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BCS and CAS response to disapplication of ICT PoS

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by HappyHippy, Apr 16, 2012.

  1. For the benefit of all, but especially those who were asking about a CAS response to the curriculum changes for ICT, here it is. PDF
  2. A bunch of turkeys who voted for Christmas on our behalf.
    ICT teacher's heads along with the whole ICT curriculum is on the chopping block and they start writing letters that will just be ignored by those in power.
    And there is no extra Computing curriculum time in sight.
    Smart *** aren't necessarily that smart..
  3. Sad but probably true. Coupled with the academy disaster these are dark days for all but a few. I said everything else on the thread about the next gen response. https://community.tes.co.uk/forums/t/568340.aspx
  4. I applaud this well thought out response from CAS. I loved the description of how the ICT Diploma specification came into being, being widely consulted about and ending up a disaster. Hopefully, this will all come into being in September 2012. I, of course, will probably be heading for Goa at the time, having spent 3 or 4 months in Nepal. Roll on July. So looking forward to retirement from all this crud.
  5. scruffycat

    scruffycat New commenter

    CAS say yes, NAACE says No. General industry/bussiness says No. The media and technology industry says YES. What will the man from Del Monte say?
    and when do we find out?
  6. i4004

    i4004 New commenter

    Thank you for that enlightenment.
    Having been in this business since the late 1980s I have now seen the wheel turn most of the way around.
    Computing Science for all? I think not. Just as typing/word processing for all was never the right answer.
    1. What skills do pupils/the UK need?
    2. Do we have teachers who can teach those skills?
    3. What is it possible to fairly examine?
    and finally, and not of least significance,
    4. What is it possible for politicians/mandarins to understand about Computer Science / IT - given that they have not been educated in the field?
    It has been so easy for all sorts of nonsense to have been perpetrated in the name of ICT as it has only been a matter of hiding the lack of real substance with a cloak of obscurity. The only hard thing about most ICT specifications is understanding just what gets the marks. The KS3 NC statement were a classic case in point.
  7. "Computing Science for all? I think not. Just as typing/word processing for all was never the right answer."

    I disagree, to an extent. Should Computing eclipse ICT? No. Should Computing be compulsory at KS4? No. Should every student have the opportunity to be exposed to Computing at KS1-3? Yes. Should every student have the option of studying computing at KS4? Yes. Get me to that position and I'll be happy.

    "1. What skills do pupils/the UK need?"

    A bigger question than I can answer here, but see above re: opportunities for exposure and the ability to study before university.

    "2. Do we have teachers who can teach those skills?"

    Some, but not enough. frankly, though, anyone who is trying to argue that we should or shouldn't teach any subject purely based on how many teachers there are for that subject is a tail wagging the dog.

    "3. What is it possible to fairly examine?"

    I think the current OCR spec does a pretty good job. Not perfect, but not bad. I'm a fan of online exams (6953 and Comp1 at KS5 for example), but again - focus on what you want students to learn more than how you want to assess it.

    "4. What is it possible for politicians/mandarins to understand about Computer Science / IT - given that they have not been educated in the field?"

    That is a fair question, and my SLT are a willing audience, but not one that really understands the difference by their own admission. I think this is why I was so disappointed by Gove's speech. He's clearly people saying what I think are the right things in his ears, but he's also clearly not quite 'got it'. I won't apologise for trying though, turkey or otherwise ;-)
  8. i4004

    i4004 New commenter

    With you on that - I was questioning the 'throw out ICT and put in CS approach' rather than not giving everyone the exposure to CS - which is what I have always done, Gove/CAS or not.
    The issue is what is the maximum percentage of the 'normal' population that are going, with every help and encouragement, to be software engineers? Perhaps 2% or less? What does any one else find? (I did once have the pleasure of a year 8 asking to borrow a BBC B so that he could test the 6502 OS he had just written. Not much later he ported Linux to ARM; nothing to do with anything he learned in school!).
    The problem has been that ICT has so dropped anything more involved than a Sum() function that those with engineering brains were not being encouraged to think that there was anything in the subject to interest them.
    However, is there a real danger that the ICT baby will go out with the bathwater? Will we stop teaching spreadsheets, word processing, multimedia etc to all in favour of CS to a minority?
    (Maybe Maths needs a look. Massive chunk of curriculum time/cash devoted to pushing kids through exams that have been diluted so that they can pass but which have little relevance to what most of them need. (Why were key skills invented?) Yes, the engineers etc. need all that mathematics but there is as much virtue in it as teaching them Latin for most of the rest of the population - it is just a hurdle to jump/a way of proving some are academic, some are not (I have to admit that I haven't looked at a Maths spec recently so may get shot for this!))
    Perhaps the ICT problem lies in the way in which the vocational typing stuff got swept up with the geeky programming and then given to the English teacher. Then it all had to be extruded through the assessment hole at the other end - and what did we get?
  9. I won't respond line by line again, but it does worry me that people see CAS in a totally different form to the way that I see it. CAS isn't a 'they', it's an us. There's no limits on membership and it's very much grass roots.

