1.1 Background to the Study
Lifelong education and making Nigeria an education hub in Africa had always been the plan of any government in power since Nigeria got her independence in 1960. In conjunction to this, various stakeholders have held various educational programs, conferences and symposia are held in order to compete with other western countries. Nevertheless, the Nigerian government is doing its best in achieving this educational objective. The state governments of Nigeria have assisted various secondary schools by supplying them with modern assisted learning in the area of Information and Technology Communication (ICT). This clearly shows that information and communication technology is part of the education system.
The distribution of computer systems by the state governments to various secondary schools in the country and internet services to help them surf the net has helped equip the schools. Therefore, the teachers have to prepare themselves to cater the needs of pupils and the government policies. The use of technology alone will not suffice the significant changes in school. The teachers are the main ingredient in fostering the changes. A research carried out by Davies (1997) revealed that effective learning can be enhanced through the integration of ICT in teaching. Bransford (1994) corroborated this by revealing that ICT helps the critical thinking skills, information handling skills, the level of conceptualization as well as the problem solving capacity.
Information and communication technology is a crucial tool that is mostly and widely integrated in the teaching and learning process, especially in the science subjects like Chemistry. As ICT is generally designed to be used by students, teachers must as well use it in their teaching routine for effective teaching and learning. Several researchers revealed the ability of computers to support and enhance teaching and learning process in education (Loveless & Dore, 2002). However, there are questions pertaining the effectiveness of computers as studies reveal that although the number of computer users is constantly increasing, few individuals still refuse to accept the value of computer technology.
Currently in Nigeria, most secondary schools are equipped with computer labs and internet services for effective learning. Having these infrastructures in schools is a good start in a way. The tendency in teachers left behind in the IT environment could be lessened. However, there are fewer teachers who really use these facilities due to some reasons, i.e. skill, knowledge, motivation, attitude and practice. If this situation persists then, obviously the Ministry of Education’s aim will be a waste and moreover, the pupils will be affected too. Findings from researchers had the phenomena is still persisting in various secondary schools in Nigeria. The need to look at more findings and conclusive recommendations are needed to uphold the ministry’s agenda.
Findings from Robertson (1996) indicated that teachers’ resistance to computer is in various broad divisions like the resistance to organizational change and outside intervention, the problem of time management, inadequate support from administration, teachers’ attitude toward effective teaching and learning as well as personal and psychological factors. The study was carried out on the skills acquired by staff and Year 8 students in a secondary school prior to receiving personal palmtop computers. Access to palmtop computers increased the staffs’ use of generic applications in their work. A minority of staff remained unconvinced about the potential of the computer and dissatisfied with the amount and quality of professional development in the use of palmtop and in ICT in general. The study in general concluded that there is a need for adequate teachers training and retraining training in order for them to become aware of the range of uses and possible benefits of ICT.
There has been a significant improvement in the use of information and communication technology for effective teaching and learning which has been having great influence on the academic performance of students and effective teaching on teachers. It is not surprising to find increasing interest, attention and investment put into the use of ICT in the education world. In addition to efforts made to employ ICT in education for effective teaching and learning, the emergence of knowledge economy has also brought about a much greater emphasis on education (Felix, 2007). Educational innovations on ICT have been embedded to improve teachers’ skill, knowledge and as well increase the use of ICT in teaching and learning particularly in secondary schools in Nigeria. It is on these premises that this study seeks to investigate teachers’ attitude towards the use of ICT in teaching chemistry in senior secondary school in Gwale Local Government Area of Kano State, Nigeria.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
For more than a decade in Nigeria, the federal and state governments through the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training with the inputs of educational stakeholders and other partners has been conceptualizing and implementing various ICT policies and initiatives related to help students and teachers in the use of ICT in learning and teaching. With such initiatives in place, one would expect a fully-fledged integration of ICT in Nigerian schools today. However, in spite of the availability of ICT tools in various secondary schools in Nigeria, previous studies conducted show that few teachers and students are using ICT as an effective and efficient teaching and learning tool. Very interestingly, many studies stress that in many schools ICTs are mostly confined to administration, and personal use. Although different ICT programmes and Governmental policies have already been put in place to integrate ICT in the educational sector, there are still challenges and gaps in the implementation of these policies. According to Swarts & Washira (2010) the challenges can be categorized into access, equity, quality and ICT relevance. This points to the fact that, careful investigation of the current teaching and learning practices, readiness, skills, competence, knowledge and attitude of various educational stakeholders, specifically on student’s perspectives regarding the use of ICTs in schools is needed so as to understand the pedagogical value of ICT in secondary schools in Nigeria today.
