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Exploring the Pedagogical and Technical Readiness of Teachers in ICT Integration to Non-Formal Education

Emmanuel S. Iluzada Methods of Research August 22, 2012

Table of Contents Chapter 1: Research Background Introduction.. Background of the Study. Research Problem. Theoretical Framework Significance of the Study.. Scope and Limitation 4 6 8 8 10 11

Chapter 2: Literature Review Overview. Education Crisis. Alternative Learning System (ALS). ICT for ALS Challenges in ICT Integration... The Role of Teachers in ICT Integration.. Summary.. 12 12 13 14 14 15 16

Chapter 3: Methodology Overview.. Research Strategy Research Design... Data Gathering Processes and Techniques Analysis Technique.. Research Horizons Research Schedule Bibliography 17 17 18 18 19 19 20

Chapter 1: Research Background Introduction


It is without a doubt that ICT now plays a substantial role in any industry and is rapidly integrated in multiple sectors including banks, media sectors, the government, among others. Being adept in ICT is already a necessary proficiency in the 21st century. Hence, it is only indispensable to strongly integrate ICT in the learning journey of students, the modifiers of the present and future society. However, some research argues that in the actual schools, ICT is unsuccessfully integrated in the curriculums (Howell

and Lundall, 2000; Ramos, 2010). In the Philippines, numerous challenges hinder the effective integration of ICT in education particularly in public schools. Among the perceived problems are slow and tedious government procurement process, changes in the priorities of stakeholders, and resistance among teachers and learners to the integration of ICT in the teaching-learning process (eSkwela, 2011; Ramos, 2010).
ICT literacy is a requirement in the K to12 education sector for both teachers and students (Tan et.al., 2006). Given the fact that the Philippines has started to adopt the K to12 program, the educators are expected to enhance their ICT literacy. But although this is a requirement, a lot of teachers in the country are lagging behind the expected ICT literacy from them. In fact, in the recent implementation of eSkwela project, an e-Learning curriculum for the Alternative Learning System (ALS) in the Philippines, they have found out that a lot of teachers expressed resistance in the integration of ICT in their teaching process. Some of the reasons that were given are lack of time to be creative because of overlapping job roles, unprepared for the incorporation of ICT, lack of experience on the internet, and the tendency to go back to the traditional education setup. Basically, the problem of educators is rooted in their lack of experience and exposure to ICT.

It is said that you cannot give what you do not have. Hence, if teachers are the shapers of the next generation, then they must possess the necessary ICT knowledge and skill for them to be able to deliver effectively the needed ICT-mediated learning to their students. If they fail to possess this, the tendency is that students, who are most of the time far more knowledgeable in ICT than their teachers, would only use technology for entertainment and other unnecessary usages and may not be able to fully appreciate ICT as a learning tool. Hence, it is imperative that teachers can appropriately and effectively utilize ICT in their teaching-learning process. Indeed, in a comparative study of pedagogy and ICT use in schools in 22 different countries, it was discovered that the teachers pedagogical and technical competence in ICT are important predictors for ICT adoption in the actual teaching-learning process (Law and Chow, 2008). Furthermore, if teachers would have their ICT skills improved, ICT integration in the curriculum would be easier for them. Also, teachers who are more confident in using ICT can focus more on the pedagogical matters rather than concerns relating to technical skills (Chai, 2010).
The United

Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization or UNESCO gave a strong

emphasis that it is not enough for teachers to have ICT competencies and be able to relay them to their students. Teachers should also be able to help the students become collaborative, problem solving, creative learners through using ICT so they will be effective citizens and members of the workforce (UNESCO, 2011). The aim of this research paper is to look at the pedagogical and technical readiness of teachers and administrators in the advocated use of ICT for teaching in the ALS classes in the secondary school level. It will look deeper at the reasons why there is resistance and challenges in ICT-adoption in which teachers and administrators are primarily concerned. It will perceive the appropriate actions that the schools can take in order to rigorously shape their teachers to be adept in ICT and be effective in properly evaluating and integrating ICT in their teaching-learning process.

