Date

2019

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

Master of Arts

Department

Comparative and International Education

First Adviser

Deitrick, Lisa D.

Abstract

Much like social and economic inequality, digital inequality has established itself as an important facet of societal inequality that must be observed critically if students are to succeed in the emerging knowledge economy. This research studies digital inequality in the German context as a result of the current adoption of the Digital Education Action Plan recommended and legitimized by the European Commission using a social exclusion perspective. The research used data gathered by Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) 2015 from the fourth-grade German participants to first of all understand the relationship between at home access to the internet, computers and tablets and student achievement, and to observe the difference in performance between students who have access to the digital resources at home and those who lack access. Secondly, the research used parents’ educational and occupational levels, home access to the internet, computers and tablets and number of digital information devices at home as predictors of students’ achievement in Mathematics. An independent samples t test and a multiple regression analysis were run to determine if a relationship exists and the significance level. Students who have home access to the internet performed better and students who did not have home access to their personal computers and tablets performed better as well. Parents’ educational and occupational levels and home access to the internet and personal computers and tablets all significantly predict student achievement scores on TIMSS. Number of devices in the home was an insignificant predictor. These results have policy implications, especially for the adoption of the Digital Education Action Plan.

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