"Grainge, Derek" <DGG(a)wellington-college.berks.sch.uk> wrote:
Sadly, programming isn't on the agenda in any
part of the national
curriculum in UK school - unless you do A-level Computing as opposed
to ICT - which means Computing is therefore the preserve of geekdom in
There is a little in the KS3 Strategy sample teaching units 7.6, 8.5 and
the year 9 case studies.
National Curriculum and GCSE ICT make me sad in many
former is largely tick-list mentality (can he do bold, can he do
Absolutely not! Many teachers fall back on this because to nteach and
assess capability is harder and needs someone who themselves is capable.
But the drive is NOT to tick off skills. As a Key Stage 3 Consultant
for Hampshire LEA I can guarauntee you that schools that accept the ICT
support available will be coaching ICT staff away from skills tick lists
to a greater depth of knowledge and understanding. An example of this
can be seen in the push of really understanding the difference between
bitmap and vector graphics and the consequences for online learning.
Another is in the recent web technologies training that teaches the
advantages and disadvantages of using a text editor, word processor and
HTML editor for making web pages.
and the latter purports to create mini software
15 year olds doing system analysis - get real.
They have to start somewhere in learning the vocabularly and process
even if they don't have the K+U or maturity to really attempt this.
Mind you there are the odd few who would suprise you I think and its
about time we taught to a higher level and supported the weaker pupils
rather than teaching to the weaker and (perhaps) provide extension for
the able and talented. At a school I work at (I'm part time a KS3
consultant) the able and talented do get some programming ableit visual
basic via IBM engineers coming in and doing the teaching.
Tests like CLAIT and
ECDL don't provide any guarantees that those who pass them can use IT
I agree but no qualifications or lessons in ICT guarantees even less.
There are still schools where a 14 year old may have only had the
equivalent of 1 hr every 3 weeks of ICT teaching by non-specialists in
So how do you teach IT? :
We should not forget its ICT the communication aspect is vital IMHO.
set pupils tasks which require them to use
various features found in certain packages. It would be nice if
everyone could self-learn applications but that would apply to only a
proportion of pupils in any school. Provide support for the
self-learners and teaching for those who can't get their heads round
it. Assess the quality of the work done: it is 'fit for purpose'?
But you're missing out the vital bit. We are pushing that you cannot
just assess the quality of the work done but MUST assess the process
pupils have gone through.
Knowing which button to press to produce bullets is
So you could theoretically assess ICT via a theory exam only?
Q1. Describe the process you would go through to ....
How do you teach programming? Most schools don't. But it's easy to
pick up bad habits and it's very important that students who do decide
to learn by themselves get guidance. I know I give it wherever
possible. Do all schools have someone with the ability to teach C++
or VB or Java? I doubt it. Teaching programming is like teaching
Latin or Maths - you are teaching a methodology and the need for
rigour, attention to detail.
Rigour and attention to detail should be in any subject teacher's
IT companies will snap up Classics
graduates because they have the intellect and approach needed to do
programming. Previous experience not necessary. You can do the Times
Can this be taught or is it a function of IQ?
Straight in. So by teaching programming are we
into the same 'skills' trap?
Surely it would help to develop interest in progamming to have it in
schools. When do girls get encouraged to be software engineers?
Unfortunately as soon as you write a syllabus it need to be seen to be
'rigorous' (ha!) and QCA get involved. Sorry if I offend anyone
connected with exam boards or the QCA - but I reckon that their
muddled thinking is doing real damage.
Yes I agree but ICT is a young subject in schools. The NC attempted to
write level descriptions that were future proofed. It was a reasonable
attempt but basically this is not easy.
And lets not forget that we need a range of teaching styles because
there is a range of learning styles out there. Not everyone will become
That feels better. I'll go and take a tablet.
Hope it worked. Do you have the skills to get the lid off ;-)
KS3 Strategy Consultant (ICT)
Hampshire Inspection and Advisory Service
But typing personally