Information processing instruction in Indiana public secondary business education

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Lightle, John M.
Patton, Don C.
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Thesis (D. Ed.)
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The purpose of the study was to determine to what extent information processing was being taught to students enrolled in business education curricula of Indiana public secondary schools. A secondary purpose of the study was to examine constraints that were perceived to have hampered the inclusion of information processing in Indiana secondary business education instruction.A review of related literature and research was conducted in three major areas, (1) data processing, (2) word processing, and (3) information processing. A questionnaire was developed for use in surveying 120 secondary business education department chairpersons in Indiana. One respondent was utilized in each of 50 large comprehensive high schools, 50 small comphrensive high schools, and 20 area vocational schools. A total of 87 questionnaires or 73 percent of the questionnaires were returned. Tables were prepared to indicate frequency distribution and percentages of response choices for each item on the questionnaire.Among the findings of the study were the following:1. Data processing equipment was being utilized for businesseducation instruction in 35 percent of the schools and word processing equipment was being utilized in 50 percent of the schools. Micro-computers were more frequently used for data processing instruction than mainframe connected terminals.2. A higher percentage of business education students attending vocational schools received data processing hands-on experience than in comprehensive high schools.3. Data processing concept instruction was not provided to students in 38 percent of the schools; 33 percent did not offer word processing concepts instruction.4. Slightly more than one-fourth of all business teachers had necessary skills to teach on modern electronic equipment. However, 62 percent of schools had at least one business a teacher skilled to teach data processing and 75 percent had teachers skilled to teach word processing. Only four percent of all business teachers were currently taking courses in data processing and six percent were taking courses in word processing. Lack of funds and equipment was the most frequently given reason for not including word processing in business education curricula.Further research including a replication of the study and similar studies in other geographic areas should be conducted to ascertain the adequacy and growth of information processing instruction.