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ICT teachers 'keen' for new curriculum changes

08/06/2012 Joanna
When Michael Gove announced that he was abandoning the ICT curriculum in favour of a more rigorous, computer science-oriented approach it was met with mixed opinions.

Industry experts from the likes of Facebook and the BCS said it was an essential move to prepare the next generation of programmers and computer scientists, while traditionalists were worried that it was yet more change for change's sake.

However, it appears that the move may have a significant amount of support from people who are actually in the ICT teaching jobs who will help implement the changes.

In recent years, ICT teaching has become rooted in Microsoft software and desktop publishing, far removed from the programming and computer science degrees that many teachers studied at university.

At Swallow Hill Community College, a secondary school in Leeds, teachers cannot wait to begin teaching a more diverse range of programming-based topics.

Speaking to, the school's assistant principal Bryan Pearce revealed his sympathy for ICT teachers who were dissatisfied with their jobs under the old curriculum.

"They come into schools to teach that, but end up having to teach the things that the curriculum stipulates," he said. "So they end up teaching desktop publishing, word processing, and that kind of thing."

Under the new curriculum, however, a focus on computer technology and science could see many teachers employing the much talked-about £22 Raspberry Pi device to carry out lessons in basic programming – and teachers at Swallow Hill are eager to get started.

"All of our staff are really keen to get started with the kind of programming Raspberry Pi can offer," Mr Pearce added.

His views are echoed by the school's lead practitioner for IT, Arianna McCann, who thinks that the move to computer science will be of benefit regardless of the fact that the subject will not be compulsory.

"It'll teach children a lot more in terms of programming, and give them a better insight into the outside world, so it can only be a good thing to make lessons more computer science-based," she told the news provider.

Posted by Harriet McGowanADNFCR-2164-ID-801380558-ADNFCR
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