Integration of computers with teaching of science at the lower secondary level
Date of Award
Master of Education (M. Ed.)
Institute for Educational Development, Karachi
The use of computers has been increasing worldwide for teaching of Science in secondary schools. Also in Pakistan, computers are now available in most of the private schools and their use is steadily increasing for teaching and learning. Government also intends to equip public secondary schools with computer labs. Various research studies suggest that appropriate and effective use of computers enhances and adds value to students' learning in Science education. However, the existing use of computers in schools in Pakistan appears not to be up to the level of its potential effectiveness, consequently having limited impact on students' learning. Teachers are central to the successful use of computer resources in science teaching, as the ways of using computers depends on how well teachers understand its use. Therefore, exploring their perceptions and practices of integrating computers with teaching of Science would help them in understanding the existing situation of computers uses in schools, so that decisions about the future can be made. This qualitative study was conducted in a private school in Karachi, Pakistan. Data from field notes, interviews, and document analysis were used to explore perceptions and practices of two Science teachers; one technology coordinator and one librarian. There were a total of nine observations of teaching practices, four interviews, one with each participant, and one focus group interview of five students. Findings include perceptions, practices, and challenges. Teachers perceive: (a) integration as any use of computers; (b) integration is resource-hungry; (c) computers increase students' motivation and enhance their learning; (d) finding a reliable web resources is a challenge; (e) teachers' self confidence and clarity of vision are important for effective integration. Teachers' practices involve: (a) use of computers as a source of knowledge and as a tool for presentations; (b) teacher-centered instructional strategies; (c) teaching science to enhance students' ICT skills; (d) use of group work to manage large classes; and (e) a rigid focus on textbook topic. Challenges include: (a) lack of access to resources; (b) lack of sufficient technical and pedagogical support; and (c) time tabling, class duration, and managing large classes. Teachers' professional development, sufficient technical and pedagogical support, and appropriate infrastructures are important elements for an effective integration of computers with teaching of Science. However, examining students' learning outcomes was not under the scope of study.
Daraz, M. (2007). Integration of computers with teaching of science at the lower secondary level (Unpublished master's dissertation). Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan.