A case study on subject area as a factor affecting ICT usage in a Singapore elementary school

Lee Yong TAY, Cher Ping LIM, Siew Khiaw LIM

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Many factors affect the integration of ICT in schools. Policy and school leadership; physical and technological infrastructure; teachers’ practices and beliefs; curriculum and assessment; and professional development are factors that are often mentioned as factors affecting ICT integration and usage. However, the subject area could be another factor that affects ICT usage. In recent years, there are indications that point to the importance of subject area differences in ICT integration in schools. This mixed-method case study research looks into (1) to what extent would students’ ICT usage rates be affected by the subjects (i.e., English, mathematics, science and mother tongue languages) and (2) in what areas do subject differences affect students’ ICT usage. A total of 900 and 903 Primary 3 to 6 students participated in an online self-reported survey on their ICT usage rates for the various subjects in year 2013 and 2014, respectively. 12 teachers – 2 from each of the 6 subjects – English, mathematics, science and mother tongue languages (i.e., Chinese, Malay and Tamil) were interviewed. MANOVA and follow-up discriminant analysis plus univariate AONVAs suggest that there are differences in ICT usage in subject areas, grade levels and between classes. The teacher interviews also revealed similar findings. This research suggests and highlights that the subject area is another factor that could affect the ICT usage rates in teaching and learning, vis-à-vis the contextual, infrastructure and human factors. English lessons were the highest in ICT usage, followed by mathematics, science and the mother tongue languages. It has been observed that ICT seems to integrate well with the teaching and learning of English. Teachers also shared that there are no lack of online digital resources for science but there is a lack of time allocated in school for the subject. However, there are more constraints and restrictions for mathematics and mother tongue languages with ICT. Although several factors affect ICT usage, ceteris paribus, subject area is another factor that affects ICT usage and it also deserves our further exploration and attention.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2015


mother tongue
elementary school
discriminant analysis
school grade


Tay, L. Y., Lim, C. P., & Lim, S. K. (2015, June). A case study on subject area as a factor affecting ICT usage in a Singapore elementary school. Paper presented at the Redesigning Pedagogy: Leaders, Values and Citizenship in 21st Century Education, held in conjunction with 11th International CitizED Conference and the Arts, Humanities and Literature Conference 2015: Redesigning pedagogy: Leaders, values and citizenship in 21st century education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.


  • Information technology and education
  • Primary schools