Exploring pre-service teachers’ opportunities to learn to teach science with ICTs during teaching practice

Keywords: OTL, science education, ICT, teaching practice, teacher education programme


Teaching practice is an important component of the teacher education programme that provides opportunities for pre-service teachers to learn in the context of real classrooms. In this paper, I use the framework of opportunities to learn (OTL) to analyse data from a mixed-methods study on the experiences of pre-service teachers with learning to integrate Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) into the teaching of science during teaching placement in schools. A sample of 103 science pre-service teachers from one mid-size university in South Africa completed a survey on their use of ICTs for subject teaching during teaching practice, 21 of whom submitted 33 actual lesson plans from teaching practice for analysis and participated in 4 focus group interviews. The findings show that the teacher education programme provided uneven opportunities to learn for students in the same cohort. These findings have implications for how universities should structure teaching practice experience for equitable OTL for all pre-service teachers, especially with respect to the integration of ICTs for subject teaching. Thus, I recommend restructuring of teacher education programmes to better the opportunities for future teachers to learn to use ICTs for subject teaching during and after teaching practice.

Author Biography

Thuthukile Jita, university of the Free State
Currently a lecturer for curriculum studies and teaching practice courses, a discipline coordinator for curriculum studies and research team coordinator for Instructional leadership and curriculum implementation studies at the University of the Free State with 6 years’ experience of working in the higher education sector. Participate in various committees in the University community such as ethics committee where I have a certificate in research integrity and ethics governance. Efficient leader in Curriculum Design and Development with 4+ years’ experience in the Adult Education & Corporate Sector on Management Processes. Experienced educator involved in school curriculum for 10 years and was the Head of Foundation phase department for 3years. Engage in collaborative sharing of curriculum experiences in an exchange program with teachers in the United States of America - in Lansing, Michigan and Chicago, Illinois (between 1998 and 2000).
Research Articles