Contextualizing South Africa’s participation in the SITES 2006 module
The International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) initiated the Second International Technology in Education Study (SITES 2006) — a large-scale comparative survey on the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in schools. The goal was to understand the pedagogical use of ICTs in schools in 22 education systems. We aim to contextualize South Africa’s participation in SITES 2006 on four levels: (i) the nature and structure of the South African education system, (ii) a review of South Africa’s participation in SITES 2006, (iii) ICT infrastructure, facilities and equipment, and (iv) teachers’ use of ICTs for teaching and learning. SITES 2006 administered three questionnaires to school principals, technology coordinators, and mathematics and science teachers. The final sample consisted of 666 mathematics and 622 science teachers. Although most education systems collected data via the internet, South Africa was the only country that used only a paper-and-pencil data collection strategy with an average return rate of 90%. South Africa scored low on most variables, e.g. ICT infrastructure, facilities, and equipment. A large percentage of South African teachers reported their ICT incompetence. South Africa’s inability to cross the boundaries of traditional learning towards the development of 21st century teaching and learning skills inhibits social and economic growth for the development of human capital.
Keywords: developing context; e-Education; ICT in education; large-scale study; mathematics education; science education; SITES 2006; South Africa