The ICT pedagogic challenges and enablers of grade eight natural science and mathematics teachers in South African classrooms
In South Africa, Science and Technology Education faces many problems. Insufficient numbers of Science and Technology teachers, inadequate in–service training, large classes, instruction with the aim of narrowly orienting students towards examination passes an insufficient integration of technology in the curriculum, and insufficient physical infrastructure dominates the list. The Department of Education envisages the use of ICT as a tool for learning and teaching. ICT has the potential to improve the quality of education and training. If adequate resources are available, and teachers have confidence in the usefulness of ICTs, then the integration of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) may improve the teaching and learning of Mathematics and Science. A review of the literature indicated that the deployment of ICT resources alone will not bring about desirable pedagogical practices in the classroom. There exists a need for interventions that will enhance ICT pedagogical practices in South Africa. The following main research questions were formulated: What are the ICT pedagogic practices used by grade 8 Mathematics and Science teachers in South African classrooms? How do the barriers that grade 8 Mathematics and Science teachers encounter, as well as the support they receive, influence their pedagogical practices? What is the Principal’s role in promoting the emerging pedagogic practices using ICT in South African classrooms? This research comprises a secondary data analysis of the SITES 2006 South African data base. The population and sample for this study was based on the South African grade 8 Mathematics and Natural science teachers. In SITES 2006, the samples comprised more than 504 schools. Due to the fact that ICT is only significantly implemented in two out of nine provinces in South Africa, 25 strata were created to secure fair representation of the population with 666 Mathematics teachers and 622 Natural Science teachers. Bromfenbrenner’s Ecological Systems Theory and Engeström’s Activity Theory was used to investigate Natural Science and Mathematics teachers’ progress in their ICT pedagogical practices through the time–frame 2004 to 2013, as stipulated in the South Africa’s White paper on e–Education policy. Statistical analysis using Statistical Package for Social Sciences was used to address the research and sub–questions. The study found that South African Mathematics and Natural Science teachers’ level of ICT use is small; when they do use ICT, it is enhanced 21st century pedagogic practices. This is in accordance with findings from the international literature study.
- Education