An exploration of the integration of technology by mathematics teachers: the case of 10 schools in KwaZulu-Natal under Umlazi District.
Zulu, Mzwandile Wiseman.
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This interpretive qualitative study sought to explore the integration of technology by mathematics teachers in Umlazi district of KwaZulu-Natal province. A purposive non-probability sample of ten teachers from ten different schools in Umlazi district participated in the study. Data was collected from the participants using a questionnaire, interview, classroom observation schedule and document analysis, while the thematic analysis method was employed to analyse the data. The findings of the study revealed that the South African Department of Basic Education advocates for the integration of technological tools for all teaching and learning processes in basic education. However, the study showed that teachers underutilise the technological resources they have at their disposal and that they mainly rely on the teaching of mathematics using traditional methods of teaching. The findings established possible factors contributing to the under utilisation of technology by mathematics teachers in Umlazi district. These factors include: (1) lack of training to confidently integrate technology; (2) lack of technology pedagogical content knowledge; (3) limited access to technological tools; (4) crime (break-ins); (5) overcrowded classrooms; (6) lack of technical support for software updates; (7) electric power failure during the teaching and learning hours; and (8) lack of exposure to government policies advocating for technology integration in teaching. Lastly, the study found that though teachers are not actively utilising the technological tools in the teaching of mathematics, they however demonstrated a positive attitude towards its use. The results further showed that if the factors above are well addressed, the mathematics teachers in Umlazi district would be utilising their tools effectively in their teaching practices.