BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
In the body of prior research, the potentials of information and communication technology, abbreviated as ICT, had been identified to ease the learning of students, improve teaching, and better institutional administration (Kazu & Yavulzalp, 2018). It is now very necessary to make use of information and communication technology as a tool for increasing students’ learning as well as the teaching that mathematics instructors provide, and as a catalyst for expanding access to excellent education in formal as well as non-formal contexts. Teacher education institutions are trying to restructure their education programs and classroom facilities in order to harness the potentials of information and communications technology (ICT) in order to improve the content of teacher education. This is in recognition of the impact that new technologies have had on the workplace and on everyday life. In the context of the school setting, the uses of information and communication technology as tools include school administration and management, the teaching and learning of ICT-related skills for enhancing the presentation of classroom work, the teaching/learning of repetitive tasks, the teaching/learning of intellectual, thinking, and problem-solving skills, and the stimulation of creativity and imagination; research by mathematics teachers and students, and the use of information and communication technology as a communication tool by mathematics teachers a.
The term “information and communications technology” refers to tools that are based on computers and are used by humans to assist with the information and communication processing requirements of an organization. It encompasses computer hardware and software, the network, and other digital devices such as video, audio, and cameras, amongst others, that transform information (text, sound, motion, etc.) into digital form. Its scope also includes the internet. The level of knowledge and perspective that mathematics instructors have on the use of contemporary technologies in the classroom is critical to the achievement of a successful integration of information and communication technologies (ICT) into the educational system. Therefore, experienced mathematics instructors, freshly certified mathematics teachers, and student teachers of mathematics need to have confidence in their ability to use information and communication technology (ICT) successfully in their classrooms.
The mere presence of information and communications technology in educational settings is insufficient to ensure its efficient use. The teacher is the most important factor in determining how effectively students learn to use the tools provided in the classroom, regardless of the quantity or quality of the technology that is installed. As a result, teachers of mathematics need to have the necessary skills as well as the appropriate mindset when it comes to technology (Kadel, 2018). An individual’s favorable or negative assessment of a certain issue is referred to as their attitude toward that subject. The appraisal of the effects of an activity, both positively and negatively, is what determines an individual’s attitude toward that action. Attitudes are formed as a result of this evaluation. There is a proverb that says one’s attitude will decide their level of success. Studies have shown that there are strong connections and affinities between the attitudes of mathematics instructors and their usage of information and communication technology (ICT). A greater amount of computer expertise was related with more favorable opinions towards the computer. [Case in point:] [Case in point:] The mentality and actions of students’ maths professors may be used to explain why students have such a high level of confidence in ICT. Because they serve as an essential example for their pupils, the actions of mathematics instructors have a significant impact on the level of students’ self-assurance as well as their perspective on ICT (Derbyshire, 2021). According to the available research, one of the most significant reasons why mathematics educators do not make use of technology in their classrooms is because they do not have sufficient training and expertise. The result of this is that mathematics professors tend to have a negative attitude toward computers and other forms of technology. In addition, mathematics instructors who lack self-assurance are less likely to make use of computers in their classrooms (Kumar & Kumar, 2003).
It is possible to enhance the attitude of both pre-service and in-service mathematics instructors toward the use of computers and other technological abilities by incorporating technology into the education of teachers. The findings indicate that there is a significant relationship between computer attitude and its use in institutions for pre-service mathematics teachers as well as for serving mathematics teachers. This relationship exists in terms of affective attitude, general usefulness, behavioral control, and pedagogical use of the computer (Yuen & Ma, 2022). The way that one feels about using a computer in the future is a significant one. According to the findings of Lee’s research (2019), one of the most important things that contributes to success is providing suitable replies to the trainee’s sentiments about using ICT. Therefore, it is necessary to take care of the emotional requirements of student mathematics instructors since attitude is a significant predictor of future usage of information and communication technology (ICT). Student mathematics instructors have a good attitude and are very passionate about interactive whiteboards as an essential aspect of teaching and learning; as a result, the technology has inspired them to practice using it (Kennewell, & Morgan, 2020)
There is a gender gap in education in sub-Saharan Africa, and children who are not in school, the majority of whom are females, are denied the chance to learn anything connected to information and communication technology (ICT) at school. At every level of school, the percentage of African women who enroll in science and technology programs is among the lowest in the world. According to the findings of a research that was carried out in four different African nations, gender equality does not exist in reality despite the fact that in theory, girls are given the same chance as boys to use computers (Derbyshire, 2021). However, a research conducted by Kirkpatrick and Cuban (2018) found that when female and male students had the same numbers and kinds of experiences with computers, male and female students’ success scores and attitudes were comparable across all educational levels.
According to the findings of many studies, women often have a lower level of interest in computers and use them less frequently in their leisure time (Schaumburg, 2022). In addition, studies have shown that girls are less confident than boys in their ability to use computers, and some international studies have found that boys scored higher than girls in computer-related knowledge and skills in the vast majority of countries. Studies have also shown that girls are less likely to be interested in using computers than boys are. Additionally, the three computer-related occupations of computer scientists, computer engineers and system analysts, as well as computer science and engineering, are the most popular career options for guys (Derbyshire, 2021). Female also have more negative attitude toward computer (Bebetsos & Antoniou, 2018), thus they are often less computer literate than male, thus they are often less computer literate than males (Schaumburg, 2022), and this may result in different ways of using the computer. [Citation needed] [Citation needed] Female also have more negative attitude toward computer (Bebetsos & Antoniou, 2018]. According to the findings of a research conducted by Sefyrin (2017), competency in information and communications technology (ICT) might be interpreted as an issue of interest in ICT. The study found that males are more interested in ICT than women. As a result, the idea that gender and competence are actively produced in a social process was shown to be supported by the findings of the research. This is due to the fact that people within the groups that were investigated negotiated their own understandings of the words being researched, and these understandings were then employed as standards by which individuals perceived themselves and their activities.
