Earlier today I tweeted the following
"‘the problem of getting teachers aware of IT will soon be phased out as all new entrants will soon have IT expertise" - (Baker, 1988)—
David Jones (@djplaner) January 02, 2013
It resonated with a few people so I thought I’d share the reference and ramble a bit about the local implications.
The broader context of the quote from Barton and Haydn (2006, p. 258) is
Kenneth Baker (1988) saw the development of a technologically enabled teaching force as straightforward, explaining to a conference of Education Ofﬁcers in 1988 that from henceforth, such skills would be built into initial training courses: ‘the problem of getting teachers aware of IT will soon be phased out as all new entrants will soon have IT expertise’
It appears that Kenneth Baker is in fact Baron Baker of Dorking a British Conservative MP who was the Secretary of State for Education and Science from 1986 to 1988. Obviously Baron Baker’s prognostications were a little wayward.
Especially given the Australian Government’s funding last year of the Teaching Teachers for the Future project with the aim of
enabling all pre-service teachers at early, middle and senior levels to become proficient in the use of ICT in education
. Not to mention the fact that I’m currently largely employed to teach a course that is meant to help achieve the same end.
The difference between IT and ICT in education
Though, without knowing exactly the broader context of Baron Baker’s talk it’s easy to draw to broad a conclusion and make a false comparison. @BenjaminHarwood responded to my original tweet with
I wonder if Baron Baker was using IT to mean the ability to turn a computer on and other fundamental skills. 1988 saw Windows 2.10 released in May. So most people we’re still using MS-DOS. The TTF project is focused on the broader “ICT in education”. i.e. @BenjaminHarwood’s “pedagogical integration expertise”.
Will it ever go away
I have to admit to making a claim somewhat similar to Baron Baker’s over the last year. Generally wondering how much longer I’ll be employed to teach “ICT and Pedagogy” as a stand alone course. The though is that we don’t teach “Video and pedagogy” or “Written word and pedagogy” courses, so why are ICTs any different? Won’t the need for a separate course disappear once all the other courses are doing a wonderful job of integrating innovative examples of ICTs and pedagogy?
@palbion had a suggestion, which I think is one of the factors
The on-going change of ICTs does appear to have created some illusion of having to continually re-learn. Even though perhaps some of the fundamentals have stayed the same. But perhaps a large part of that is simply because much use of ICTs and pedagogy has never gotten beyond the substitution/augmentation level as per the SAMR model.
While there are many reasons for this lack of movement “up the scale”, much of it would seem to come back to the formal education system and the nature of the organisations that underpin it. A nature that does not really enable nor encourage transformation of operation. Especially not transformation driven by the teaching staff. An inertia that is playing its part within both school systems and institutions of higher education responsible for teaching the next generation of teachers.
@s_palm pointed to the broader “digital native” myth
So maybe the need will never go away, or perhaps at least not until I reach retirement age or decide to move onto greener pastures.
Barton, R., & Haydn, T. (2006). Trainee teachers’ views on what helps them to use information and communication technology effectively in their subject teaching. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 22(4), 257–272. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2729.2006.00175.x