The integration of information and communication technologies into teaching of physical science in Lesotho
Lisene, Lucia Nthooa
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Change is anon-goingprocess that is affected by the person’s capabilities and emotions associatedwith the innovation. The knowledge of information and communication technologies (ICTs) for teaching has recently become increasingly important because of the impact of ICTs on our daily lives. However, many teachers worldwide do not take full advantage of the potential brought by the availability of modern technologies in their daily professional activities.The proposed change to the high school physical science curriculum – the integration of (ICTs) into the subject – is thus likely to depend on teachers’ feelings and abilities. As a result, the researcher examined the practices of the teachers in terms of the ICT resources they may be using and the manner in which they may be using them. The researcher also aimed to answer the question of the type of knowledge the teachers apply in their use and/or integration of ICTs as well as the types of concerns they may be experiencing during the implementation of the ICT-based physical science curriculum. Therefore, the aim of the present studywas to explore the practices, knowledge and concerns of physical science teachers regarding the integration of ICTs into the curriculum in selected Lesotho high schools. As the study is organised into two articles,one of the theoretical frameworks underpinning thefirst article is constructivismbecause this theory emphasises the involvement of the learners in their own learning and so does teaching with ICTs. The other framework that guided the researcher in article 1 is the technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPACK) lens, which is widely employed by researchers to assessteachers’ preparedness to teach efficiently with ICTs. The concerns-based adoption model (CBAM) was utilised for the second article to examine the teachers’ beliefs and aptitudes that manifest as concerns because they are capable of influencing the implementation of the integration of ICTs into teaching. Data were collected from a random cluster sample of 23 schools using a questionnaire based on theCBAM stages of concern questionnaire (SoCQ) and the TPACK survey instrument. The statistical analysis software (SAS) was employed to analyse the quantitative data obtained to get the descriptive results and the ANOVA on the two null hypotheses. The first article addresses the teachers’ practices and knowledge. The first set of results discussed in article 1 reveals that 77% of the teachers used ICT resources such as mobile phones, computers and the Internet for teaching while 80% used them outside the classroom. This demonstrates that many teachers used ICTs even though they used them more for other professional activities than for teaching. The study therefore, concludes that Lesotho teachers integrate ICTs into their teaching of physical science. Nonetheless, the physical science teachers need to be supported in a variety of ways in order to increase the percentages of teachers who use and integrate ICTs from 70 and 80 as well as widen their knowledge to the entire array of ICTs to which they have access. The second set of results from article 2 reveal that the teachers’ TPACK mean score was 2.88 and this score was below the average of 3.0 for the Likert points of the items on teachers’ TPACK, which falls on moderate knowledge. This score demonstrates a lower perception of TPACK, which means a lack of understanding of the integration of technology into pedagogy and content.This implies that the teachers may not have the necessary skills for effective integration of ICTs into teaching even though they attempt to integrate them. The mean for PCK was the highest at 3.89.This is indicative of the teachers’ ability to integrate pedagogy into content successfully. Consequently, there is a need to increase the in-service support to teachers for successful integration of technological knowledge into the curriculum in high schools in the kingdom of Lesotho in terms of maximising the use and integration of a variety of technologies. Article 2 considered the teachers’ concerns regarding the integration of ICTs into their teaching. The results examined in article 2 indicate that the most intense concerns are the informational self-concerns with the highest percentile score at 87.5. This implies that most of the teachers had strong stage 1 concerns hence they wanted to find out more information about ICT integration. However, most of the probability values were above the maximum level risk value,α = 0.05, which indicates that there were no significant differences in knowledge and concerns between the various groups of teachers. The researcher thus concluded that the physical science teachers in Lesotho mostly have informational concerns, regardless of their age, gender, type or location of school and years of teaching experience. Most teachers also have enough pedagogical content knowledge even though they lack technological pedagogical content knowledge. Consequently, the main recommendation of this study is for the in-service and pre-service teacher educators to focus more on the integration of technology into pedagogy and content and for the teachers to engage in programmes that can assist them with the integration of emerging technologies. The teachers’ abilities and concerns require intensive investigation in order to provide customised assistance to the teachers.