Self-Worth, supporting Rosenberg’s conclusions that his scale is a measure of global self-esteem and that its two identified factors are essentially measuring one rather than two different constructs.

The researcher in the present study has used this tool of Rosenberg to measure the effect of ICT tools based teaching programme on the self-esteem of the students in the experimental group. Students’ academic achievement, learning abilities and self-esteem depends on several factors.

It becomes important to consider the above studied theories and concepts in the context of the present study. The researcher wanted to study about the effect of a specifically designed teaching programme in English and Geography on academic achievement, learning abilities and self-esteem of secondary school students.

3.6 CURRENT NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVE ON ICT    

       USAGE

National Perspective

It is observed that starting from primary education; most of the students acquire large amounts of information via rote learning with little emphasis on practical experimentation of the theories or concepts being taught. A single teacher teaches a large classroom via blackboards, and supporting text books which is not the ideal setting for students to ask questions, explore alternatives or learn by experience. By the time students enter secondary education they resort to use of old question papers, privately written help books, work-sheets and teacher prepared notes to memorize answers and succeed in entrance examinations and gain entry in institutes of higher education. It is a common sight to see children in schools taking down notes in ‘class work’ books, and then regurgitate the same in ‘home work’ books and then in their examination. The emotional turmoil touches entire families as young people struggle to survive and ‘win’ during their K-12 years. With the advent of technology and its capabilities if incorporated in the teaching learning processes can be a game changer in the present scenario mentioned above.

The Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) unanimously adopted the National Policy on ICT in School Education (NPISE), on June 6, 2012, at its 59th meeting held in Delhi. It envisaged the introduction of a phased ICT literacy programme in all primary and secondary schools country-wide within the Eleventh (2007-12) and Twelfth (2012-2017) Five Year Plan period. Although government has taken a proactive role by making a policy to include ICT, very small steps have been taken to look at the classrooms where masses are educated. The researcher felt that if ICT is actively used by teachers to teach in secondary schools, especially in classrooms where there are a large number of students, it will help the students in their achievement. This would have an effect on their learning abilities and self-esteem.  There’s unanimity among the educationists that technology-based solutions are the key to revitalizing India’s education system and making its future generations globally competitive. The challenge is, how effectively and quickly digital technologies can be integrated into the education system.

International Perspective

Various technologies deliver different kinds of content and serve different purposes in the classroom. For example, word processing and e-mails promote communication skills, database and spreadsheet programs promote organizational skills and modeling software promotes the understanding of Science and Math concepts. It is important to consider how these electronic technologies differ and what characteristics make them important as vehicles for education. Technologies that can be used in classrooms today range from simple tool-based applications (such as word processors) to online repositories of scientific data and primary historical documents, to handheld computers, closed-circuit television channels, and two-way distance learning classrooms. Even the cell phones that many students now carry with them can be used to learn.

Each technology is likely to play a different role in students’ learning. Rather than trying to describe the impact of all technologies as if they were the same, there is a need to think about what kind of technologies are being used in the classroom and for what purposes. Two general distinctions can be made. Students can learn ‘from’ computers-where technology used essentially as tutors and serves to increase students basic skills and knowledge; and can learn ‘with’ computers—where technology is used a tool that can be applied to a variety of goals in the learning process and can serve as a resource to help develop higher order thinking, creativity and research skills (Reeves, 1998)30; and (Ringstaff & Kelley, 2002)31.

While many different terms have been used to describe what students need, such as digital literacy, technological literacy, and 21st century skills, education leaders, nationally and internationally, are beginning to come together around a new common definition of what students need to know in terms of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Literacy. ICT Literacy reflects the need for students to develop learning skills that enable them to think critically, analyze information, communicate, collaborate, and problem-solve, and the essential role that technology plays in realizing these learning skills in today’s knowledge-based society. Representative of the ICT literacy skills are the following six arenas critical to students’ success in life leading to higher education or work.  (Kay and Honey, 2005)32:

In the US, the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS)32 formed a committee of schools for the future, which distilled an ‘Essential Capacities for the 21st century’ list from current literature. Similarly, Tony Wagner of the Harvard Graduate School interviewed over 600 CEOs and asked them what qualities graduates will need to succeed in college, their careers and citizenship in the 21st century and created a similar inventory. Some of these capacities are shown in figure 3.4 as follows:

Figure 3.4


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3.7 OBSERVATIONS FROM THE THEORIES

While we obsess over marks or medals gained in school, in public and entrance examinations, the above points are worth pondering. Is our education system equipping our children to develop these 21st century skills? A ‘no’ is a frightening prospect for the future of our children for their ability to survive, to compete and to succeed in the increasingly smaller global workplace. Are we giving them enough emotional support, mentoring and encouragement that will give them the confidence to achieve? Are we helping them become strong, capable leaders who can think ‘out of the box’ and create great works of science, technology and art, and lead people and organizations successfully? The relationship between self-esteem and achievement, suggest that school based intervention programmes may prove to be beneficial in improving the academic performance of students with low self-esteem. Role of teachers in the students’ educational development is vital. With this theory in mind, the researcher designed a teaching programme based on ICT tools, which would reach every child in the classroom. The ICT tools used were to ensure that the syllabus delivered through interactive methods help each and every student to participate actively. It is required that the teacher is not only technology savvy but also develops leadership skills. This will help schools to cope up with the rapid rate of change that is required to use technology.

