As stated in Chapter 1, the principal contextual question of interest in SITES 2006 concerned the system factors associated with different pedagogical approaches and ICT-use within the respective participating education systems. This chapter therefore focuses on the education systems that participated in SITES 2006 and their attributes. The contexts of each of the 22 education systems are characterized in order to aid interpretation of the findings reported in later chapters in general and to evaluate the extent to which system characteristics help us understand trends in school ICT-policy and in teaching pedagogy in particular.
The chapter utilizes a conceptual structure that divides the systemlevel contextual questions and variables considered in this chapter into four clusters or spheres: demographics, education system, pedagogical trends, and ICT-related policies (see Figure 3.1 and refer also to Section 2.2 in Chapter 2). Each of these spheres is discussed below. The data for these spheres derive primarily from the national context questionnaire (NCQ) (answered by the SITES national research coordinator [NRC] for each country or education system). However, we also used several demographic and technology indicators from the Human Development Report 2006 (United Nations Development Program, 2006).
KeywordsProfessional Development Education System Slovak Republic Teacher Preparation National Context
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