1.3 Research Objectives
The main objective of this study is to investigate teachers’ attitude towards the use of ICT in teaching chemistry in senior secondary school in Gwale Local Government Area of Kano State. Specifically, the objectives are:
i) To understand the reasons for the use of ICT for effective and efficient teaching and learning of Chemistry.
ii) To investigate the prevalence in the use of ICT for effective and efficient teaching and learning of Chemistry by Chemistry teachers in Gwale Local Government Area of Kano State.
iii) To determine the attitudes of Chemistry teachers in Gwale Local Government Area towards the use of ICT for effective and efficient teaching and learning of Chemistry.
1.4 Research Questions
The following are some of the questions which this study intends to answer:
i) What are the reasons for the use of ICT for effective and efficient teaching and learning of Chemistry?
ii) What is the prevalence in the use of ICT for effective and efficient teaching and learning of Chemistry by Chemistry teachers in Gwale Local Government Area of Kano State?
iii) What are the attitudes of Chemistry teachers in Gwale Local Government Area towards the use of ICT for effective and efficient teaching and learning of Chemistry?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The followings are the research hypotheses to be tested in this study:
i) There is a significant influence of the use of ICT in teaching and learning on academic performance.
ii) There is a significant relationship between the use ICT in teaching Chemistry and teachers’ performance.
1.6 Significance of the Study
This study informs educational stakeholders such as parents, government, curriculum developers, and school administrators on teachers’ attitudes towards ICT usage in teaching process, the extent of ICT integration into the teaching process and factors influencing the rate of ICT integration into the teaching process in secondary schools. If, as Eccles (1987) has argued, ‘task value’ beliefs are central to explaining the nature of students and teachers’ attitudes teaching and learning particular subjects, then this study helps in identifying those tasks which are viewed positively, such factors as teachers’ attitudes towards ICT and the former’s effects on the extent of integration in the teaching process. This study therefore documents findings on teachers’ attitude towards the use of ICT in teaching chemistry in senior secondary school in Gwale Local Government Area of Kano State.
1.7 Scope of the Study
This study was limited to the views of secondary school teachers of Gwale Local Government Area of Kano State in studying their attitudes towards the use of Information and Communication Technology in the Teaching process. Furthermore, the study was confined to ICT variables such as: use of computers, overhead projector for PowerPoint presentation, and use of internet to process data for the teaching process. Therefore, five senior secondary schools in Gwale Local Government Area shall be selected for this study.
1.8 Limitation of the Study
There are two main limitations to this study. First, the sample was limited to chemistry teachers and chemistry students. This limits the generalization of the research findings to other populations. Second, the survey information is self-reported data. Therefore, the results might be affected by the teachers’ social desirability to provide desired information rather than accurate information.
1.9 Definition of Terms
The following terms were used during the cause of the study.
Computer Attitudes: An attitude is "the predisposition of an individual to evaluate some symbol or object or aspect of his world in a favourable or unfavourable manner.
Information and Communication Technology (ICT): Mary and Cox (2007) defined ICT as electronic and computerized devices associated with human interactive materials that enable the user to use them for wider range of service delivery and in addition to personal use. ICT involves the use of electronic devices such as web portals, internet, inters witch, telnet and telecommunication for sending and receiving messages and used for tax administration.
Technology integration: The practice of using new and emerging technology in ways that is both curriculum-based and future-oriented to create meaningful learning experiences and to increase technology literacy.