Perceptions Of Mathematics Teachers About ICT Integration In Teaching Mathematics In Selected Secondary Schools

Mathematics Education Project Material

Perceptions Of Mathematics Teachers About ICT Integration In Teaching Mathematics In Selected Secondary Schools


Abstract


This research explored prospective teachersā€™ perceptions of integrating information communication technologies (ICTs) into mathematics instruction and how their perception relates to their willingness to integrate technology. To this end, a survey of 120 prospective teachers in secondary schools in Ifako Ijaye Local Government Area of Lagos State was conducted. The survey provided data concerning their perception of the usefulness of ICT in mathematics instruction, their willingness to integrate ICT tools and their self-perceived readiness to integrate ICT in their instructional practice. The reliability scales (Cronbachā€™s Alpha values) for the survey instrument was 0.726. The analysis of data included descriptive statistics and correlation between prospective teachersā€™ perceived importance of technology and reported levels of willingness to integrate ICT.

Results revealed relatively positive perception (M=3.85, SD=0.38) and willingness to Integrate ICT (M=3.62, SD=0.40). A significant positive correlation (r = 0.534, p = 0.000) was found between the perception of prospective teachers and their wiliness to use ICT in their instructional practice. The Curriculum and Research Development Department of the Federal and States Ministry of Education must as a matter of necessity re-examine the mathematics curriculum and revise the existing syllabus to explicitly state what ICT tools must be used and how it should be used in the teaching and learning process. This will enable teachers who have positive perception about the usefulness of ICT to take advantage of the provisions made in the curriculum to integrate ICT in their instruction.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background to the Study

The impact of information and communication technology (ICT) on teaching and learning has become the focus of many studies intended to improve the quality of education. Until recently, the primary teaching resources available to teachers were the books in libraries. However, ICT has provided a new kind of support for instruction through the development of facilities that supports the teaching and learning process. The adoption of ICT into educational institutions has significantly changed the speed of production, use and distribution of Knowledge. In this regard, the Government of Nigeria has placed high emphasis on ICT as a means of improving governance, accountability and transparency for the development of human resource potentials and strengthening national unity through education (Federal Ministry of Education, 2003, 2005).

Consistent with the Government goal of implementing ICT in the educational system, in 2007 there was a new educational reform in Nigeria which placed high emphasis on the integration of ICT tools in all subject areas. In the pre-tertiary institutions, ICT was made a core subject which every student must pass as a requirement for admission into tertiary institutions. Additionally, the new curriculum emphasized on the use of ICT tools in the teaching and learning process. For instance the new syllabus for Mathematics at the Senior High School level encourage teachers to use spreadsheet software in teaching students how to draw graphs, calculate mean, mode, median and standard deviation (Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, 2007).

A number of studies have revealed that integrating ICT in Mathematics instruction have the potential to make learning effective and interesting towards improving student learning outcomes by providing opportunities for students to develop skills that will empower them in this modern society (e.g. Kumar, 2008; Forgasz and Prince, 2004; Fitzallen, 2007; Gill and Dalgarno, 2008). The standards of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) stresses that, technology can facilitate Mathematical problem solving, communication, reasoning, and proof; moreover, technology can provide students with opportunities to explore different representations of mathematical ideas and support them in making connections both within and outside of Mathematics (NCTM, 2000). Students can use technology to explore and reach an understanding of mathematical concepts because technology allows students to focus on strategies and interpretations of answers rather than spend time on tedious computational calculations (UNESCO, 2005).

Regardless of the apparent advantages of ICT integration in Mathematics instruction which has been confirmed by many studies (eg. NCTM, 2000; Forgasz and Prince, 2004; UNESCO, 2005; Kumar, 2008), the deployment and use of ICT in Nigerian school contexts remains problematic. The common explanation for the lack of ICT integration in the instructional process is the varying levels of resistance by teachers to use ICT tools. Olson (2000), for instance indicated that teachers labels ICT as a ā€˜Trojan Horseā€™ and asks why they should abandon the safety and comfort of recognised subject pedagogy for the uncertainties and complexities that surround the use of ICT. Obviously, teachersā€™ perception about ICT integration plays a significant role in their use or nonuse of ICT in the instructional process. An earlier study by Grabe and Grabe (1998) reported a situation in which computers were not used effectively in teaching practice, due in part to teachersā€™ perception and fears regarding relatively new technologies. Thus, without knowledge of teachersā€™ and prospective teachersā€™ perceptions and future plans for using ICT in education, any potential innovations in this area may be deficient (Can and Cagiltay, 2006).


