The Crisis Of Underperformance Education Essay

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Education is considered as the most valuable tool for human building" (Barineka Nbina, 2010). Education nationally is recognized as the greatest investment in the nation that can bring civilization, development and socio-economic progress. The 21st century is characterized by advancement in science and technology (Okebukola, 1996). "In his study Barineka Nbina (2010) point out that every nation is striving to achieve scientific and technological breakthrough with their environment. Thus, the teaching of science and technology is becoming more demand and activity oriented than before". Existing research suggest that Information and Communication Technology ICT has been integrated into subject teaching (Hennessy et al, Granger et al, Jamieson-Proctor et al). The poor standard of science in secondary schools nationally remains as a major issue. Badr (2010) mention that 70 per cent of 10,000 secondary school students that were surveyed in Egypt said that uninspiring teaching discourage then to pursue further education in science stream.

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"Teachers need to perceive ICT as primarily a tool for teaching and learning across the curriculum although there are foundations skills in ICT that students need to learn before they can participate fully in an ICT-rich classroom." (Tin, 2002). ICT is an essential aspect of everyone's daily life with almost every sector advocating for the use of ICT to accomplish its tasks. The existing research study shows that the use of ICT as a supporting tool in education is a priority for almost all countries but progress has been uneven. There is substantial difference maturity within and between schools within the country in terms of ICT. A very low percentage of schools have embedded ICT into the curriculum, and show high levels of successful and appropriate ICT use to support teaching across the country. Reynolds e.tel (2003) in his findings revealed that several teachers reveal that ICT has certainly raised standard and presentation of work, while many of the teachers from most schools still regard ICT as ineffective and time wasting. Reynolds e.tal (2003) further reveals that these findings reveal that the approach of teaching differs from school to school.

3. Research Problem and Aims (Required words 150 and Actual words 209)

Problem statement

The crisis of underperformance of our education and training system remains a major issue. The standards of performance in our education system are very low. Although in 2010 the pass rate increased by 6.8% to 67.5%., but there is still a concern with poor performance in Science. Science learning requires skilled and specialist teachers who provide quality inputs in the classroom. Barineka Nbina (2010) found that every nation is striving to achieve scientific and technological breakthrough with their environment. Thus, the teaching of science and technology is becoming more demand and activity oriented than before. Badr (2010) mention that 70 per cent of 10,000 secondary school students that were surveyed in Egypt said that uninspiring teaching discourage them to pursue further education in the science. Perhaps the poor performance in Science is due to lack of teacher's resources.

Aim

The aim of this research is to investigate the current resources used by teachers to teach, the effects that affects those resources and to improve the academic competencies and ICT adoption in teaching of science in secondary schools by designing an e-teaching intervention tool. This will yield the results to enable those who would do well in the programme to be eligible for entry into a diploma programme in tertiary education.

4. Literature Review (Required words 1000 and Actual words 1195)

Theoretical framework

This research will be grounded on Technological acceptance model (TAM) framework and Task-technology fit (TTF) model. TAM concept specifies that "the causal relationships between system design features, perceived usefulness the degree to which a person believes that using a particular system would enhance his or her job performance" (Davis, 1989), perceived ease of use "the degree to which a person believes that using a particular system would be free from effort" (Davis, 1989), attitude toward using, and actual usage behaviour (Davis, 1989). "TAM provides the overall informative representation of the mechanisms by which design choices influence user acceptance, and should therefore be helpful in applied contexts for forecasting and evaluating user acceptance of information technology". TTF theory holds the theory that technology will only be used if its capabilities are matching to the demands of the task to be performed and it's more likely to have a positive impact (Goodhue and Thompson, 1995). Technology that does not offer sufficient advantage it will not be used.

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The reason of combining these two models is because it captures two different aspects of user's choices to utilise information and communication technology. Dishaw et al (2002) indicate that "Both aspects, attitude toward the IT (TAM) and rationally determined expected consequences from using the IT (TTF), are likely to affect user's choices to use IT. TAM will be used to investigate on the factors that affect ICT tools adoption by teachers for teaching science. TTF will be used to analyse the impact of ICT tools that are currently available to assist teachers.

