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South African Journal of Education

Print version ISSN 0256-0100

Abstract

LAUTENBACH, Geoffrey. Learning to be researchers in an e-maturity survey of Gauteng schools. S. Afr. j. educ. [online]. 2011, vol.31, n.1, pp. 44-54. ISSN 0256-0100.

I report on postgraduate students conducting survey research on information and communications technology (ICTs) in South African schools, focusing on the notion of e-maturity. The dual emphasis of the paper is on students' collaborative experience of the authentic research process including their experience of e-maturity within the target schools and leads to a discussion in two parts around notions of novice student research and e-maturity. Fifty students, most of them practising teachers, participated collaboratively in the design and implementation of the survey. Discussion in this paper is based on the qualitative analysis of 50 research reports submitted on completion of the survey field work. I analysed the reports inductively for their content using simple in vivo coding techniques and structured quotations into flowing narratives to illuminate both issues. Findings show that the participatory and collaborative nature of the research process contributed markedly to the composition quality of student research reports. Student understanding of the research process through meaningful engagement in authentic field work has also greatly improved their insights into ICTs in education and the current e-maturity of participating schools.

Keywords : authentic task; e-maturity; fieldwork; ICT; postgraduate; survey research.

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