In the past few decades there is a vast change in the educational scenario all over the world. Information is freely available in huge online databases. A person who just knows facts does not have any value. An employee who can interpret and analyze information to make forecasts, create innovative products and services or plan better will be highly valued. Geographical distances have shrunk with the telecommunication revolution. Soft skills such as superior oral and written communication, the ability to collaborate effectively with a diverse team and a project oriented approach will be needed to succeed in studies and career. Social networking sites and freelance sites have launched the careers of scores of entrepreneurs, freelance designers and innovators. A person’s career need will only be limited by their imagination and their willingness to work hard. These results in generations of youth who enter institutes of higher education armed with report cards and certificates. They pass out of colleges and professional institutes with degrees but not with employable skills. Employers bemoan the lack of employable skills among the educated youth of the country.

Today it is the need of the hour that every student is technologically literate by the time he/she finishes the eighth grade, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, family income, geographic location, or disability, this will help the student to brace himself to meet the challenges of secondary education and then they can become competent enough to opt for and cope up with the challenges of higher education. Numerous businesses, corporate and nonprofit organizations have developed policy reports and frameworks describing the need to improve children’s higher-level technology related skills

From the review of the related literature several gaps are observed. Although there are numerous researches/studies conducted which speak volumes about effect of ICT on achievement of students, there are hardly any study done that has designed specific ICT tools based teaching programme for secondary school students and study its effect on their academic achievement, learning abilities and self-esteem. The researcher has experienced that students coming from low economic background face a lot of difficulty in achieving even an average academic level. The classroom situations cannot help them much in overall improvement, as the teachers are busy with tests and exams to be conducted throughout the year and timely completion of syllabus. With practically no family support and help, these students fare poorly in exams and many drop out before completing their tenth grade and very few go for higher education.

The schools today do provide computer technology and teachers are using the same to teach, but there is a need to have a specifically designed framework to implement these methods in a planned and consistent manner. There is also a need to study that whether the ICT tools used in teaching do have an impact on the academic improvement of students or not? Does the use of technology in teaching have a positive effect on the learning abilities of students or not? Whether the use of various ICT tools in classroom also enhances the self-esteem of the students or not? Therefore the researcher was interested in conducting an experimental study to find the effect of ICT tools on the academic achievement, learning abilities and self esteem of Std. X students with two teaching subjects: English and Geography.

  • CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK OF THE STUDY

With the observations made in the existing theories, it is established that technology has a great impact on day to day life of a student.  Mobile phones and SMS technologies have made communication simple across large distances. The internet has revolutionized the way we seek information in our routine matters. The usage of social media (more so by the younger generation) is increasingly making even email look out of date and dull. Students of today are at ease using digital cameras, computers, mobile phones, the internet and other devices. The researcher designed a conceptual framework as shown in the figure 3.5

Figure 3.5

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The two way arrows show that these relationships have been studied in the present research. The connecting lines between the variables show the relationships that have been ascertained in the previous researches. (Atkin, (1995), Honey and Mumford (1995), Richard Paul and Linda Elder (2008), Burns, (1982). These relationships though not included in the present study have helped the researcher to develop a theoretical understanding of the interrelationship that exists between the variables. Based on the theoretical framework, the researcher had chosen the experimental method to see the effect of the ICT tools based teaching programme on academic achievement, learning abilities and self-esteem of secondary school students.

3.9 STRUCTURE OF THE EDUCATION PROGRAMME USING ICT TOOLS

The ICT tools based teaching programme was developed for the present study. This  teaching programme  was  implemented  using  various interactive  teaching  methods  such  as discussions,  team work,  power  point presentations, showing educational video films, using Internet, brainstorming and group work activities.

Figure 3.6

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Figure 3.6 shows the structure of the experiment designed by the researcher. The ICT tools based teaching programme would be developed and implemented on the experimental group (treatment) in English and Geography and its effects on the academic achievement, learning abilities and self-esteem would be studied.

3.10 CONCLUSION

Given this background, the present research focuses on questions of underlying inference: can researcher enhance students’ academic achievement, learning abilities and self-esteem with an experimental intervention i.e. ICT tools based teaching programme? 3.10 

Thus this chapter has thrown light on the theoretical and conceptual background of variables that are used in the present study. The following chapter discusses the research method adopted for the present study. The instruments used to collect data, the conduct of the treatment along with the statistical procedure used to analyze them are also outlined.

 3.11 REFERENCES

  1. Stevenson, D. (1997). ‘Information and Communication Technology in UK Schools’, a report by the Chairman of the Commission, cited in Issues in Teaching Using ICT Lyn Dawes, London, published by Rout Ledge Falmer, 2001.
  1. Prensky,M.,(2005). ‘Engage Me or Enrage Me. What Today’s Learners Demand’, Boulder,in Educause Review, September-October 2005, 40 (5), 60-65.
  1. Murphy, R., Penuel, W., Means, B., Korbak, C., Whaley, A. (2001). A Review of Recent Evidence on the Effectiveness of Discrete Educational Software. Menlo Park, CA: SRI International.
  1. Biswas A. and Aggarwal J.C, (1989). ‘Education in India’. Encyclopedic Dictionary and Directory of Education. New Delhi: The Academic Publishers (India).
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