Use of ICT in Classrooms

Al-Zaidiyeen et al (2010) conducted a research in "Teachers' Attitudes and Levels of Technology Use in Classrooms:" their findings revealed that the level of ICT use by rural secondary schools teachers is low, this implies that ICT are hardly ever used for educational purposes by teachers in rural secondary schools . "Teachers are more likely to incorporate ICT use in their classroom if they see its relevance to their instruction and are convinced that the design of education software is compatible with educational goals and the individual learning needs of students." (Al-Zaidiyeen et al, 2010)

Use of ICT as medium for teaching science

Yucel et al (2010) in a study of "Models to explore Turkish teachers ICT integration stages and the factors that affect ICT integration" indicate that a lot of ICT integration to teaching has failed because teachers were uncertain about how ICT could be integrated into the curriculum. Yucel (2010) indicate that in order for teachers to be able to use ICT they should be equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge. Flick and bell argues that although ICT is a buzzing word in this century but still "few teachers actually do not understand how technology is used in science, nor can they adequately describe the relationship between science and technology." Flick and Bell (2000) indicate that "If the purpose of technology in science teaching is to enhance science teaching and learning rather (than for the technology's sake alone), a different approach is necessary". Flick and Bell (2000) further states that teachers should look at technology as a way of helping students explore topics in more depth and in more interactive ways. Bell and Flick reached these results by gathering ideas from knowledge of research, K-12 teaching experience, and teaching experience in science teacher education with technology.

Teachers' Knowledge and Attitudes towards ICT use

Yucel et al (2010) results revealed that there is no relationship between teacher's negative attitude and teachers' knowledge on ICT. Yecul et al (2010) reached these results by carrying out correlation analysis between dependent and independent variables. Yucel et al (2010) further indicate that "effort trying to improve teachers' attitudes is not likely to have a direct impact unless their feeling of self adequacy is improved". Yecul et al (2010) results contradict with Al-Zaidiyeen et al (2010) results. Researchers globally believe that the use of ICT tools for educational purposes depends upon the attitudes of teachers toward the technology (Summers, 1990; Al-Zaidiyeen et al, 2010). Al-Zaidiyeen et al (2010) reached the results by surveying randomly selected 650 teachers in Jordan, in the use of ICT, and the level of attitude of teachers towards the use of ICT.

ICT Adoption improvement interventions

Training

Adeyinka et al (2007) in the study of an assessment of secondary school teacher's uses of ICT: implication for further development of ICT's use in Nigerian secondary schools suggests that in order for teachers to be technological advance, they need to attend ICT workshops.

5. Research Methodology (Required words 200 and Actual words 612)

This research will comprise of 3 phase's, each phase will contribute in better defining this study. This study will employ case study and a descriptive survey method to allow the researcher a vivid description of how secondary school teachers are making use of ICTs.

Phase 1: To analyse the current teaching intervention tools that are utilized in secondary schools for teachers to better teach science

A case study will be used in which an interview with KwaZulu natal secondary schools science teachers will be conducted to analyse current methods of ICT's that are utilized as support tool for them to teach science better. Only teachers from grade 10,11and 12 will be interviewed. The interview questions will comprise of both open-ended questions and close-ended questions. Examples of questions to be asked such as: 1. Which ICTs tool do teachers have access on? 2. What is the adequacy level of the various aspects of ICT availability/ access in your school?

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Data collected from these interviews will be used to better gain insight on the current ICT tools of teaching science that are used in secondary schools. This data will help for theoretical reporting on current tools

Phase 2: To investigate the factors that are affecting the utilization of those tools

A descriptive survey method will be used, whereby grade 10, 11 and 12 science teachers will be handed a questionnaire in KwaZulu natal secondary schools to analyse the factors that are affecting the utilization of teachers supporting tool to teach science better. The research variables for this phase are: teachers demographics, teachers' perception about the perceived ease of using ICT, Teachers perceived usefulness of ICT, teacher's years of experience, teacher's knowledge all these are independent variables, the dependent variable will be, Perceived use of ICT by teachers to better teach science

All items in collected data from the questionnaire will be subjected to a factor analysis spontaneously. A varimax rotation will be used to extract factors. Likert type scaling will also be applied across all items. Stepwise regression techniques will be employed to explain variance the factors that are affecting the utilization of ICT science teaching tools. Descriptive and inferential statistics will also be employed.

Phase 3: To design and test an e-teaching intervention tool for assisting teachers to teach science better

On the completion of the first two phases, the factors will be known. An appropriate intervention e-teaching tool will be designed and experimented with the aim of assessing the effectiveness it has on the teaching of science in secondary schools. The experiment will involve five teachers from grade 10 to 12 who will be selected from rural and urban schools in KwaZulu natal province of South Africa.