Integrating Information and Communications Technology (ICT) into teaching and learning: the case of mathematics, science and technology education in one higher education institution

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University of Fort Hare


This study explores the integration of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) into teaching and learning within one Higher Education institution. The main question driving the study was: How is ICT integrated in the teaching and learning of mathematics, science and technology education (MSTE) in a Bachelor of Education programme? This is a case study of lecturers and students in Mathematics, Science and Technology Education. It makes use of questionnaires, interviews, field notes and document analyses to collect data. MSTE lecturers and students were assumed to be well versed in ICT usage and, therefore, well placed to assess its integration into teaching and learning. There were five main findings: First, that Mathematics, Science and Technology Education lecturers showed some ambivalence in their ontological and epistemological orientation to using ICT. Some leaned towards the instruction paradigm and used ICT as a tool for the transmission of knowledge; others leaned towards the learning paradigm, showing an awareness of the need to elicit discovery through ICT. Secondly, that lecturers’ understanding of ICT integration was oriented towards teaching and learning from technologies rather than with technologies. Thirdly, that processes of ‘pedagogical evolution’ were taking place, in terms of which there was a gradual but perceptible shift in the teaching and learning practice of both students and lecturers. Fourthly, there was no evidence to show that lecturers used ICT to promote innovative and creative teaching; in fact, students appeared to be more creative in using ICT resources, than lecturers. Fifthly, and finally, lecturers did not assign ICT-based tasks that promote conceptual understanding. They assigned tasks that asked students to extract and reproduce information from computers, without demonstrating understanding. When used in this way, ICT can, in fact, be de-skilling. From these findings, it can be concluded that ICT integration cannot be understood without exploring the ontological and epistemological orientations, as well as the theoretical orientations, at play in the teaching and learning situation. It is on the basis of these that people, that is, lecturers and students, make use of, ICTs to achieve desired goals. It is therefore recommended that, for the improvement of integration, there should be a greater emphasis on developing and sharing pedagogical expertise concerning ICT use in teaching and learning. It is recommended that a country-wide research survey should be undertaken, based on probability sampling and focussing on pedagogical issues in ICT integration in teaching and learning.



Information and Communication Technologies; integration; ontology; epistemology; pedagogy