ICT - Computing - Nothing? What do you think?
This thread is linked to the bliki entry of the same name (10-Dec-2012).
Do you think the DfE will put out a PoS for ICT (or Computing) that requires vast sums of professional development?
If not what do you think they will do instead?
I find it hard not to think that a great deal of DfE activity isn't particularly considered.
I wouldn't be at all surprised if the Department decided at this late stage to dramatically alter what has been constructed, or to offer the PoS as guidance only, or to drop ICT from the NC or to wholeheartedly endorse the whole thing and then offer no resource for CPD.
The great heat generated about ex-servicemen teaching for example has only resulted in around 120 entering teacher training schemes. Lots of noise in the system makes it very hard to read the signals..
I worry that you might be right Alex. Someone (who I guess I better not name) suggested to me the other day that Gove might come along to BETT next year and announce that in the light of the fantastic work that has been done by teachers this year, whilst the ICT PoS and ATs were disapplied, he has decided to drop ICT from the National Curriculum totally.
I think that is unlikely - but I could imagine a scenario where Gove says something along the lines of:
- Every one (including the BCS and RAEng according to Merlin John) have been advising me to adhere to the recommendations in the Royal Society Report on Computing in Schools
- I have been listening, and based on that advice I have decided that we will drop ICT from the National Curriculum and introduce Digital Literacy as a basic subject
- Schools will continue to be free to teach Computer Science as part of their greater curriculum freedom, and I expect to see a range of high quality qualifications for Computer Science at Key Stage 4 and 5 thanks to the fantastic work of the exam boards.
We would all be losers if that were to happen.
I have been asked how much CPD are we talking about? - and to be honest that is a pretty difficult question to answer.
I recon that there are over 200,000 full time primary school teachers in England, of whom most would need some input to help them with the new ICT PoS (if the 2nd draft was implemented). Once folk got over the fright of the terminology I think we would find that most primary school teachers already teach programming (using programmable toys such as Big Track, Pip or Roamer) and already cover most of the other aspects. The emphasis towards Computer Science is changed and many teachers would need CPD to support them in moving beyond programmable toys to using programming tools such as Scratch.
I have much less idea about the number of staff in secondary schools who would need CPD in order to be able to meet the new requirements - lets assume a couple of ICT teachers in each secondary school and roughtly 3,400 secondary schools - that makes 6,800 ICT specialists. I'd guess that 80% or more of those would need staff development in order to be able to effectively teach the more complex aspects of Computer Science within the draft ICT PoS.
Do you think my figures look about right?
My guess would be that close to 100% of secondary ICT teachers would need CPD in some aspects of the new PoS. There may well be many who can manage the coding elements, many that can teach the hardware stuff and many who understand the networking material. I'd be very surprised if there were any more than a handful who would be able to teach it all without help.