INTEGRATING INFORMATION COMMUNICATION AND TECHNOLOGY IN MATHEMATICS EDUCATION AT SECONDARY LEVEL, A CASE OF NAIROBI COUNTY, KENYA

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ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study was to explore the various challenges and opportunities influencing integration of ICT in teaching and learning Mathematics in secondary schools in Nairobi County. The study sought to: Determine the levels of ICT integration in teaching and learning Mathematics; identify the challenges and opportunities of ICT use in teaching and learning Mathematics; and identify best pedagogical practices used in teaching Mathematics using ICT. The study adopted Rogers’s diffusion theory, whereby the user or adopter is critical in the whole process. The study, adopted a descriptive survey research design hence data were largely descriptive in nature. Three instruments were used to determine the results in the study: teachers and student questionnaires’, a structured interview schedule for the deputy heads of department and an observation checklist. The study was carried out in twelve public secondary schools in Nairobi County. The schools included three National schools and nine County schools. The study adopted purposive sampling to select teachers, while simple random sampling to select schools, deputy principals and Form Three students. The sample comprised two hundred and ninety nine (299) respondents. The sample of the study included twelve secondary schools, twelve Mathematics teachers, two hundred and seventy five (275) form three students and twelve heads of Mathematics department. Data analysis was done using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 20, which involved the use of  percentages and frequency tables. The findings indicated that there were low levels of ICT integration; Mathematics teachers are not well prepared to integrate ICT in teaching Mathematics. The study concluded that, despite, the major challenges faced by teachers, they are expected to develop their technological skills and knowledge as well as use ICTs in their teaching. This study recommends that students be allowed to use smartphones for learning purpose only and teachers to be trained on how to integrate ICT in teaching and learning Mathematics during their pre-service course and in-service practice.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

            Preamble

This chapter entails the background to the study, statement of the problem, the purpose of the study, the objectives of the study, the research question, the assumption of the study and the theoretical framework based on the Rogers diffusion theory. The chapter also contains the conceptual framework illustrating the relationship between the dependent variable, independent variables and the intervening variables and lastly, the operational definition of key terms in the study.

            Background to the Study

The history of Mathematics instruction is full of examples that confirm the critical role of certain tools in the conceptual development of Mathematics as a scientific discipline. The most prominent, recent and modern tool for teaching is Information Communication and Technology (ICT) (Laborde and Sträßer, (2010)). ICT refers to forms of technology that are used to transmit, process, store, create, display, share or exchange information by electronic means (UNESCO, (2007)). According to Miles and Singal (2010), ICT stands for many different types of electronic systems which include LCD projectors, ipods, smart boards, fax machines, cyber schools, printers, scanners, digital/video cameras, radio, television, DVDs, landline cellular phones, calculators and networks and various computer software, video conferencing, instant-messaging, blogs and e-mail.

There are several benefits of using ICT in teaching and learning Mathematics. ICT has the potential to transform the nature of education; improving teacher’s design work, enhancing the roles of students and teachers in the learning process and helping to create a collaborative learning environment (Amuko, Miheso and Ndethiu, (2015)). As a result, the integrating of ICT in teaching and learning is high on the educational reform agenda of developed and developing countries. For developing countries, ICT can be seen as a way to merge and even leapfrog into a globalizing, technological world. In spite of this, the use of ICT for teaching is limited at best (Peeraer and Van Petegem, (2011)).

The Gachathi report (1976), noted that the 7-4-2-3 system of education lacked the capacity and flexibility to respond to the changing aspiration of individual Kenyans and the labour market needs in term, of new skills, new technologies and the attitude to work (Wanjohi 2011)). Integration of ICT in teaching and learning Mathematics in the Kenyan secondary schools, prepares learners, to be able to meet Kenya’s labour market demand. ICT has the potential to improve the educational system to a great extent. However, developing countries are far from reaping these benefits because of certain challenges such as administration support, teacher’s confidence and competence (Khan ,Hossain, Hasan and Clement (2012)).

