The relationship of instructor technical literacy to the academic performance of students in career academies

Jorge Gomez, Florida International University


Career Academy instructors' technical literacy is vital to the academic success of students. This nonexperimental ex post facto study examined the relationships between the level of technical literacy of instructors in career academies and student academic performance. It was also undertaken to explore the relationship between the pedagogical training of instructors and the academic performance of students. Out of a heterogeneous population of 564 teachers in six targeted schools, 136 teachers (26.0 %) responded to an online survey. The survey was designed to gather demographic and teaching experience data. Each demographic item was linked by researchers to teachers' technology use in the classroom. Student achievement was measured by student learning gains as assessed by the reading section of the FCAT from the previous to the present school year. Linear and hierarchical regressions were conducted to examine the research questions. To clarify the possibility of teacher gender and teacher race/ethnic group differences by research variable, a series of one-way ANOVAs were conducted. As revealed by the ANOVA results, there were not statistically significant group differences in any of the research variables by teacher gender or teacher race/ethnicity. Greater student learning gains were associated with greater teacher technical expertise integrating computers and technology into the classroom, even after controlling for teacher attitude towards computers. Neither teacher attitude toward technology integration nor years of experience in integrating computers into the curriculum significantly predicted student learning gains in the regression models. Implications for HRD theory, research, and practice suggest that identifying teacher levels of technical literacy may help improve student academic performance by facilitating professional development strategies and new parameters for defining highly qualified instructors with 21st century skills. District professional development programs can benefit by increasing their offerings to include more computer and information communication technology courses. Teacher preparation programs can benefit by including technical literacy as part of their curriculum. State certification requirements could be expanded to include formal surveys to assess teacher use of technology.

Subject Area

Teacher education|Curriculum development|Vocational education

Recommended Citation

Gomez, Jorge, "The relationship of instructor technical literacy to the academic performance of students in career academies" (2013). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI3598067.