Background of the Study Education is perceived as the tool that will alleviate the overall condition of a family and the society in general. Education is a social responsibility for it holds the role of shaping the next generation, the modifiers of a better society. But although education possesses this importance, in reality, there are millions of people who are deprived of this right and not given the opportunity to become literate. Most of these people belong to developing countries. In fact, some studies state that education in developing countries are urban-centred, elitist, and commercialized, which is primarily the reason why they cannot afford finishing their education (Balangue, 2012; Chiba, 2005). This problematic condition is reflected on poor public school facilities, low participation and completion rates, and low retention rates. In the Philippines, there is a steady increase in dropout rates in both elementary and high school. The rate is particularly higher on schools located in poor provinces. According to the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd), out of 100 Grade 1 pupils, only 66 will finish Grade 6; 58 will enrol in 1st year high school, but only 43 will finish high school (Balangue, 2012). These dropouts may possibly become dysfunctional or unproductive members of the community. Worse, according to some researches in the United States, this phenomenon may actually lead to what they call school to prison pipeline, which states that students who dropped -out of school may end up being imprisoned in the future. In fact, nearly seven out of 10 adult prisoners did not complete high school (Morgan C. et.al., 2011). With all these problems in education, teachers definitely play a very essential role. Although a lot of other components can be liable on why these problems emerged, a great factor can still be either blamed on or shouldered by the teachers. They bear the weight and responsibility of teaching,

and, apart from parents, are the main source of knowledge and one of the primary motivators of students to learn and stay in school. Hence, it is important for teachers to understand students learning process and outcomes and be open to go out of the traditional and old-fashioned method of teaching when the need for it arises. And to do this, teachers and even administrators must have a commitment and enthusiasm to apply these actions themselves (Cartelli et.al., 2009).

With the growing importance of integrating ICT in learning, teachers now have a viable tool for engaging their students in learning and hopefully encourage the students to faithfully finish their studies. One of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) is Education for All by 2015. We are moving ever-closer to this goal and there is a need to resiliently look at the possible solutions at hand. ICT, when carefully evaluated strategically, pedagogically, and technically, can effectively enhance the learning experience (Chinien et.al., 2005). Moreover, ICT is perceived to empower students to gain information via ICT tools and make them aware of how these tools can add positive value to them (Abdul Razak N.,et.al, 2011). The Department of Education is resiliently improving the current state of education in the Philippines, and one of their relevant actions is the provision of ICT tools for education. In fact, one of their recent projects is the allocations of 1.8 Billion Peso budget for ICT in education. This includes the procurement of 1,500 laptops, 7,000 internet connections, and 3,700 PC packages for the different public schools (Luistro, 2012). With all of these provided ICT tools, the greater concern is to train our teachers to properly utilize and appreciate these tools through rigorous ICT training programs and influencing their pedagogical and strategic readiness towards the espoused use of these tools. This immediate concern is the primary aim of this research paper.

Research Problem 1. In the Philippines, how do teachers and administrators in ALS classes currently perceive and utilize ICT in their teaching-learning process? a. How does the pedagogical and technical readiness of teachers and administrators towards ICT affect the learning process of theirs students? b. What necessary actions can be undertaken to enhance the technical skills of teachers and administrators and to influence their pedagogical perspective towards the espoused use of ICT?

Theoretical Framework
The study will utilize the UNESCO ICT Framework for Teachers as a primary reference for its own theoretical formulation, but will only focus on the pedagogy and teacher professional learning components. This framework is arranged in three different approaches to teaching (three successive stages of a teachers development). The first is Technology Literacy, enabling students to use ICT in order to learn more efficiently. The second is Knowledge Deepening, enabling students to acquire in-depth knowledge of their school subjects and apply it to complex, real-world problems.The third is Knowledge Creation, enabling students, citizens and the workforce they become, to create the new knowledge required for more harmonious, fulfilling and prosperous societies (UNESCO, 2011).