In Kenya, policy makers continue to introduce strategies for ICT, with the intention of increasing its use in schools. Such strategies are likely to have effect on the  school level factors, such as time and technical support (Kipsoi, Chang’ach and Sang, (2012)). Time is an important element in the integration of ICT into teaching and learning. Strategic planning is crucial especially when it comes to offering

teachers quality professional training for technical support. However, the success of ICT integration in schools depends on school managers, who will make ICT access possible and ensure effective removal of obstacles that hinder successful of integration of technology in teaching and learning environments (Kipsoi, Chang’ach and Sang, (2012))

Positive attitudes towards computer use by school teachers are important for effective integration of the technology in the school curriculum and also for pedagogical practices (Amuko, Miheso and Ndethiu, (2015)).A teacher’s belief can be a major barrier to ICT integration. Some teachers have a negative belief about the use of ICT in teaching Mathematics because of their own negative experiences such as anxiety and stress. The process of integrating ICT into Mathematics’ teaching is directly affected by teachers’ belief and attitude towards using computers as a tool for teaching and learning Mathematics (Güven, Çakiroğlu and Akkan, (2009)). Teachers who have a positive attitude towards ICT easily adopt and integrate ICT into their teaching.

Research efforts in Malaysia and USA have been devoted in exploring teachers’ Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK). The TPACK framework, addresses the issues related to ICT integration from a knowledge perspective. It implies that if teachers develop associated TPACK, many issues can be resolved Tsai and chai, (2012)). In Kenya, Gikonyo, (2012) noted that ICT integration in education appears to indicate limited knowledge on the quantity and quality of research in the area of pedagogical integration of ICT.

Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD), the national curriculum centre, plays an important role in implementing the national goals of education in Kenya and Sudan. It has initiated a policy on the integration of ICT in teaching various subjects in secondary school curriculum. The Kenyan Government’s ‘Vision 2030’ demands technology integration in teaching and learning and recognises ICT as a foundation  for  an  economy  that  is  knowledgeable.  In  Kenya,  the  National  ICT

Innovation and Integration Centre (NI₃C) was established in October 2010 under the

Ministry of Education as a development capacity hub for effective use of ICT in education and training of teachers, on how to integrate ICT in different subjects. The main objective of the national innovation centre was to develop a centre of excellence which will identify and drive ICT innovations and their integration in all aspects of education and training. This facility was to work closely with the sectoral specialized institutions including, TSC, KESI, CEMASTEA, KICD, KISE, CFSK, UNESCO and NEPAD Kenya project.

NEPAD- Kenya project is a stakeholder that has played a major role in the integration of ICT in education in Kenya and the rest of Africa. The NEPAD e- Africa commission task team is responsible for developing the NEPAD ICT programme and its projects. In Kenya six schools namely: Mumbi Girls Secondary School, Menegai Mixed Secondary School, Isiolo Girls Secondary School, Wajir Secondary School, Maranda High School and Chavakali High School, have benefited from NEPAD. The schools have access to ICT infrastructure.

Kenya has placed considerable emphasis on the importance of ICT in its Educational sector, as evidenced by the 10th August 2011 promulgation of the National ICT

Strategy for Education and Training. The Ministry of Education has taken steps to support the implementation of the strategy either by direct action or through various institutions and agencies with which it works. In addition, there are many other organisations, such as banks and private companies which are not directly involved with the Ministry of Education, who plays a major role and supports projects involving ICT in education to improve, levels of education in Kenya.

Performance in Mathematics in Nairobi County has been poor. Evidence from the Kenya National Examination Council report 2009-2013. Student’s performance in Mathematics has been poor Nationally. Table 1.1 gives the details

Table 1.1: Overall KCSE Performances in Mathematics

YearAverage mark out of 200% score
200942.5921.30
201041.3420.67
201137.1518.56
201238.1519.06
201336.0918.05

Source: Kenya National Examination Council Annual report 2009-2013.

This trend of performance in Mathematics puts high prospect of having the Nation of Kenya not to achieve industrialization by the year 2030. Factors influencing integration of technology in teaching and learning Mathematics in secondary level have attributed the poor performance to school challenges ranging from infrastructure, support, training and time management.