Mediation in information and communication technology teacher development: towards effective ICT pedagogical integration in the classroom

Mbatha, Khanyisile
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In recent years, there has been growing interest in the integration of information and communication technology (ICT) in the education systems of countries across the globe. Such interest has often been premised on the assumption that ICT has great potential for improving the quality of education, yet it has contributed immensely to challenges teachers face in our society. ICT has brought rapid developments and advancements in the education space. As a result, knowledge is expanding rapidly and modern technologies used in the classroom are demanding that teachers possess certain skills and competencies in order to succeed in the increasingly competitive space. ICT training is assumed to be the source to develop these core sets of skills and competencies. A plethora of studies have been conducted to understand the effects of ICT in education; however, there have been limited studies that focused on understanding how teachers as participants in ICT training learn. This leaves a void in understanding how teachers learn during ICT training; what the best instructional strategies are that can be replicated into other training sessions; and which model results in the effective imparting of ICT pedagogical skills that promote creativity and learner achievement in the classroom. These limitations and uncertainties point to the need for a rigorous and multifaceted approach to understand instructional strategies to teach teachers ICT pedagogical skills. This study reports on the mediation in ICT training that is supposed to leverage effective ICT pedagogical integration in the classroom. This is a qualitative study that deployed ICT training observations, semi-structured interviews and classroom observations to understand the mediation that takes place during ICT training and subsequently in the classroom. The participants were three ICT trainers from three different training centres and four further education and training commerce teachers. The study used a multiple case study design with three case studies where each trainer is treated as a case. The findings of the study indicate that mediation that takes place in ICT training is mostly provided by teachers and there is a huge difference between the skills learned during ICT training and what teachers are doing in class. The study concludes that ICT training does not help give teachers the needed ICT pedagogical skills but expose them to basic computer skills. Thus, after ICT training teachers have to improvise to integrate ICT into teaching and learning
A thesis submitted to the Faculty of Humanities, Wits School of Education, University of the Witwatersrand, in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), 2021