Thursday, 16 January 2014

Teacher CPD on Computing

We taught the first session of a six evening set of twilights at our centre on Tuesday 14th January to a group of 8 teachers from Doncaster and Sheffield. The session was lively and interesting with lots of ideas about the Computing Programme of Study and the challenges facing teachers.

One of the key issues was a lack of understanding in school leadership about the significance of the change that ICT teachers are facing. In September 2014 they will be faced with the prospect of teaching a different subject to the one they have taught for the last decade. This is unlike the changes to most other subjects where the change is about the content of the programme not the organising principles and ideas. It is a mistake to underestimate the nature of the challenge. As one delegate said - "I didn't become a teacher of ICT because I wanted to teach programming ... I'm hoping that this course will make me excited about the prospect of doing that."

I was pleased that the delegates were able to see how vague and open to interpretation the programme of study at KS3 really is. This was one of the aims of our session - to make it clear how much scope departments do have to construct a KS3 curriculum that fits with their students' aptitudes and interests. It is a very different approach to the old National Strategies philosophy which was to prescribe in detail what needed to be taught and how. Whilst we may not like every change of the last 4 years this move to give teachers greater professional judgement does have its merits.

These are a couple of things the attendees said in our post session survey: "The session provided a great platform for the rest of the course"
"The session was very informative and enjoyable, I feel future sessions will be equally useful and look forward to them."
If you want to attend a future instance of this course look at the dates scheduled here. If you'd like the course run in your location we can do that too - just email ajones (a) sheffieldclc dot net

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