Title page for ETD etd-06012011-105337

Document Type Doctoral Thesis
Author Vandeyar, Thirusellvan
URN etd-06012011-105337
Document Title The appropriation of education policy on information and communication technology in South African schools
Degree PhD
Department Science, Mathematics and Technology Education
Advisor Name Title
Dr J Fresen Co-Supervisor
Prof L Ebersohn Supervisor
  • teacher professionalism
  • policy implementation
  • e-education
  • information and communication technology
  • appropriation
  • communities of practice
Date 2011-04-12
Availability unrestricted
The purpose of this study is to explore how education policy on information and communication technology (ICT) influences teaching and learning in South African schools. An instrumental case study applying backward mapping principles as a strategy of inquiry was used. Utilizing a social constructivist lens and guided by a theoretical framework of a socio-cultural approach to policy analysis, this exploratory qualitative research study set out to investigate how teachers in South African schools appropriate education policy on ICT. The case study included three schools from diverse socio-cultural settings, with two participating teachers at each of the identified research sites. The principal at each school and e-learning specialists (officials) at the District and Provincial Departments of Education constituted additional data sources. Data collection methods included interviews, classroom observations, field notes and document analysis. Constructivist grounded theory methods and computer assisted qualitative data analysis software (CAQDAS)were employed in the analysis of data.

It was found that, teachers’ professionalism and agency are crucial in formulating and implementing a school-based e-education policy in practice. The national e-education policy currently exists as an “invisible policy” within the school context. Secondly, teachers reposition themselves as social and cultural actors of school-based policy appropriation and formulation rather than as recipients of, or reactors to the national e-Education policy. Thirdly, the lack of systemic support to teachers acted as the catalyst for the emergence of communities of practice between schools. The notion of “our” system as opposed to an imposed system prevails. Fourthly, teachers’ ignorance of the national e-Education policy indicates the need for policy development and implementation at school level and denotes a new construct to policy appropriation. I theorise that teachers’ beliefs, attitudes, professionalism and will to improve teaching and learning through the use of ICT are integral and necessary conditions for effective policy implementation.

© 2010 University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Vandeyar, T 2010, The appropriation of education policy on information and communication technology in South African schools, PhD thesis, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-06012011-105337/ >


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