Attitudes Towards ICT in Australian High Schools

Attitudes Towards ICT in Australian High Schools

Kaylene Clayton (Griffith University, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-949-6.ch238
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Information and communication technology (ICT) is integrated into almost every daily activity. Yet, few females today are choosing ICT based careers; a large percentage prefer to work in “pink collar” jobs such as childcare, education, and nursing. A recent report (Queensland Government, 2004) states that the average weekly earnings of full-time female workers in ICT, personal services, education, and health careers are $883.30, $513.10, $802, and $854.20 respectively. Furthermore, even though females consistently earn less than males, female ICT workers record the highest average earnings for all female occupations. Not only are females rejecting the financial rewards associated with ICT careers in favor of jobs that are seen to have a high human concern, they are also denying their voice in the creation and development of future technologies and applications. However, why are they shunning ICT study and careers? How does their educational environment and their perceptions of ICT impact ICT study and career choices? This article explores these questions through the 2003 case study of Year 9 and 12 students, teachers and guidance officers at two co-educational schools in Queensland, Australia. Data was collected from 490 participants through questionnaires and six students and four teachers took part in interviews. Two theoretical frameworks, organizational culture and information quality, were used as a lens to view the situation.

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