Journal article Open Access
Bernadette Kamene Kiarie; Samson Ondigi
Some basic education teachers hold the view that there are many old, tried and tested pedagogic skills that are successful. This is justifiable where basic education learners have successfully undertaken and passed national examinations having been through the hands of such teachers. However, the use of modern Information and Communication Technology (ICT) tools is proving to be a “game changer” in many sectors of the economy, education included. Educational technology has been in place for many years; however, the use of modern ICT tools has the ability to make the learning environment more learner centered as opposed to being teacher centered. The role of the teacher is changing from being the sole source of information in a classroom to a facilitator, organizer and a guide who helps learners to get the right information among many sources available. Frequent up-date of the skill set of a teacher in the modern world is what improves the confidence of a teacher towards abandoning old pedagogic skills for new ones that can improve the teaching and learning environment. This paper looks at in-service training as a platform towards development and acquisition of new pedagogies that accommodate the use of modern ICT tools in the classroom. Integration of ICT in teaching and learning environments can bring about demystification of complex ideas in different subject areas as well as the creation of a learner-centered environment in and outside the classroom. Seasoned teachers at all levels of education may find it hard to abandon old teaching styles but according to John Dewey “if we teach the learner of today the same way we were taught, we deny them their tomorrow”. In any education system the existing number of teachers will always exceed the one of the new in-coming teachers. The new teachers – even when they possess new pedagogic approaches that allow ICT integration – fall into the existing systems and ways of teaching very fast and may not have the desired effect in changing the status quo. Training those in service thus becomes a necessity if the entire teaching force is expected to integrate modern ICT tools in teaching and learning. A case study was used to come up with descriptive statistics from a questionnaire that was given to a purposively selected sample due to the nature of the Teacher Professional Development (TPD) that was employed for that population. This study found that TPD can ensure that teachers take change willingly, and confidently employ new skills they learn in their teaching. The study recommends frequent and scheduled TPD courses – that can be evaluated – for all in-service teachers particularly on contemporary issues such as use of modern ICT tools in teaching and learning environments.