USING LOGO: A FOCUS ON CLASSROOM PRACTICES IN THE TECHNOLOGICAL AGE

JOAN CELIA MCCANN, Fordham University

Abstract

Focusing on nine elementary school classrooms in an upper middle class suburban community, the researcher conducted an ethnographic study of the levels of implementation of LOGO, a computer language and philosophy of education designed by Seymour Papert and described in Mindstorms. The researchers documented through case study, observation and interview, teacher and student response to a district's mandate to introduce LOGO in individual classrooms. Using as guidelines for research, field study models designed by Rudolf Moos and Roger Barker, the researcher noted the patterns of interacting environmental and personal systems within the classroom unit and charted the behaviors of the class membership in terms of an operant system of circuits described as goals, program, deviation and veto. In subjective analysis, the classroom computer environment was defined using categories presented by Papert, "Revolution, Reform, Intermediate and Museum-Like." The degree to which a LOGO culture existed within the classrooms is described in levels of implementation called LOGO integrated, quasi-LOGO mechanically integrated, anti-LOGO and LOGO non-integrated.^ In distinct contrast to the four categories delineated by Papert, the researcher found that a new category of LOGO implementation emerged in what is described in this study as "Counter-Revolution." The teacher, counter-revolutionary, becomes immersed in the properties of LOGO to such degree that direction, management and actual keyboard function are totally controlled and operated by the teacher with little involvement of students.^ A summary of findings from all integration levels concludes that the classroom teachers shared feelings of discomfort about computers. They acknowledged a sense of personal limitation about computer operations which contrasted with their perceptions of the computer as a medium with no limitations. The issue was compounded when the teachers questioned the value and purpose of the computer in the classroom and in their personal lives at home. Established routines, past practice, mandated requirements, district priorities, time limitations, perceptions of community expectation, personal preferences and mechanical interferences coupled with a lack of basic understanding of the LOGO learning process at the computer and created a schism in attitude toward traditional subjects taught in classrooms and the computer. ^

Subject Area

Educational technology

Recommended Citation

MCCANN, JOAN CELIA, "USING LOGO: A FOCUS ON CLASSROOM PRACTICES IN THE TECHNOLOGICAL AGE" (1986). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8624494.
https://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8624494

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