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Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by BrianUK, Apr 6, 2012.
There is, as you would suspect, a conversation ongoing within CAS. Link
The consensus is that this document doesn't look good on the face of it, but there is some disparity between what is coming out of the DfE, Expert Group and so on. This document states the following:
"4.8 Despite their importance in balanced educational provision, we
are not entirely persuaded of claims that design and technology,
information and communication technology and citizenship have
sufficient disciplinary coherence to be stated as discrete and
separate National Curriculum ?subjects?. We recommend that:
Design and technology is reclassified as part of the Basic Curriculum.
We recommend that design and technology programmes should be developed
by schools in response to local needs and interests, which is why we
take the view that a reclassification to the Basic Curriculum is
Information and communication technology is reclassified as part of
the Basic Curriculum and requirements should be established so that it
permeates all National Curriculum subjects. We have also noted the
arguments, made by some respondents to the Call for Evidence, that
there should be more widespread teaching of computer science in
secondary schools. We recommend that this proposition is properly
Citizenship is of enormous importance in a contemporary and
future-oriented education. However, we are not persuaded that study of
the issues and topics included in citizenship education constitutes a
distinct ?subject? as such. We therefore recommend that it be
reclassified as part of the Basic Curriculum."
Precisely what this means in the long is not clear, and there's still a battle to be fought. I have no doubt that CAS will continue to be a part of that fight, but to quote a good friend and colleague of mine - "There is no them and us; there is only us".
Lets face it people, we are all just guessing here.
In few weeks we may well have a better idea of things to come.
(Do notice that the 'proposals' which were to be announced 'in April' will now appear "by the summer" - my guess would be first week of the summer holidays.)
Until then lets just wait and see
Maybe I'm being simplistic but this report suggesting ICT shouldn't be a discrete NC subject doesn't sound good for the future of the average ICT teacher. One of their stated aims is to slim down the NC and I note that Gove's ebacc subjects are all promoted. I just can't see how heads will look at this and say that it means ICT teachers can do what they like and continue to enjoy "core" curriculum time given that they will be measured by their success in other subjects and ICT won't count.
The above blog says ICT is proposed to be moved to a foundation subject, but the report actually says removing ICT as a discrete NC subject - the foundation subjects are "actual" discrete subjects in this proposal.
From core to "not a subject" in one fell swoop. Still, I did what I could (responded to the Call for Evidence, became active in CAS, pushed for computing in my school) and no amount of me saying the "experts" are wrong will matter a jot to DfE and Gove. Gove has shown how he selects his "evidence" to support his decisions.
If I was a head I'd be rubbing my hands with glee right now. I honestly can't see many of them retaining discrete curriculum time for ICT and DT beyond 2013. Think of the savings to be had in not replacing costly equipment and all that extra time that can be given to Maths and English.
This all seems so counterintuitive given that the industrial sector is crying out for people with a rigorous education in the STEM disciplines.
I agree, - if there is no programme of study, then that leaves the door open for schools ( read SLT) to interpret this as they wish.
I am a self-taught non specialist ICT teacher (degree in Business Studies) but have continued to be alarmed by a large number of my colleagues attitude towards ICT and the use of ICT within their curricula. I can foresee HTs seeing this as an opportunity to make ICT staff redundant, insist that parents pay for/ lease hardware and software (already happening in some parts) and providing ICT in a "cross curricular" fashion. Result: Great big cost savings for the school; Death by powerpoint for the kids. I think the DfE do not appreciate the apathy towards ICT by many in the teaching profession.
We have always taught HTML and used control software at our place as part of KS3 curriculum; I have extended it this year to include the use of scratch, Vba and looking at the internal workings of the computer as suggested by Naace et al but I fear that this may all be in vain. If you are running a business, then why would you pay out for a subject which has been de-valued and has high investment/ running costs? Although the principle sounds good, I think in practice the picture is not great.
Given the amount of time that PE, DT, Geography, History (...) all spend in IT rooms I can't see there being the kind of saving that some people might think.
I'd agree with your interpretation. If you read it along side the fact that 50% of Secondaries are becoming Academies and that within Academies they are already drooping DT and ICT, then it looks very grim. I used to teach BS as well and it died a death when it was not a formal part of the National Curriculum. It's never recovered. It seems unbelievable that in 2012 we are facing a curriculum which denigrates vocational subjects and has no ICT, Enterprise or D&T in it.
I'm still flabbergasted. If Gove and his friends at the Russell Group are concerned about academic rigour then by all means make subjects more academically rigorous, but surely throwing relevant subjects out in favour of ebacc "old school" makes no sense. It throws up the whole question of "why do kids go to school?"
If you get good numbers of students and good results then HTs won't be sacking you. IT will be in the same position as Business Studies etc..
I agree that this looks to be the future of ICT/Computing. I'm sure students will still opt to take GCSE and A Level ICT courses just as they do with Business Studies. However if a school has a six form entry and ICT is currently taught for one lesson a week through Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4, this is still thirty lessons a week that can be taken off the timetable. That easily equates to a single teacher.
And in my experience, the more members of staff that use a computer room, the more damage is done to the equipment . I loathe when PE GCSE classes come into my classroom...
I reckon I must be missing something here - isn't this a fairly explicit statement that ICT is going to go x-c?
Hardly a surprise, is it?
Very true - I walked in on them actually playing hockey in my room once! Rooms very easily get trashed but other subjects. I suppose that leads to even more expense!
Just to bring the topic back on track for a moment. I've just seen this conference hosted by Capita, in June.
The last item on the list of "Benefits of Attending" reads
The conference is due to be attended by representatives from the DfE and Ofqual.
I'll stop typing now as the sound of nails being banged into a coffin is proving to be somewhat distracting.
Where does the teaching of Business Studies and Economics "fit in" to the curriculum? I can't see them mentioned at all in the DfE stuff I have seen so far on the new curriculum. Sorry if this sounds like a dumb question
I think what Vimes is implying is that we will live and die by our outcomes in terms of results. If the school can justify X-curric ICT (which we know is silly) then a head teacher has the ability to cull ICT completely from KS3 and 4 if that department is poor. If you do a good job then you have nothing to fear, which on a personal note I think is a good thing. If as a teacher you can't make our subject interesting and inspiring with the tools we have at our disposal then perhaps this is not the right game for you to be in....
That depends on the situation you find yourself in.
For myself, I justify my existence by delivering the best results in the school by some margin which results for myself and others in the department in constant exhaustion and a much duller syllabus than the kids would otherwise get.
Frankly, I find most teachers are idle, irresponsible and useless *** who wouldn't know what a days work was and I couldn't begin to number those in the key departments such as Maths and English who fit that description. And our Head knows that.
Despite the above, the Head would get rid of us tomorrow if he could and we've just made it a little difficult for him at the moment. ICT is just something he doesn't feel comfortable with. But he will come looking for us when the exhaustion wears us down.
Decisions aren't always made on rational grounds.