Teacher Education in Nigerian Universities: Leadership and Management in Instructional Technology

Teacher Education in Nigerian Universities: Leadership and Management in Instructional Technology

Basil Azubuike Akuegwu (University of Calabar, Nigeria)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8162-0.ch019
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Abstract

Teachers play pivotal roles in the education process. Knowledge transmission constitutes integral aspects of their roles. In order to perform this role effectively, institutions responsible for teacher training have been striving to reposition teacher education for greater results by aligning with global best practices, at the centre of which is instructional technology. However, one thing is to desire the infusion of instructional technology into teacher education, another is to plan how to achieve the best result with it. In this regard, this paper focused on teacher education in Nigerian universities and how leadership and management of instructional technology are reshaping it. Highlights of the discussion include: background, teacher education in Nigerian universities, instructional technology in teacher education in Nigerian, leadership and management in instructional technology in teacher education, challenges of leadership and management in instructional technology and strategies for improving leadership and management in instructional technology.
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Introduction

The world is in a digital age where technology has taken centre stage in virtually every human endeavour. Technology has revolutionized the way humans think and act. As a result, every country, no matter how highly or lowly endowed has embraced technology and applied it in their economic, political, social, religious and educational organisations for proper positioning. No doubt, education holds the key to human and national development, and for it to play this role creditably, it must be placed in a better pedestal.

Technology has affected all aspects of education and is still making great impact to reposition them for improved performance. Specifically, information communication and technology (ICT) has changed the nature of classrooms by shifting emphasis from the teacher as the sole director of classroom activities to the students as active learners. In this regard, classroom instruction has become technology compliant, where technology is shaping classroom instruction to be more efficient and effective, thereby increasing teachers’ (lecturers’) interest in teaching and facilitating their professional competence (Akuegwu, Ntukidem, Ntukidem & Jaja, 2011; Yusuf, 2005).

Given the place technology, ICT has come to occupy in classroom instruction, it has become a necessity for people to direct, guide, coordinate, motivate and organise its integration into classroom teaching and learning activities to yield tangible dividend. Therefore, leadership and management of instructional technology have become inescapable in teacher education programmes in Nigeria and elsewhere. One thing is to procure technological tools, another is to give directive on how they will be used, when to use them and for what purpose.

Instructional technology leadership has become part of the diversified educational leadership and management globally (Chang, 2012). However, instructional technology leadership differs from the ordinary organisational leadership which is more or less concerned with routine administration where actions of the leaders are regarded as the focal point. Leadership in instructional technology emphasizes the abilities of the leaders in teacher education programme to develop, guide, manage and direct the application of technology in classroom instruction for the purpose of aligning with the best classroom practices that is the hallmark in teacher education in universities. Arising from this, instructional leader at the departmental and faculty levels have roles to play in ensuring that classroom instruction has instructional technology embedded in it through the provision, procurement and distribution of technological tools to lecturers for utilization in classroom instruction.

Apart from this, leaders are expected to ensure that the tools are properly used and are kept in the right condition for appropriate use at all times. This calls for institutional leaders in universities to supervise the activities of lecturers with regards to the deployment of technology in classroom instruction. Such leaders must be versatile in the utilization of technology in classroom instruction and in their maintenance as well as directing lecturers on the appropriate modes of applying them. Therefore universities in Nigeria have a great responsibility to educate prospective teachers to be capable of using technology effectively, make the necessary investments to ensure that technology is integrated into the teaching/learning process in teacher education programmes and identify students’ needs, existing resources, technology-related educational needs and technology-design (Cakir, 2012).

The main thrust of this paper therefore centres on:

  • Teacher education in Nigerian universities.

  • Instructional technology in teacher education: The Nigerian Experience.

  • Leadership and management in instructional technology in teacher education.

  • Challenges of leadership and management in instructional technology in teacher education.

  • Strategies for improving leadership and management in instructional technology in teacher education.

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Background

The importance of teacher education in a country like Nigeria cannot be over emphasized. This is because teachers play critical roles in any education system; as a result, no education can rise above the quality of its teachers. Hence, there is need for teacher education.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Technology Utilization: This refers to the proficiency in applying technological resources to achieve instructional goals in a given teaching learning situation.

Leadership: This involves a deliberate effort by an individual (institutional head) to influence the behaviour of others (lecturers) in a particular way to achieve specific results in a given situation in an academic environment.

Management: This has to do with the skillful organization and utilization of personnel, materials and resources in a certain manner to meet a set target in an educational establishment.

Technological Development: This is a process of ensuring that adoption of technology in classroom instruction follows sequentially from the stage of procurement of technology resources to acquisition of technological skills and lastly utilization of such skills to achieve set goals.

Technological Facilities: These are tools, equipment and gadgets used for systematic application of knowledge to enhance classroom teaching and learning. They include - computers, videos, overhead projectors, power point projectors, interactive televisions, interactive videos, software packages, flipcharts, interactive television, radios, network hardware, cellular phone, satellite system, photocopier, audio, photograph, digital camera, internet and other communication devices used in transmitting, processing, receiving, storing and retrieving information.

Instructional Technology: This can be referred to as the processes, systems and methods of instruction aimed at providing the learner with a variety of resources for the purpose of making learning student-centred in order to achieve predetermined instructional objectives in a given teaching-learning situation.

Technological Leadership: This is the act of commitment to the provision of technology facilities and enabling environment that can support their application in classroom instruction to promote learning among students. It entails the enhancement of the instructional roles of lecturers through the provision of technological facilities and coordinating their utilization for the achievement of instructional goals.

Teacher Education: This is a formal training provided for would-be teachers in an institution of higher learning to equip them with necessary skills, knowledge and experiences to bring about changes in the behaviour of learners and enable would-be teachers succeed in their teaching career.

Technological Training: This has to do with practices aimed at impartation of skills on lecturers to enable them manipulate technological gadgets effectively. It also involves consideration of the required knowledge of and skills on how technologies should be operated and used by the lectures.

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