Teachers’ Perceptions Of The Contribution Of ICT To .

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TEACHERS’ PERCEPTIONS OF THE CONTRIBUTION OFINFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY TO THETEACHING OF MODERN STUDIES, USING AN INTEGRATEDSYSTEM, IN AN URBAN SECONDARY SCHOOL.A Research PaperSubmitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree ofMasters of Education in CurriculumofThe University of the West IndiesCaty-Ann Rampersad2011School of EducationFaculty of Humanities and EducationSt. Augustine Campus

Table of ContentsAbstract . iAcknowledgements . iiiChapter 1 . 1Introduction. 1Background to the Study. 1Justification for the Study . 8Statement of the Problem . 9Purpose of the Study . 10Research Questions . 10Challenges to the Conduct of the Study . 11Significance of the Study . 12Operational Definition of Terms . 12Organisation of the Paper. 13Chapter 2 . 14Literature Review . 14Effects on Learning and Learners . 14Effects on Teachers and Teaching . 19Factors Impeding Greater Integration . 22Chapter 3 . 24Methodology . 24Theoretical Framework . 24Rationale for Qualitative Approach . 27Data Collection Strategy . 29

Sampling Design and Procedure . 30Procedure for Data Analysis . 30Procedure for Ensuring Validity and Reliability. 31Chapter 4 . 33Data Analysis and Interpretation . 33Method of Data Collection. 33The Participants . 34Ethical Considerations . 36Strategies to Ensure the Trustworthiness of the Data . 37Data Analysis Strategy. 38Presentation and Discussion of Findings . 39Presentation of findings. . 40Discussion of Findings. . 63Chapter 5 . 67Conclusion and Recommendations . 67References. 70Appendices. 75Appendix A . 75Appendix B . 77Appendix C . 78Appendix D . 82Appendix E . 86

Teachers’ perceptions of the contribution of ICT to the teaching of Modern StudiesAbstractTeachers‟ perceptions of the contribution of Information and CommunicationTechnology to the teaching of Modern Studies, using an integrated system, in anurban secondary school.Caty-Ann RampersadThe integration of Information Communication Technology (ICT) intoeducational practice continues to be lauded as having the potential to dramaticallytransform the teaching and learning process. This qualitative study sought toexplore teachers‟ perceptions of the contribution of ICT integration to theteaching and learning of Modern Studies at a single-gender urban secondaryschool. Four teachers, purposefully selected, were interviewed during the monthof March 2011. The views expressed by the teachers were summarized anddiscussed under six themes. The results showed that teachers generally perceivethe integration of ICT as having a positive effect on the delivery of ModernStudies. ICT use was associated with enhanced student interest and motivationand increased student engagement. Teachers also reported increased teacherconfidence as ICT use added dynamism to their teaching and aroused greaterenthusiasm and excitement. Concerns were expressed about negativeconsequences that ICT use could have for student learning. For more effective usei

Teachers’ perceptions of the contribution of ICT to the teaching of Modern Studiesof ICT in the classroom, it was recommended that teacher training be orientedtowards developing skills in pedagogy related to ICT use. In addition, teacherscould capitalize on the expertise that exists amongst the digital natives in theirclassrooms when attempting to integrate technology into their teaching.Key words:information and communication technology, ICT, embedded ICT,integrated ICT system, enhanced learning, technology-rich learning environments,teaching with technology.ii

Teachers’ perceptions of the contribution of ICT to the teaching of Modern StudiesAcknowledgementsI wish to express my deepest gratitude to everyone who offered mesupport, encouragement and assistance in the completion of this project.To my children, Christion and Danielle, for their patience, understanding,encouragement and support.To my supervisor, Ms. Sandra Figaro-Henry, for her unwaveringenthusiasm and invaluable advice.To my colleagues in education, Phyllis and Karen, for being my devil‟sadvocates.To my dear friends, Mr. Kenneth Charles and Sr. Lorraine Joseph, foraccepting the unenviable task of being my external auditors and criticallyassessing my work.Finally, to the four teachers who participated in this study, for theirwillingness to share their experiences.iii