THE UNESCO ICT FRAMEWORK FOR TEACHERS


TECHNOLOGY LITERACY UNDERSTANDING ICT Policy Awareness IN EDUCATION CURRICULUM AND ASSESSMENT ICT KNOWLEDGE DEEPENING KNOWLEDGE CREATION

Policy Understanding

Policy Innovation

Basic Knowledge Basic Tools Integrate Technology

Knowledge Creation Complex Tools Complex Problem Solving

Knowledge society skills Pervasive Tools Self-Management

PEDAGOGY

ORGANIZATION AND Standard Classroom Collaborative Groups ADMINISTRATION TEACHER PROFESSIONAL LEARNING

Learner Organizations

Digital Literacy

Manage and Guide

Teacher as Model Learner

We can see from this framework how numerous factors related to the teachers strongly contribute to the learning of the students. But in this particular research, the primary focus would be on the teachers pedagogical readiness and their technical skills in ICT and how these two factors significantly affect the teaching-learning process. The primary lens to be used for this study is the learning Theory of Constructivism. Upon careful research of the said theory, it can be correlated to UNESCOs framework and can actually be assumed that their framework is founded on this particular theory (although it was not directly mentioned). In its most basic form, Constructivism is all about putting together new information using information already known to the students (Cartelli and Palma, 2009). On the other hand, the research also argues that constructivism that is related to teaching can be defined as teachers
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starting their teaching with knowledge, attitudes, and interests of the students in mind. Moreover, their teaching must be designed to allow students through their own experience, to interact with the material in order to construct their own understanding. ICT is introduced as a tool that supports the learning process by capturing the students interest in learning and encouraging students to personally seek knowledge and understanding with the help of these tools. But to do this, the initiative should begin with the teachers. They themselves must possess the interest and attitude towards the integration and utilization of ICT. Hence, the primary focus of this research would be on the teachers and their pedagogical and technical aspects that will be viewed in the lens of the constructivism theory.

Significance of the Study To the industry, this will help in producing competent students that will eventually become the workforce of the different industries. To the country, upon helping public school teachers in their ICT pedagogy and competency in teaching, the researcher believes that this will eventually create a greater impact on the students. If we can hone these students to be competent learners and graduates, they will be functional and contributing citizens of our country. Moreover, as one research argues, there is a lesser chance that these students will commit crime in the future if they have pursued education, thus improving again the state of our countrys peace and order development. To my school, since DLSUs vision is to be a leading learner-centred research university, bridging faith and scholarship in the service of society, especially the poor, I believe this

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research is very significant in contributing to the learning and current state of education for the poor, which strongly adheres to the vision of my school.

Scope and Limitation The study will attempt to cover the deeper phenomenon behind the discovered problems on why ICT is not fully adopted in secondary public schools. A contributing factor to this, according to numerous studies (Chai, 2010; Vacirca, 2010), are the technical and technological readiness of teachers and administrators in integrating ICT to their education. The study will be conducted in the Philippine setting, particularly on secondary schools, both formal and non-formal classes, in Kawit, Cavite. Although there are several other factors contributing to the problems on ICT adoption in public secondary schools especially on non-formal education sectors, the study will not cover these other factors (Government related implementation and budget problems, community-related problems, among others). Also, although there are also situated problems in the public primary schools, the latter will not be covered in the study. Since one of the primary concerns of the study is the growing number of high school dropouts, the study will only evaluate the high school level ALS classes.

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Chapter 2: Literature Review Overview The reviewed literature can be traced from the general problem or crisis in education. It is necessary to look unto these studies in order to fully understand where the problem is really rooted. From there, a number of related literature stated Non-formal education (NFE), or in the Philippine context, the Alternative Learning System (ALS) as a viable solution for the crisis in education. To support the ALS, studies related to ICT in education were assessed. In examining studies concerning the integration of ICT to ALS, two possible lines of research were identified. The first focuses on the role of ICT tools in learning. The second deals more specifically with the issue of engaging the teachers and administrators and their significance in the integration of ICT in their schools.

