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NCR - ICT, DT and citizenship lack "disciplinary coherence"

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by Vimes, Dec 19, 2011.

  1. Fromthe national curriculum review update (report by the "expert panel")
    "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......
    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 considered."
    This is not definitive.....but this is the plan for 2014.
  2. Captain Obvious

    Captain Obvious New commenter

    Well, that's all rather woolly. Nothing like vague language, "not entirely persuaded" and "recommend that this proposition is properly considered" seem to be just ****-covering.
    It almost negates the point of the update in the first place!
  3. wiv7

    wiv7 New commenter

    An interesting
    read. ICT moving (possibly) from the Foundation National Curriculum to the
    Basic Curriculum. Is it that devastating for us ICT teachers? Surely a less
    prescribed KS3 would allow greater flexibility and creativity in what we do?
    My concern is the 'permeates all NC subjects'.
  4. Captain Obvious

    Captain Obvious New commenter

    I think that ICT is compulsory gives us hope...of a sort.
    It will be, of course, a license for some schools to kick discrete ICT into the long grass, but it wouldn't surprise me that ofsted become very hot on ensuring that other subjects are teaching the required skills/curriculum/whatever we're calling it to a decent standard.
    Schools with a strong ICT department are likely to maintain it, those with smaller or less effective departments or with optional KS4 provision could be the ones heading for the chopping block.
    If computing is being championed (and gets accepted), chances are we're going to get the half-way house I've come to expect from these reviews...
  5. Good grief, Charlie Brown. This is what time does. It is now a little over a decade since most ICT in schools was of the cross-curricula ICT "co-ordinator" variety. So, that means most people have forgotten why integrating ICT into other subjects as a way of teaching ICT skills just doesn't work. Certainly, more teachers now have ICT skills but the vast majority are still at the Word and PowerPoint stage, if that. Trying to get pupils using skills above that and then coordinating it all, and assessing it, is a waste of time. It doesn't work.
    A KS3 program that was similar to OCR Nationals in the sense that it should be made up of a block of units, from which schools choose, to give pupils a broad range of skills is a good idea.
    In KS4, ICT is in a dire mess. It needs to be ditched in its current form and replaced with Computing Science on the one hand and then a Functional Skills type course on the other. This will mean that some pupils who are into Computing can develop their skills whilst there is also a chance for pupils to keep, useful ICT practical skills up-to-date without controlled assessments messing everything up and without screen-dumping for Wales (or England) just to provide evidence.
  6. Well I'm sure this will invoke much debate (replicated across numerous threads past, present and future).

    So , there will be much less demand for ICT teachers.

    Shame more of us weren't behind the computing argument. I'd back most of the ICT teachers I've met to stand some chance of delivering computing. As oppose to not much chance of still being in work with just ICT to hang on to.
  7. robot1

    robot1 New commenter

    The aim of the review is to trim down the national curriculum down.? So I am not surprised that a number of subjects (including ICT) will go from the national curriculum.? I do not think however that they will simply disappear from the curriculum. Schools will still offer DT and many will realise that cross-curricular ICT is simply not workable. In my school and in many schools I know of there simply isn’t the desire to delete ICT from the curriculum.
    The computing debate is not founded in reality in my opinion. I know through experience that computing will only ever be a small niche subject. I too wish it hadn’t disappeared completely but it has no mass appeal whatsoever. I know of two colleges locally (East London) that have dropped A Level computing altogether as they could not find enough students capable of passing.
    I think that ICT will stay in schools where it is currently in good shape. Aspects of computing and programming will creep into ICT which is no bad thing. Some schools may see some cost saving in removing ICT and getting rid of the teachers. Then a few years down the line they will find out the reality is that pupils didn’t know as much as they thought and really need some ICT teaching. Other departments could not realistically teach ICT at all.
  8. Captain Obvious