1.2 Statement of the Problem

There has been significant effort by government of Nigeria in the introduction of ICT in teacher education in terms of curriculum and infrastructure at the Colleges of Education and University level (Federal Ministry of Education, 2009). The goal is to train technologically competent graduate teachers who will be able to integrate ICT in their future instructional practice. However, even though 87% of second cycle institutions in Nigeria are well equipped with ICT facilities (Federal Ministry of Education, 2009) statistics indicate that majority of trained Mathematics teachers in Nigeria are not integrating ICT in their instruction (MOE, 2009; Mereku et al, 2009). Even though there appears to be no single factor that determines why Mathematics teachers are not using ICT in their teaching, there is widespread agreement that their perception plays a significant role (Lai, 2001; Can, 2006)

The relationship between teachersā€™ ICT skills and successful implementation is complex because, there are a range of contributing issues including teacher perception and intention in addition to having the necessary skills, equipment, support, and education (Granger, 2002). Consequently, in spite of the increasing levels of teachers knowledge in ICT over the years and the obvious benefits of ICT integration in Mathematics instruction, studies have continually shown that, many Mathematics teachers who are ICT literate do not integrate ICT tools in their teaching (e.g. So, 2006 ; Lua, 2008).

Studies on teachersā€™ readiness for ICT integration generally suggest that there is still a long way to go before schools will be able to take full advantage of the opportunities provided by 21st century technology (e.g. So and Swatman, 2006). Barak (2006) reveals that teachers exploit ICT for their own learning but they are cautious about integrating advanced technologies in their instruction. According to Barak, while teachers recognize the potential of technology in stimulating studentsā€™ learning and making school studies relevant to real-life contexts, they do not think that ICT is preferable for class-based instruction or for promoting cooperation and reflection in learning. Clearly, the perception of teachers especially prospective teachers are critical to the success or failure of ICT integrating in the teaching and learning process (Can, 2006).Teachers tend to use technology in ways shaped by their own personal perspectives on the curriculum and on their pedagogical practices (Lai, 2001). Therefore it would be unwise to suggest integrating ICT into classrooms before more fully investigating teachersā€™ (particularly prospective teachers) perceptions about ICT integration.


1.3 Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study was to investigate prospective teachersā€™ perception about ICT integration and their future plans for using ICT in their teaching. The focus of this study on prospective teachersā€™ perceptions is significant, because in order to estimate the possibility of change regarding the use of computers in classroom instruction, it is very important to understand the current perceptions of future teachers who are expected to be the agent of change in relation to ICT integration.

This study specifically investigated:

  1. The perceptions of prospective Mathematics teachers regarding the use of ICT in the teaching and learning process
  2. Prospective Mathematics teachersā€™ future plans for using of ICT in the teaching and learning environment that they will design in future.

1.4 Significance of the Study

This study is set out to achieve the following objectives:

  1. To investigate the perception of prospective Mathematics teacher regarding the use of ICT.
  2. To access the level of implementation of ICT in most schools in Lagos State
  3. To find out the future direction of the development in ICT in secondary schools in Lagos state.
  4. To find out how effective the use of ICT tools for student of all abilities

1.5 Research Questions

  1. Does integration of ICT is academically useful in promoting studentsā€™ enthusiasm about Mathematics?
  2. Does integration of ICT is useful in providing suitable learning environments that appeal to a variety of learning styles of students?
  3. Does integration of ICT is helpful in promoting cooperative work among students?
  4. Does integration of ICT is supportive in providing suitable learning environments that appeal to a variety of learning styles of students?
  5. Does integration of ICT is useful in helping students to acquire the basic computer education needed for their future careers?

1.6 Research Hypotheses

Ho: Integration of ICT is academically not useful in promoting studentsā€™ enthusiasm about Mathematics?

Ho: Integration of ICT is not useful in helping students to acquire the basic computer education needed for their future careers?


1.7 Scope of the Study

The scope of the study covers all Mathematics teachers in Lagos state with much emphasis on Ifako-Ijaye Local Government Area of Lagos state as regard their (Mathematics teacher) perception about ICT integration in teaching Mathematics.


Perceptions Of Mathematics Teachers About ICT Integration In Teaching Mathematics In Selected Secondary Schools


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