Serving and student-mathematics instructors need to be knowledgeable in the use of information and communications technology (ICT), and they also need to be able to critically assess techniques for the acquisition and the proper use of ICT in a variety of subject areas (Robbin, 2018). Kirschner and Woperies (2021) identified the major ICT competencies required of mathematics teachers as the following: the ability to make personal use of information and communication technology; the ability to master a range of educational paradigms that involve the use of information and communication technology; the ability to use information and communication technology as a tool for teaching; the ability to master a range of assessment paradigms that involve the use of information and communication technology; and the ability to understand the policy dimensions of the use of information and communication technology. Pre-service teacher education should place an emphasis on the need for student-mathematics teachers to have ICT skills for their own use in the preparation of materials for teaching and learning activities; the need to facilitate the direct use of ICT in students’ learning activities within the context of the classroom setting; and the need for mathematics teachers to develop in their students a critical awareness of ICT applications and the social implications of those applications (Robbins, 2018). In a similar manner, Marija and Palmira (2022) divided ICT abilities into two categories: fundamental and instructional. The International Communication and Information Technology Competency Standards for Mathematics Teachers were produced by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). These standards go into additional detail about these competencies (UNESCO, 2008a, 2008b). According to these publications, the information and communication technology competence covers a far wider range of topics than a simple concentration on ICT abilities. Rather, it is an all-encompassing strategy for bringing about education reform in the six primary domains of policy, curriculum and assessment, pedagogy, the use of technology, school structure and administration, and the continuing education of educators. The UNESCO (2008a, 2008b) standards for mathematics teachers are intended to enhance the practice of mathematics instructors in utilizing information and communications technology (ICT) in an innovative manner for teaching, working with colleagues, and for school organization.
According to Lee (2019), a significant number of pre-service mathematics teachers do not possess even the most fundamental computer operational skills. As a result, in order for mathematics teachers to be able to incorporate ICT into the school curriculum, groundwork needs to be done at the level of pre-service teacher education. As a method of establishing a curriculum for teacher education that is appropriate for the modern information era, teacher educators need to have a solid understanding of the many facets of the attitudes held by prospective teachers.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
According to a number of studies, there is a significant gap between the formulation of policy and its implementation in Nigerian schools with respect to the provision of computer instruction in Nigerian schools (Jegede & Owolabi, 2019). In terms of the information and communication technology that is used in the Nigerian healthcare system, the only technologies that are accessible in the country’s hospitals are mobile phones and the internet, and only to a limited level (Idowu, Ogunbodede, & Idowu, 2021). Concerning the competence of mathematics teachers, Yusuf (2018) found that mathematics teachers in Nigerian secondary schools are not competent in basic computer operation and in the use of generic software. Despite this, mathematics teachers in Nigerian secondary schools have a positive attitude toward the use of computers in the classroom (Yusuf, 2018). These data have shown that there is a low degree of ICT penetration in the educational system of Nigeria, despite the fact that the attitudes of mathematics instructors have been favorable. To the disadvantage of research on pre-service mathematics teachers, many studies that have been undertaken on computers and ICT have concentrated mostly on practicing mathematics instructors in Nigerian secondary schools rather than on pre-service teachers. The majority of studies that examined the attitude of pre-service mathematics teachers toward ICT were conducted outside of Nigeria; in fact, very few studies on attitude and competence in the use of computers have focused on the academic and non-academic staff of Nigerian higher institutions. This is despite the fact that Nigeria is home to a large number of higher education institutions (Jegede, 2019). gaining an understanding of the attitudes and levels of expertise held by mathematics educators with regard to the use of information and communication technologies in educational settings.
OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The main purpose of this study is to analyze mathematics teachers’ behavior and competence level towards information and communication technology in education. Specifically, the present study examined:
1. To examine the behavior of mathematics teachers towards the use of ICT in education.
2. To find out the competence level of mathematics teachers in the use of ICT in education.
3. To assess mathematics teachers qualification towards the use of ICT in education.
The following research questions will guide the study:
1.Does the behavior of mathematics teachers towards the use of ICT in education?
2. Does the competence level of mathematics teachers in the use of ICT in education?
3. Does mathematics teachers qualification towards the use of ICT in education?
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study will be significant to the government and teachers as the government will be exposed to need of holding a periodic training for teachers in other for teachers to match up with the development in the use of ICT
The study will be significant to the academic community as it will contribute to the existing literature.
SCOPE OF STUDY
This study will examine the behavior of mathematics teachers towards the use of ICT in education. The study will also find out the competence level of mathematics teachers in the use of ICT in education. Lastly, the study will assess mathematics teachers qualification towards the use of ICT in education. Hence, the study will be delimited to Benue State.
Limitations of the study
Just like any other research, unavailability of needed accurate materials on the topic under study, and inability to get data were among the constraints the researcher encountered in the cause of this study. Financial constraint was equally faced by the researcher, in getting relevant materials and in printing and collation of questionnaires. Furthermore, time factor pose another constraint because the researcher have to shuttle between writing of the research and engaging in other academic work which made it uneasy for the researcher.
DEFINITION OF TERMS
BEHAVIOR: This refers to the way of thinking and behaving. It can be positive or negative.
COMPETENCE: This is the ability of having the skill or knowledge to do something well or effectively.
ICT: Information Communication Technology