The pedagogical use of ICTs for teaching and learning within grade eight mathematics in South African schools
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Information and communication technology (ICT) has become part of education as it has, in many cases, become the mode of choice of communication with people in all spheres of life. It provides teachers with the opportunity to access information from a vast array of resources that assists them in their teaching practices. Education in South Africa is constantly transforming to new requirements from the National Department of Education (NDoE). The fundamentals of Outcomes Based Education are lifelong learning and the development of 21st century skills that allow learners to use information for different contexts. ICT enables teachers and learners to access computer systems to develop skills, interact with their peers, colleagues, and the global society. Even though teachers know the value of ICT in teaching and learning, the pedagogical use of ICT in South African schools remains limited. In the SITES 2006, South African teachers acknowledged that they were enthusiastic to explore new ways to make teaching and learning more interesting, but that they encountered many barriers that hinder the pedagogical use of ICT for mathematics. This research has determined that the teachers’ ICT pedagogical knowledge contributed towards more effective teaching and learning practices of mathematics in South African schools. The study also describes how insufficient ICT pedagogical knowledge affected teachers’ confidence to explore ICT tools. This study followed a secondary data analysis (SDA) of the Second International Information Technology in Education Study of 2006 (SITES 2006) data from the 640 participating mathematics teachers in South Africa. The correlated data describes the technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPCK) of mathematics teachers while making use of ICT. Continuous professional teacher development is required to focus on the attainment of information technology pedagogical knowledge to further the use of ICT on the teaching of Mathematics. The study also indicates that South Africa lags far behind the other 22 countries that participated in SITES 2006.
- ETD@PUK