Education Crisis
Around the world, there are over 800 million adult illiterates. Majority of these illiterates are concentrated in the Asia region and their numbers is estimated to be 600 million, five times the entire population of Japan (Chiba, 2010). A great number of studies strongly correlate illiteracy to poverty (Fillone et.al., 2011; Kuenzi, 2005; Balangue, 2012). The heavy insufficiency of providing quality education resulted to poverty-related problems like population growth, pollution, and social related diseases (Lansang, 2005). Moreover, studies also associate illiteracy or academic failure to imprisonment, in which students who drop out of school are more likely to commit crimes in the future (Livock, 2006; Morgan, Petrosino, 2011).

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Poverty alleviation and peace and order, the priorities of current international development strategies, are definitely linked to the general education level of people. Education creates the distinction between modern society and ancient society. It brings an underdeveloped economy to an industrialized path (Balangue, 2012). However, according to this study, education cannot reach its full potential when there is not enough expenditure on it. Data from UNESCO reveals that the higher the expenditure on education, the higher the participation in education in many developing countries (UNESCO, 2002). Since there is insufficient allocation of budget for education in the Philippines, combined with stakeholders not placing enough efforts and attention on public school education, the latter will continue to suffer and will eventually affect the growth of our society.

Alternative Learning System (ALS)


When we talk about non-formal education or the Alternative Learning System (ALS), our first concern should be the out-of-school youth and adults who are likely to not enter formal schooling in the future. Poverty alleviation, elimination of crime rates, and the education of out-of-school youth must be the top priorities of our local development strategies, and again these are all linked to the education level of people. The ALS plays a vital role in this setting (Dighe, Hakeem, Shaeffer, 2007). The growing importance of ALS is now realized by both educators and stakeholders for it is highly contextualized and gives school dropouts another chance to continue their education. Proponents of ALS argue that upon effective implementation of this system, there will be increase in attendance and graduation rates and a significant reduction of dropout rates. Furthermore, when school dropouts are kept pre-occupied in alternative learning classes, there is less opportunity for them to get into legal trouble, resulting in less delinquency in the neighbourhood (Morgan, Petrosino, 2011). 13

ICT for ALS Despite the urgent need to address illiteracy through NFE, many stakeholders still do not fully develop the resiliency to address the problem and fully support the advocacies of this program. There is a need for NFE or ALS teachers to recognize that these community members are composed of different personalities, beliefs, agendas, and motives (Lansang, 2006). As such, the teachers must be able to come up with the language and definitions to be used in engaging its students in the ALS program and in pursuing education in general.
It is without a doubt that ICT is now playing a substantial role in any industry and is rapidly integrated in multiple sectors including banks, media sectors, the government, among others. Because of this, being adept in ICT is a necessary skill in the 21st century.

Challenges in ICT Integration

Adhering to this, according to (Chiba, 2005), there is a strong conviction that ICT can be harnessed to promote NFE or ALS activities in developing countries. Although there is increasing awareness of the potential of this technology, as well as increasing access, many of these countries are yet to benefit from the possibilities offered by ICT. Much work needs to be done to engage the local government and other stakeholders in providing this necessity. Moreover, there is a need to properly train teachers and administrators to adopt ICT in their learning sessions by effectively relaying to them the growing importance of ICT and giving them the proper skills and training to provide effective learning sessions through ICT (Kuenzi, 2005). Another problem that arose is the failure of commitment of the ALS students. A lot of ALS students are unable to complete the 10-month program simply because of the lack of motivation
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and probably the failure to comprehend the benefits of the said program. It is necessary to come up with tools and strategies that would motivate the students in learning and committing to it. A study by (Chinien et.al., 2005) reveals that ICT is a viable tool for motivation in learning, provided that it is carefully evaluated technically, pedagogically, and strategically so that it can be suitable to an ALS class. However, the researcher argues that without the support of high quality and relevant instructional treatment, which is termed as ICT readiness, it will still fail to achieve the goal of effective learning.
It is only necessary to strongly integrate ICT in the school curriculum, particularly in the ALS curriculum. However, some research argues that ICT is unsuccessfully integrated in the schools curriculums and the integration of these will entail a lot of challenges (Howell and Lundall, 2000; eSkwela 2011). This is

an important phenomenon to look at since there is an increasing necessity to integrate ICT in the school curriculum so that the students will be technology-ready in whatever sector they would pursue in the future.

