An Overview of ICT Integration in Nigerian Colleges of Education and the Implications on Social Studies Pre-Service Teacher Training Programme: A Review of the Literature

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An Overview of ICT Integration in Nigerian Colleges of Education and the Implications on Social Studies Pre-Service Teacher Training Programme: A Review of the Literature
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   Garba SA, Singh TKR, Yusuf NBM, Ziden AA. (2013). An Overview of Technology Integration in Nigerian Colleges of Education.  Journal of Education and Learning.  Vol.7 (1) pp. 35-42. An Overview of Technology Integration in Nigerian Colleges of Education Sani Alhaji Garba *  Universiti Sains Malaysia Termit Kaur Ranjit Singh †  Universiti Sains Malaysia Najeemah Binti Mohammad Yusuf  ‡  Universiti Sains Malaysia Azidah Abu Ziden §   Universiti Sains Malaysia Abstract The influence of digital technology in society has made ICT literacy a basic requirement needed by all to survive the challenge of living in the 21 st . The education industry is now faced with the challenge of helping learners to acquire this literacy. Coping with this challenge requires breeding teachers’ with high level of proficiency in ICT literacy and competence. This study investigates the readiness of Nigerian Colleges of Education toward breeding social studies teachers with ICT literacy and competence. It is an exploratory conceptual study that is literature-based (document-based qualitative study approach). The study therefore explore literature to find out the benefit of ICT integration in social studies teacher education; the preparedness of Nigerian Colleges of Education for ICT integration; and the implications of the current state of technology integration on social studies objectives. Findings from this study indicated that, Colleges of education in Nigeria are not readily prepared for effective technology integration; much is still needed in terms of infrastructure and manpower development. Key words :  ICT in Education, ICT integration, Teacher Education, Social Studies, Education, Social Studies Pre-service Teacher Training   * Sani Alhaji Garba, School of Educational Studies, Universiti Sains Malaysia 11800 Penang. Email: sanialhajigarba@yahoo.com † Termit Kaur Ranjit Singh, School of Educational Studies, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800 Penang, Malaysia ‡ Najeemah Binti Mohammad Yusuf, School of Educational Studies, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800 Penang, Malaysia § Azidah Abu Ziden, School of Educational Studies, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800 Penang, Malaysia   36  An Overview of Technology Integration in Nigerian Colleges of Education   Introduction Advancement in computer and internet technology has over the year’s transformed human society, making the world a global village in the present information age. The impact of this advancement is felt in all spheres of human endeavour as reflecting in our socio-economic, political and to some extent the education industry (Onasanya et ‘el 2010) . Use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has now become an integral part of the human society (Nwachukwu 2006) . This development has challenged the traditional role of the education sector in human society. Now, the education industry is faced with the challenge of equipping the learner with: technology and information literacy; problem-solving skills; critical reasoning; and the ability to use digital technology in accessing and utilising information for problem-solving in addition to knowledge of subject’s content. These knowledge components often described as ICT-literacy has become part of the basic labour requirement in knowledge driven societies; and a necessary foundation for higher education and professional development. This development is necessitating a lot of changes in the education industry evolutionary and revolutionary in an attempt to cope with the emerging challenge of ICT integration in education. To effectively cope with this emerging challenge of equipping the learner with functional knowledge that bears relevance to the present need of the information (ICT) age, the education industry need to be transformed at all levels. Such a transformation need to reflect on meaningful changes in infrastructure, facilities, curriculum and pedagogical practices. The transformational changes must be directed towards: facilitating the integration of ICT in the curricular content of all subject/disciplines and at all levels of learning; the utilising ICT equipment in pedagogical practices; and other educational practices as applicable to schools, colleges and universities. This would improve teachers’ efficacy, enhance teaching and learning while developing learners competence in the use of information technology (Larose et ‘el 1999; UNESCO 2003). The philosophical basis of such desirable changes must be considered in the interest of the school child who would face the challenge of being engaged with the use of ICT industrially and for his day to day living as an adult in the society (Teo, 2008). However, the success of such desirable transformation is to a large extent dependent on teachers’ ability, efficiency and competence in the use of ICT equipment for personal and educational purposes (Bolick et ‘el 2003; Ololube 2005). Thus, how competent are teachers in this respect? Preparing pre-service teachers’ towards acquiring this competence that can facilitates or undermines the ability of the education industry in preparing the school child for the challenge of survival in knowledge driven societies. On the other hand, ensuring the competence of pre-service teachers’ in the use of ICT materials for educational purposes (as potential teachers’) rest upon the preparedness, competence, and commitment of teacher educators, the education faculties and other teacher training institutions. How