    I also worry that people see CAS as a 'CS instead of ICT' group - and while I won't pretend it's unanimous, the majority of members that I speak to are totally in agreement with the two of us about ICT/Computing.

    And finally - your comment about 2% becoming engineers - what % become historians, composers, etc? What % of the population would actually benefit from knowing how a hard drive actually works, how to do a bit of scripting, coding HTML, computational thinking/problem solving? More than 2% I'd hope :)
  10. scruffycat

    scruffycat New commenter

    There is a place for both computer science and ICT in the curriuclum. The problem is where is the time going to come from?
    A XC model of delivering ICT attainment has never worked. Delivering ICT and computer science will struggle if it is not prpoerly funded. The problem is all the bodies are stating their own case and it is a more joined up approach that is required. Freeing up the space does not provide the direction that is required to make it work.
    Most of our IT resources in terms of laptops and suite time are now soaked up by controlled testing and there is little if any proper XC work going on anymore. Just tick boxes and delivery by poorly trained non specialist teachers that are not totally comfortable with IT use in their own subject areas. We have been banging on for years that it is death by pwerpoint (badly). things have not changed in 10 years. Purely because there is no funding (to create time) to train teachers to the required level in softare application.
    I agree with HH that we need to stop being "us" or "them" and more we. and we need higher status increased contact time beyond 1 poor continuity lesson per week for any of it to make a difference.
  11. I notice a more conciliatory tone in posts from ICT bashers.
    Perhaps the reality of what they have helped to enable - the short-medium term removal of ALL ICT and CS from schools is beginning to dawn.
    Divide and conquer has always been a good policy for anyone trying to destroy things; this has worked here.
    The naivety of CS advocates in thinking that the Government really gave/gives a toss about coding, CS etc etc has been something to behold.
    But they have been very helpful to the Government; shame they will get nothing in return.
  12. i4004

    i4004 New commenter

    Yes, there is a big 'Who are we?' question in all of this.
    Is this Art or Engineering? The XC model/anyone/everyone can teach ICT, pushed the swingometer right over into Art - as it couldn't work otherwise.
    Is the BCS now the professional body in education? I gave up with that after ACITT/NAACE.
    I am not too sure about retraining ICT teachers to become CS teachers/teach programming etc - most do not appear to be able to handle control concepts etc. But perhaps that has changed? You need to have an analytical/engineering mind in order to do this stuff - and that isn't everyone. Okay, ICT teachers should, perhaps, have that skill set/aspiration but how much is that the case?
    What I am saying is that throwing training cash at the problem may not be very effective.
    However, it is good news for those ICT teachers who are fully competent across the spectrum - the demand may well go up.
  13. tonyuk

    tonyuk Occasional commenter

    Personally I will see it when it happens - as with everything this government does it get headlines and then they will walk away. I suspect Gove will make no more speeches on ICT (maybe until next years BETT when he can get more headlines) and he has moved onto a new toy to play with. We, I suspect, are getting hot under the collar over very little!
  14. scruffycat

    scruffycat New commenter

    When now that consultation is over do we find out the state of play. Soon ,very soon there will be no time to change anything at all and another damp squib of an announcement bites the dust.
  15. Someone posed the idea that coding is the new Latin. I don’t know if that is true, I do know that making learning about such a root of modern language (which then allows deeper understanding across a range of other fields) exclusively available to "clever" pupils (clever by the results of standardised testing) is/was not my idea of good education.

    As for the "only study it if you are going to do it as a profession" attitude, it's foolish for the reasons HH has already pointed out. Additionally perhaps understanding deductive logic and the principles of Computational thinking (which clearly unites mathematical reasoning with language(s)) might actually aid comprehension and understanding elsewhere. So perhaps coding is the new Latin and perhaps the new Latin shouldn't be locked up in the dusty parts of elite schools but available to those who want to become the actually clever students of the future.


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