    Captain Obvious New commenter

    That has always been my view. In the long term, we're likely to see ICT remain on the curriculum even if for the next few years it suffers in some schools. In some respects, it may be a good thing to see it take a break so schools can see what they want to teach or bring in fresh ideas (stuff beyond MS Office, for a start).
    I think the main thing we need to do is at least show kids some of the construction/design side. Some of the best work I've ever seen/taught involves stuff that is interactive rather than passive. As long as we keep (or introduce) something like that to get the 1% who are interested in computing fired up about it so they can take it further later on, I'd say that would be enough in the current climate.
  9. ICT is certainly going to disappear as we know it. Anyone who thinks otherwise is totally fooling themselves.
    That may be despair for some, but its not a disaster for most. Think positive and about the role ICT in school, and get strategic about ensuring it has a place in future. A good department with exciting things going on will be safe; poor ICT departments will be axed by head/leadership using the 'chopping block of curriculum reform'.
    Oh, in my mind, don't listen to the crazy fools who go on about 'computing computing computing'. Its a niche for a specific type of student at key stage 4. The big picture is about forging digital literacy in secondary students (through ICT), and having a computing in its proper place as a very valid and much needed GCSE choice in KS4.
  10. What piffle.
    ICT skills - those boring Office ones are what business wants.
    And business also has a seemingly inexhaustible supply of Indian programmers to do their Computing and they'll do it for half as much as the indigenous population.
    Heads don't want CS and teachers don't want it - the fear of unruly kids rioting at the sheer tedium of it sees to that.
    So why is it 'much needed'?
  11. NotJohnBrown, you didn't read my post (typical you really); I said that CS is a valid and much needed GCSE for a tiny minority that its suitable for. It is very much a niche. I've argued on other posts that Computing/Computer Science to the wider curriculum is a complete and utter nonsense.
    So what you curriculum are you peddling to back Britain? Legions of students with OCR Nationals under their belts? That will get them worried in Bombay.
    As for teachers not wanting CS - what a load of piffle. Where do you get that view? What source are you using?
    So come on john brown/mymouse... whats your answer to the future of ICT and Computer Science in secondary schools? Please share the wisdom and intelligence that we've grown to appreciate.
  12. If the full recommendations are realized it will mean a massive increase in compulsory "subjects" at KS 4. The "experts" recognize this and suggest that some of the subjects might need to be delivered as non-examined subjects possibly taught "out of hours" ! :) ...... good luck with that!!
    The Ebacc will dominate the school offer and the possibility of "discrete" ICT at either KS 3 or KS 4 looks very unlikely. It is difficult to see where anything other than the compulsory subjects could be fitted in.
    The "dream" of some of compulsory "computing" has been washed down the plug hole with ICT. It is hard to imagine any school offering KS4 "computing" with nothing other than "typing up your English essay with MS Word" and "Doing a PowerPoint on Henry VIII in History" as a foundation at KS3.

    This is a little more serious than another little bit of tinkering.
  13. I agree, this is wholesale change, with recommendations for a 2 year KS3, suggestions that using levels to measure progress should go etc, but we must remember that these are just recommendations, for now that is.
    This however, could be an opportunity to make ICT skills more relevant to students' learning, if schools choose to take a professional approach to it, e.g. using an ICT specialist to plan units of work with colleagues from other subjects, and to deliver and assess the skills needed. Sure, it would require a different way of working, but it is possible.

  14. Keep it up!! I love an optimist!! :)
    The "recommendations" are so "off the wall" because the "powers that be" at DFE have told the "expert team" what an "acceptable" set of recommendations would look like.
    The outcome is a toxic mix of rational people trying to marry overwhelming evidence from informed stakeholders with a set of cast iron prejudices which must shape "the final solution".
    The outcome is predictably an uncosted and unworkable "push-me-pull-you" curriculum which risks isolating the UK as one of the few world and European economies which see technology as an inconvenience which can be ignored.
    I don't think ICT and computing teachers need to fear for their jobs. Just be prepared to emigrate to more enlightened countries which are advertising in the TES for your services!
  15. I think you will find most (maybe all) of the overseas jobs for ICT teachers are at foreign schools teaching the UK curriculum; these jobs will go if ICT goes in the UK. You can teach CS in the USA, but you will need to know Java. You could also teach the IT aspect of the IB (which I believe is harder than computing A-level).

  16. Certainly many of those in the TES are "ex pat" schools but ICT related education in booming in Africa, China, India and South America. For obvious reasons.
  17. I don't think many schools in Africa, China and India have
    significant numbers of computers. I think most computing
    education in India etc. is in higher education and by our standards teaching salaries
    are extremely low. I've taught in eastern Europe and not seen
    computers in classrooms (I was teaching English). I know
    Spanish and German schools have computers but no where near as many
    computers as UK schools (at least this is the case with our exchange

    I think the UK will remain the best bet for ICT teachers for some
    time to come, particularly if you have good technical skills. And of
    course there are jobs in related industries, so no need to panic!

  18. I don't understand why everybody is talking about the end of ICT because of a report and set of "recommendations"! First thing is that the government are yet to announce and further investigate the recommendations that have been outlined. Secondly, has anybody web bothered to read the Call for evidence document that has been released which suggests that parents on the whole see ICT AS A VERY important subject! And finally, the biggest point to note is this: "However, by the time the revised national curriculum is in place in 2014, it will almost certainly only be compulsory for a minority of secondary schools, as academies have the right to "disapply" the curriculum." academies don't have to wait until 2014 to drop ICT or any other subject, if they wanted to they could do it now. But are they? No they are not. Oh and something else too, universities are asking students for GCSE ICT qualifications as a pre requisite for acceptance to alot of courses!!!!!!!
  19. Working with Chinese colleagues I suspect we need to move beyond the rather outdated views of these countries. Certainly there is a huge problem with rural poverty but there is also a huge dynamism and increasingly the resources to back this up.
  20. ......and no .... Africa is not a country but you take my point :)

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