competent, committed and prepared are teacher educators in Nigeria and the Nigerian Colleges of Education? To what extent is ICT integrated in Nigerian pre-service teacher training in Nigerian Colleges of Education? What are the implications on social studies teacher training education and Nigerian National Policy on Education? Thus, this review examines the implications of the poor state of ICT integration in Nigerian Colleges of Education as relate to: the goals and objectives of social studies education in Nigeria; the social studies pre-service teacher training program; the quality and relevance of the teacher-education program in Nigerian Colleges of Education; the goals of teacher education and the National Policy on Education. The review aims at providing meaningful insight on current research gaps requiring attention on technology integration in the subject area of the social studies within the context of Nigerian Colleges of Education; and, to identify issues and questions of technical concern capable of motivating research studies that can help to improve the pedagogical designs of instructions in the subject area through ICT integration. The focus of this review is on ICT integration in Social Studies teacher education and the consequent implications of the present status on the quality and relevance of Social Studies pre-service teacher training in the Nigerian Colleges of Education. Findings from this review would serve as a guide for meaningful reforms in line with the current challenges of teacher education in the present information age.    Garba SA, Singh TKR, Yusuf NBM, Ziden AA.   (2013).  Journal of Education and Learning.  37 Vol. 7 (1) pp. 35-42 The Review of Literature  ICT and Social Studies Education The teaching of social studies education is geared toward the development of self-thinking and creative individuals, imbued with innovative abilities of addressing their various personal and societal problems realistically (Esu and Inyang-Abia 2004). Social studies education was introduced in Nigerian schools to equip the learner with information, knowledge, attitudes, skills and values that can help him to fit into the wider society (Osakwe 1997; Esu and Dania 1999; Okam 2002; Mezieobi 2005). The curriculum design of social studies education is therefore society centred, meant to sharpens the creative potentials of the learner in terms of creative thinking directed towards identifying societal problems while proffering solutions (Mezieobi 2008). Would ICT integration have any effect in the teaching and learning of this subject design? ICT integration in social studies instructions would facilitate and motivate learners’ active involvement in the exploration of information that can be applied in solving real life problems (Okoye and Udegbe 2004). As such, documented and programmed social studies instructions through the use of ICT would assist the learner in his learning process. This is because, relevant information, ideas, knowledge, learning experiences and thought provoking drills are disseminated for learners’ consultation through the use of computer and the internet (Esu, Enukoha and Umoren 1998). Use of ICT as instructional materials in social studies education facilitates students’ achievement, creativity, and the development of higher order thinking (Oghoji 2006). This is because ICT as Instructional material use combination of text, sound videos that attract, engage and retain students’ interest in learning (Mezieobi 2008). Offorma (2006) reported that the use of computer, internet, the smart board and web resources supports and enhance the teaching and learning of social studies education. Thus, how prepared are Colleges of Education in Nigeria in the preparation of teachers capable of using ICT to advantage in their classroom teaching? State of ICT Integration in Nigeria and the Nigerian Colleges of Education Not much of digital technologies are used in pedagogical practices by teacher educators in Nigerian Colleges of Education and other institutions of higher learning. Most of the institutions do not have the necessary ICT facilities for instructions and research neither do teacher educators possess the needed skills and competence for effective integration of ICT in classroom instructions (Agbatogun 2006). Level of ICT literacy among academic staff and students in Nigerian Colleges of education is still very low (Ololube 2006). Most of the teachers in Nigeria at all levels do not have the needed experience and competence in the use of computers either for educational or industrial purposes; neither do they have the needed skills and knowledge in the use common computer software (Yusuf 2005; Onasanya et ‘el, 2010). ICT education is more literary than it is practical in terms of physical use (Nnabuo and Obasi 2004). When teaching and learning is accessed critically in Nigerian Colleges of Education, it could be observed that the challenge for teacher educators is no longer in covering the course contents, but in having access to ICT and using it to enhance teaching and learning (Onasanya et ‘et 2010). Is this state of affairs having any implication on social studies pre-service teacher training in Nigerian Colleges of Education? Methodological Approach This is a literature based conceptual study that employs the use of document-based qualitative approach. The data considered in this study were drawn from two major sources. The first source was the existing research works (literature) relating to ICT integration in education, ICT integration in teacher education, social studies education, social studies teacher education and technology integration in social studies teacher education; the second source was policy-documents relating to the same issues. The selection of literature and documents considered in the study were purely restricted to Nigeria, Singapore and the United State of America. The decision to consider literature and documents from the United States of America was influence by the recognition that, social studies education as a subject srcinates from the United States; and the current structure of social studies education in Nigeria was modelled from that of the United States. While the consideration of Singapore-based policy documents and literature was influence by a consideration of the unique similarities between the Singapore teacher education and Nigerian teacher training programmes. In addition to this, United Nations documents relating to ICT integration in education was also considered. The data collected were analysed using content analysis approach.   