The Role of Teachers in ICT Integration Benefits from ICT integration in teaching and learning depends greatly on how the teacher selects and organizes ICT resources and how these are integrated into the learning activities (Peterson et.al., 2010). The teachers pedagogical approach, and hence t he pedagogical reasoning adopted, are crucial determinants of the learning outcomes from ICT integration (Chai, 2010). There is evidence that teachers need to undertake more complex pedagogical reasoning in their planning and teaching in order to incorporate knowledge of technology in their learning sessions with the students. Also, teachers pedagogical reasoning is strongly influenced by their beliefs
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about the value of ICT for learning and the nature of successful learning environments (Web and Cox, 2004). Because of these realized influences, this research will focus on the vital importance of the teachers and even the administrators in the integration of ICT in the teaching-learning process.

Summary Upon carefully considering the reviewed literatures, along with the identification of the vital factors that affect the integration of ICT in education, the researcher is led to explore the pedagogical and technical challenges and readiness of teachers and administrators in the espoused use of ICT in their teaching-learning sessions. It will focus particularly on the teachers in the non-formal education sector because of the growing number of high school dropouts and the viable alternative learning classes (ALS) as a perceived solution for this phenomenon.

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Chapter 3: Research Methodology

Overview This chapter covers the different assumptions that will be supported by this research paper. It will also cover the different research strategies, research design, data gathering technique, analysis technique, research horizons, and research milestones. The chapter defines the scope and limitations of the research design among others, and position the research within existing research traditions in ICT for education.

Research Strategy The researcher will take a deductive approach. He will first check existing literature and studies related to the current state of education in the Philippines, ICT for education, and the existing practices and studies of ICT for education in other parts of the world. Patterns will be derived from these studies and these patterns will be compared to the secondary schools that will be observed. Through this approach, a conclusion would be drawn to identify the impact of the pedagogical and technical readiness of teachers and administrators in the espoused use of ICT. Moreover, it will identify the challenges and propose solutions for integrating ICT to these schools relating to the teachers pedagogical beliefs and technical readiness.

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Research Design The researcher will use empirical qualitative approach in data gathering. He will observe social trends and policy implications emerging in the existing secondary schools (both formal classes and ALS) in Kawit, Cavite. The researcher will personally observe the classes and conduct indepth interviews to the teachers and students as well as the administrators in the schools. The researcher will get the sympathy of the students to their current lessons. He will also observe the teaching strategies and activities done by the teachers. He will also gather the current ICT-related strategic actions of the school. The observed trends, behaviours, and policies will be related to similar trends and patterns from related studies, specifically on ICT-Integration in Education. The decision that qualitative inquiry is best suited to the study is based primarily on the research questions that were given. In this study, how questions pertaining to the pedagogical and technical readiness of teachers and administrators towards ICT integration were asked. These primarily pertain to their current practices, beliefs, and processes and impact questions that explore learning and change.

Data Gathering Processes and Techniques Data will be collected through the use of two qualitative techniques that include:

1. Action Research: The researcher will personally observe various secondary school classes and high school alternative learning classes and carefully note his observations, particularly on the teachers.

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2. In-depth interviews with selected teachers and administrators to gain further insights into needs and aspirations.

Analysis Technique The research will use a narrative analysis of the action research and in-depth interviews that it will conduct. The said technique that will not treat narratives of the teachers and administrators as
stories that transmit a set of facts about ICT integration, and is not primarily interested in the trueness of their statements (a practice adhering to constructivism).

Research Horizons Upon identification of pedagogical and technical concerns and problems on the teachers and administrators and the interpretation of the said concerns, the researcher will then focus on the actual ICT curriculum content. Also, it will touch the policies surrounding the implementation of the said ICT curriculum. This will complete the puzzle of the whole ICT-integration related problems in Philippine public secondary schools.

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Research Schedule

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