Accessing teaching and learning resources with technology

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National perspective

Since the introduction of computers into education, their potential has been recognized by researchers, policy-makers and practitioners. The potential of ICT to improve education has a direct influence on policy development, as well as on the prioritisation of the South African government‘s expenditure on ICT resources in schools. This perceived benefit of ICT to improve education can be discussed from several perspectives (Voogt & Knezek, 2008), one such being the generally accepted belief that society is changing from a predominantly industrial society to a knowledge society.

South African classroom perspective

Even though education in South Africa is the single largest category of the combined national and provincial government‘s spending, poverty-related educational challenges persist. In 2005, the Department of Education (DoE) developed the National Education Infrastructure Management System (NEIMS) to update the 1996 and 2000 School Register of Needs (SRN) databases, which were used to quantify the physical infrastructure for education in all schools in South Africa. This was carried out as a planning strategy for spending on education, and based on equity.

Lack of culture of learning

The legacy of violent resistance to apartheid, together with the problems of inadequate resourcing, have led to what is referred to as a lack of a ―culture of learning‖ which is still evident in many South African schools (Howie, Van Staden,Draper, & Zimmerman, 2010). Absenteeism, both on the part of teachers and students, vandalism, gangsterism, rape, and drug abuse in schools remain a problem. The Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) 2006 (Howie et al.,2007) with a nationally representative sample, found that 64% of students reportedfeeling unsafe at school, and 13% indicated serious problems with safety. One-in-five schools indicated that drugs were a serious problem and one-in-six consideredvandalism to be a serious problem (Howie et al., 2007).

Technological infrastructure

There is an e-Education policy goal to equip every South African student in the General and Further Education and Training bands (GET and FET) to use ICT confidently and creatively. The aim is to help develop the skills and knowledge they need to achieve personal goals and to be full participants in the global community by 2013. However it is essential that this be seen against the backdrop of the reality in schools with many classrooms struggling against technological infrastructure problems, erratic Internet connections, and difficulty affording and maintaining computers and other ICT technologies (DoE, 2007).

CHAPTER ONE
1 Rationale and Background to the Study
1.1 Rationale for the study
1.2 Background to the study
1.2.1 International perspective gained through SITES
1.2.2 National perspective
1.2.3 South African classroom perspective
1.2.4 ICT initiatives across South Africa relevant to this study
1.3 Main Research Question
1.4 Significance of the study
1.5 Brief overview of chapters
CHAPTER TWO
2 Review of Literature
2.1 The concept ICT
2.2 Policy perspective on ICT in education
2.3 Technologies and their use in education
2.4 Technology in the classroom
2.4.1 Learning with technology
2.4.2 Accessing teaching and learning resources with technology
2.4.3 Assessing with technology
2.5 The role of ICT in science education
2.5.1 ICT and science practical work
2.5.2 ICT and conceptual understanding in science
2.5.3 ICT and student motivation in science
2.6 Obstacles to successful integration of ICT
2.7 Concluding remarks
CHAPTER THREE
3 The Conceptual Framework
3.1 Examining pedagogical use of ICT in science
3.1.1 Patterns of ICT use (SITES-M2)
3.1.2 Pedagogical orientations (SITES 2006)
3.2 Conceptual framework for this study
3.3 Teacher expertise as Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge
3.3.1 Pedagogical Content Knowledge
3.3.2 Technology integrated pedagogy
3.4 Concluding remarks
CHAPTER FOUR
4 Research Design and Methods
4.1 Research assumptions
4.2 Pragmatism as a research paradigm
4.3 Mixed methods as the research design
4.4 SITES 2006
4.4.1 Sampling for SITES 2006
4.4.2 The SITES 2006 teacher questionnaire
4.4.3 Analysis strategies for SITES 2006
4.4.4 The SITES 2006 sub-sample used for this study
4.4.5 Analysing the qualitative data
4.5 The case studies
4.5.1 Selecting the cases
4.5.2 Data collection – Strategies and procedures
4.5.3 Analysis of qualitative data
4.6 Concluding remarks
CHAPTER FIVE
5 Pedagogical orientations of South African science teachers
5.1 Pedagogical orientations of South African science teachers
5.2 Pedagogical orientations when ICT is used in teaching and learning
5.3 Concluding remarks
CHAPTER SIX
6 How teachers use ICT when they teach Science
6.1 Use of learning resources and technology infrastructure
6.2 Scheduled learning time and use of ICT
6.3 ICT and assessment
6.4 Discussion
CHAPTER SEVEN
7 Why science teachers use ICT in the ways they do
7.1 Teachers‘ ICT competence
7.2 Students‘ ICT competence
7.3 Attendance at ICT-related professional development activities
7.4 Obstacles to using ICT
7.5 The presence of a community of practice (school support)
7.6 TPCK of science teachers
7.7 Perceived impact of ICT on teaching and learning
7.8 Discussion
CHAPTER EIGHT
8 Conclusions and Recommendations
8.1 Summary of the research processes
8.2 Summary of the research findings
8.3 Reflection on the conceptual framework
8.3.1 The Four in Balance Model in this study
8.3.2 Adjusting the Four in Balance Model for use in developing countries
8.4 Reflection on the design and methods
8.5 Conclusions
8.6 Recommendations
8.7 A final word
9 REFERENCES

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Understanding science teachers‘ use and integration of ICT in a developing country context

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