38  An Overview of Technology Integration in Nigerian Colleges of Education   Findings and Discussion Findings from this study relating to ICT integration in education reveals that, integrating ICT in education can serve dual purpose. First, as an instructional aid that can facilitates pedagogical practices; and secondly as subject to help learners’ acquire the skills and competence of using digital technology in their personal and professional life. On the other hand, the findings also indicated that, integrating ICT in pedagogical practices by social studies teachers’ and teacher educators in the teaching-learning process can exposed learners to unlimited learning content; and can motivates learners’ active involvement in the exploration of data needed for problem. Meaning that, with digital technology learners can have direct contact with the learning content instead of getting the content from the teacher. Thus, if technology is effectively integrated, the role of the teacher would change from that of the giver to that of a facilitator in the learning process. This would lead to the development student-centred activity oriented learning where the learners explore content and construe knowledge on their own with the teacher serving as a guide; therefore, promoting inquiry-based learning. Such changes in the learning process as can be facilitated by ICT integration would transform and align the learning process to the constructivist learning approach. Secondly, the findings also indicated that utilising ICT in pedagogical practices as instructional aids in classroom teaching can enhance and facilitates teachers delivery of learning content; and improve learners achievement in understanding subject content. This is because with digital technology, teachers can make their presentations of subject content more concrete, interesting, entertaining and interactive using video, simulations and a lot of different software that goes a long well web 2.0 technology. Meaning that, learning can be more concrete than imaginary. This is consistent with the observations of Koehler and Mishra (2006). Thirdly, the findings indicated that, integrating technology in educational practices both as instructional aid in pedagogical practices and as subject can promote the development of ICT literacy and 21 st  century skills. 21 st  century skills is a household concept that integrates technological literacy with information literacy, problem-solving skills, higher order thinking, critical and reflective reasoning, collaboration, team work and decision-making; and the ability to apply them for problem solving in real life situation. However, despite the possible advantages of ICT integration in education as discussed above, the findings of this study relating to the readiness of Nigerian Colleges of Education for effective ICT integration indicated that, much is still needed in Nigerian Colleges of Education. The level of technology integration in pedagogical practices and as a course is very low being more theoretical than practical. The low level of preparedness can be associated to two main issues; infrastructure and manpower development. Because, up to date ICT facilities in some of the colleges is lacking and grossly inadequate in some others; the level of ICT literacy and proficiency among the teacher educators is very low and theoretical (certificate-based), therefore most of the teacher educators lack the experience and competence of using computer associated facilities. Some of the implications of this situation in relation to social studies teacher education is discussed below. The implications on Teacher Preparation and Social Studies Pre-service Teacher   Training   The lack of access to basic ICT equipment, low internet connectivity and computers and the inadequacies in the use of educational software have become a barrier to effective and professional development of teachers in Nigerian Colleges of Education (Ololube 2006). It is most likely that the inability of Nigerian Colleges of Education to develop effective and proficient ICT literate teaching cadre may be the result of the corrupt practices of government officials crippling the institutions funding (Osunde and Umoruyi 2004; Ololube 2006). Lack of adequate ICT infrastructure in Nigerian universities and Colleges of Education has incapacitated government effort towards establishing valuable and effective teacher education programme to help in the preparation of teachers’, competent enough to meet the challenge of the ICT era (Ololube 2006). This situation implies that teacher educators and their students in Nigerian Colleges of Education would lack access to the electronic educational resources afforded through the use of ICT materials. Teacher educators would not be able to integrate ICT as instructional tools in their pre-service teacher training neither would they be competent enough to guide the pre-service teacher to acquire the skills needed for ICT integration in teaching (Ololube 2006). Consequent of this situation, teacher educators in Nigerian Colleges of Education would lack the facilities and competence of developing ICT based project and activities especially design to raise the level of teaching in the subject area to improve students’ achievement (Aduwa-Ogiegbaen and Iyamu 2005). Inadequate teacher preparation of this nature as reported in Onasanya (2010) may result in majority of teachers’ inability to demonstrate adequate knowledge and understanding of modern    Garba SA, Singh TKR, Yusuf NBM, Ziden AA.   (2013).  Journal of Education and Learning.  39 Vol. 7 (1) pp. 35-42 pedagogical structures and designs of classroom instructions in their disciplines. Thus, Ololube (2005) considered the quality of teacher training programmes provided by Nigerian institutions of higher learning as being hindered by the lack of effective use and provision of ICT instructional materials. Thus there is a significant relationship between ICT usage and poor standard of teacher education which invariably affects the standard of the pre-service and in-service teacher performance” (Ololube 2005). This was consistent with Yusuf (2005). Consequent of the above situation, teacher educators in Nigerian Colleges of Education might not be able to use ICT to help social studies pre-service teachers to analyse teaching and learning or demonstrate models lessons nor could they be able to guide them in the utilisation of ICT productivity tools for words processing, grade and records keeping, web-page production and presentations (Bolick et ‘el 2003). A major concern of the social studies educator essentially impinges on a rational and integrative utilisation of knowledge resource from a large variety of sources for the purpose of improving the life of an individual and citizens alike and that of the society at large (Okam 2002). As evident in literature, the use of ICT can facilitates the attainment of this concern. Unfortunately, the present state of ICT facilities and integration in Colleges of Education would not permit social studies pre-service teachers to learn the practical use of ICT in teaching to this advantage. Since the qualities of social studies teachers trained through the Colleges of Education teacher training programme is not well equipped technologically to be able to face the challenges of carrying out their duties effectively. It implies that the existing curriculum designed for the training of social studies pre-service teachers does not include the practical usage of ICT materials. Even if it is included, it is only theoretical. As such pre-service teachers hardly come in contact with ICT instructional materials including those who are in the department of educational technology (Ololube 2006). The Implications on Social Studies Goals and Objectives   The ultimate objectives of social studies program in Nigerian schools is the improvement of social living, not merely in the classroom but in the community, the nation and the world (Joof 1994). Since social studies education exposes the learner to immediate and distance social events in the social environment, the integration of ICT would help to concretised learning, motivates students’ interest, and provide easy access to wide range of content materials that can improve instructions in the subject area (Mezieobi 2008). But the poor state of ICT integration in Colleges of Education would be detrimental to pre-service teachers’ opportunity of learning to use ICT in their teaching for the attainment of these objectives. ICT provoke intense learning and sharpens learners’ intellectual powers and their reflective thinking; and active learning situation is one of the noble objectives of instructions in social studies education (Okam 2002). Social studies teachers trained in Nigerian Colleges of Education would lack the skills and competence of utilising ICT in classroom instructions to this advantage. Citizenship training which implies—transforming the school child into becoming a responsible citizen capable of contributing to the socio-economic and political development of his immediate environment and beyond; is the major goal of social studies education (Mezieobi 2008; Okam 2002). ICT integration can facilitates the attainment of this goal because ICT provide wide learning experiences which unifies knowledge in a manner to develop the individual in private, academic, public and business life (Mezieobi 2008). More so, that the use of information technology has become an integral part of the human society, the social studies teacher must equip the school child with knowledge and skills that can help the child cope with challenges of the time. But, because of the poor ICT integration in Nigerian Colleges of Education; teachers competence in coping with this goal oriented task is lacking. Social studies education as a curriculum design is meant to transform the school child into becoming a responsible citizen capable of contributing to the socio-economic and political development of his society and the world community. To achieve this, social studies teachers are expected to engage students in learning tasks that are problem solving oriented through the inquiry learning process. Through this process, the child would be exposed to: problem-solving skills; the inquiry process and skills; critical and reflective thinking; rationality, creativity and objectivity in decision making. Existing studies reported that, use of relevant ICT materials proved effective in facilitating students’ achievement in respect of the above mentioned objectives. Poor ICT integration in Nigerian Colleges of Education is a responsible factor for the poor standard of teacher education in Nigeria; and the consequent inability of social studies teachers in schools to effectively attain the objectives and goals intrinsic in the subject area (Ololube 2005; Yusuf 2005). This state of affairs in the Colleges of Education was largely responsible for the failure of the ICT integration programme in Nigerian Secondary schools. This was because the teachers to implement the programme had no knowledge ICT integration in teaching and learning; neither were they exposed to it during their teacher training programme in the Colleges of Education (Yusuf 2005; Ololube 2006).
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