Preservice teachers’ decisions on the use of ICTs to teach science during teaching practice
Abstract: Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have revolutionised many aspects of our educational lives, including teaching and learning within schools and colleges of education. This paper explores some processes of decision-making by preservice teachers on whether and how to use ICTs for teaching topics in the school science curriculum. The paper examines two major sets of influences, viz. the preservice teachers’ perceptions on ICT tools and their opportunities to learn (OTL). The paper draws on data from a mixed methods design, with a sample of 103 participants who completed a questionnaire, followed by four focus group interviews. The statistical analysis of individual items on technology content knowledge (TCK) shows that the participants scored low on the use of many modern ICT tools, with the exception of digital audios and videos, which received a mean score above 3. An analysis of interview transcripts further shows that the participants’ decision to use ICTs depends on the opportunities presented by the school context and the role of the school-based mentor. The results suggest the need to be more deliberate in setting up teaching practice contexts and nurturing school-based mentoring relationships to encourage the use of ICTs for teaching during teacher education.