Teachers’ perceptions of the contribution of ICT to the teaching of Modern StudiesChapter 1IntroductionBackground to the StudyThe advent of the digital age has dramatically transformed every aspect ofhuman life – the way we work, the way we play, the way we live and the way welearn. The use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in and foreducation is rapidly expanding in many countries and is now seen worldwide asboth a necessity and an opportunity for improving and enhancing the educationoffered to citizens across the globe (UNESCO, 2006). Information andCommunication Technology is, in fact, now regarded as “one of the buildingblocks of modern society” (UNESCO, 2002) and is now considered as one of theindices that should be used to assess a society‟s development. Many countriesglobally now regard the acquisition of ICT skills as part of their “core education,alongside reading, writing and numeracy” (UNESCO, 2002).The Dakar Framework for Action (April 2000) identified the use of ICT asone of the main strategies for achieving the world declaration of Education for Alladopted at Jomtein in 1990 and called on all nations to harness new informationand communication technologies to help achieve these goals. The G8 Heads ofState conference concurred and acknowledged the role that ICT can play insupporting educational improvement globally. At the Hwa Chong EducationConference March 2010, it was recognized that developments in ICT have opened1

Teachers’ perceptions of the contribution of ICT to the teaching of Modern Studiesup exciting new possibilities for teaching practices in order to better engage andexcite learners.Grace Fu, Senior Minister of State, Singapore, reiterated that ICT can notonly be used to expand our students‟ learning horizons but could be a powerfulaid to learning and stressed that harnessing the power of ICT goes beyond simplyinvesting in infrastructure but in achieving meaningful integration of ICT intoeducational practices. The International Conference on Teaching and Learningwith Technology (March, 2010) stressed the pivotal role that ICT can play intransforming teaching and learning. ICT has the potential to enable teachers andstudents to construct rich, multi-sensory, interactive environments with an almostunlimited teaching and learning potential (Balanskat, Blamire & Kefala, 2006).In an attempt to meet the millennium development goals adopted atJomteim and Dakar, countries worldwide have attempted to implement reformaimed at embedding ICT in educational practice. All countries of the EuropeanEconomic Union have made the integration of ICT in education a priority andhave invested heavily in ICT in schools (Balanskat et al., 2006). However, thedegree of e-maturity between and within countries has varied with only a fewschools having successfully embedded ICT in the curriculum.In the Netherlands, government policy has been geared towards the“optimal integration of ICT in innovative learning processes” (Coskun &Kinnisnet, 2010). As a result of this and other initiatives, Dutch schools aremaking increasing use of digital learning environments. Like the Dutch, theNorwegian government, in its new national curriculum, has identified digital2

Teachers’ perceptions of the contribution of ICT to the teaching of Modern Studiesliteracy as one of the five basic skills together with reading, writing, numeracyand oral proficiency and has created an independent agency to implement thegovernment‟s ICT policy and to oversee the integration of ICT in education. As aresult, it has placed a strong emphasis on ICT as an integrated part of the learningactivities in all schools (Soby & Egeberg, 2010).In the United Kingdom, the official view of ICT as potentiallytransformative of education has placed it at the centre of the national agenda forschool reform (Deaney, Ruthven & Hennessy, 2005). As a result, the promotionof ICT in education has been a significant part of the UK government‟s policy ineducation since the 1980s with various programmes being implemented over theyears. The 1998 National Grid for Learning initiative witnessed „unprecedentedlevels of government spending‟ on computer equipment, broadband Internetaccess and online resources for schools (Department for Education and Skills,2003). In 2005, the Division for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF),launched its “e-strategy” aimed at harnessing technology to transform learningand achieve a more personalized approach within all areas of education. Thisplan was eventually upgraded to the 2009-12 strategic plan, “HarnessingTechnology for Next Generation Learning” which was aimed at ensuring thatevery child develops the skills to use technology effectively and responsibly andwhich required that the curriculum be restructured to reflect the role of technologyin society and the future of work. (Pittard, Brown & Dykes, 2010).As signatories to the Dakar Framework, Caribbean states have madeconcerted efforts to establish policies to meet and execute its mandate of3

Teachers’ perceptions of the contribution of ICT to the teaching of Modern StudiesEducation for All by 2015. At the 23rd Conference of the Heads of Governmentof the Caribbean Community it was agreed