The discourse on ICT teacher professional development needs: The case of a South African teachers’ union
Reuben Dlamini, Khanyisile Mbatha, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
IJEDICT Volume 14, Number 2, ISSN 1814-0556 Publisher: Open Campus, The University of the West Indies, West Indies
The prevalence and adoption of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) tools in education has often been guided by utopian perspectives without proper research to understand the schooling context and teachers’ ICT development needs. This paper reports on the findings from a study of in-service teachers who are members of a teachers’ union in South Africa. These teachers were surveyed using a questionnaire based on Second Information Technology in Education Study (SITES), which is an analytic framework that includes teacher characteristics, pedagogical practices and ICT use, school factors and system, and other external factors. This exploratory study was conducted within the framework of a teachers’ union to understand members’ preparedness to integrate ICT tools in their teaching practices. Findings indicate the need for in-service professional development activities in the use of ICT for teaching, in teaching in multicultural environments, and in classroom management. Equally important is the role of school management and administration in the adoption and integration of ICT tools in education. In addition, the research provided clear evidence that despite the huge investments into ICT infrastructure by government, inequalities in ICT competencies among teachers remain. The most important conclusion is that the investments being made are politically motivated and that teachers are being side-lined in the decision-making processes and preference given to political visions.
Dlamini, R. & Mbatha, K. (2018). The discourse on ICT teacher professional development needs: The case of a South African teachers’ union. International Journal of Education and Development using ICT, 14(2),. Open Campus, The University of the West Indies, West Indies.