Not Just a Teacher

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Not Just a Teacher

Put the brakes on

October 13th, 2011 · 12 Comments · General

11Nov09 ~ Brakes

Brakes by g_kat26

I want to suggest that perhaps we should all be applying a little pressure to the brakes as regards the current Computing tide sweeping the English curriculum at secondary level. This may seem like a surprising message given that in my school we have launched Computing A Level this year as blogged about here

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12 Comments so far ↓

  • Zoe Ross

    Absolutely! As I’ve said in many places before, Conputing/Programming is great but not for everyone and the creative/design aspects of IT are very important too and often neglected. A really creative, challenging & varied curriculum that draws on the many different elements of technology is be both highly engaging and useful…teachers can do it at KS3, however exam boards need to come on board at KS4 & 5.

    • largerama

      Thanks for the support Zoe. But am I right in my unnerving feelings that these comments will be ignored in a tidal wave of movement towards Computing? I don’t hear many people or see many insightful reports on the call for teaching of IT creation/design.

      • Zoe Ros

        Perhaps that is just in the social media circles in which we (sometimes) move? Pete Bell did allude to it in the blog post you refer to and I do think that most schools/teachers and departments are just too busy getting on with the job of teaching and getting students through exams to really consider the ‘future’ of the subject. Which of course makes it even more important that policy makers have a rounded, realistic yet forward-thinking view. As we know, this is not always the case!

        • largerama

          Yep, ultimately it is those policy makers and the major players I guess I am calling out to in most respects with this

  • Mark Clarkson

    An interesting read Nick.

    I would personally counter pretty much everything you’ve said – but equally I find myself advocating ICT and ‘soft skills’ to some who would write off the whole subject as a dead loss.

    I don’t want the digital literacy / IT for Users type skills to go, but there needs to be something more rigorous and underlying taught as well. I’m really getting hooked on an analogy of teaching students how to use a calculator in Maths versus teaching them how arithmetic works.

    A much (much!) longer response is at http://ishouldbemarking.wordpress.com/2011/10/14/some-thoughts-on-it-ict-and-computing/ – happy reading!

    • largerama

      And as you know Alan I am right behind the movement. I just think the message needs to be clear about what we are actually wanting here.

  • Neil

    I don’t really see a tidal wave coming at us in favour of computing, just some fairly vociferous individuals. I am not worried about that either – as I understand politics, you rarely get everything you ask for, so it’s better to “overask” than to lack ambition.

    To my mind the problem is not GCSE but KS3. I’m fairly sure you’ve seen this nick, but for those that haven’t:
    The problem with Key Stage 3 http://www.beaconict.co.uk/blog/the-problem-with-key-stage-3/

    • largerama

      Thanks for the comments Neil and I have read your blog post. This is right for many schools’ offering of ICT at KS3 but certainly not mine or the other advocates of #ictcurric given by what they have shared on http://moodle.ictcurric.org.uk/ However, I am aware that unfortunately we are the minority.

      I have to disagree though, in that I see not so much a tidal wave but call to bring credibility to ICT through Computing and although I agree it will, my message is that there are other elements with equal cred. It is that balance, that recognition of the ‘strands’ that make up the subject that needs to be championed.

  • Tom Day

    An interesting read. I am in one of the schools looking at introducing a computing GCSE and A level starting next summer. Not replacing ICT but as an addition to. This is because we have had a number of students at both levels wanting to do a Computing course.

    I am looking forward to the teaching of it, as when at Uni and school (a fwe years ago now) really enjoyed the computing aspect. I know there will be a lot to learn but am looking forward to the challenge of it if they go ahead.

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