I must admit that my “Teacher Man” posts have been somewhat absent since the start of the new year. We’re now into Week 5 of a 6 week intensive, so it would be fair to say that the assessment end of the intensive is well and truly upon us, and in many ways my time is now taken up with either working on assessment pieces or procrastinating from assessment pieces. Have enjoyed my latest essay (though found the limitations of the word count deeply frustrating) around learning theory and applying that to our specific classroom contexts. I’ve definitely become a fan of developmental psychologist Jerome Bruner: but feel certain that I will have underwhelmingly attempted to fit the relevant parts of his work into my 150 word summation. Bah – what can you do?
One of the struggles at the moment has been in working through the idea of becoming a specialist IT teacher, and the inherent limitations held within that. IT feels like it’s not always taken seriously in schools, and while everything in me would love to flare up and spoil for a fight when that happens, I have depressingly found myself agreeing with those who would relegate IT to being a niche subject.
The frustration stems from the deeply held belief that the majority of content studied in IT classes (before VCE at least) is content that really ought to be embedded in the curriculum of other subjects. Why would you learn about word-processing outside of the subject dedicated to words, or perform calculations in spreadsheets outside of the context of being interested in what the calculations produce? In the long term, I cannot see any reason why Information Technology should be taught in secondary schools other than to specifically teach “Computer Science” type subject matter (programming, database design, etc.) Even the business focussed IT applications subject being offered at VCE level should probably be swallowed by subjects like Business Management and Accounting.
Now the realist in me says that teachers generally have nowhere near the skills to make the curriculum genuinely cater for the technological aspects of their subjects, and who knows if they ever will. It’s just a bit tough to get excited about working towards being a great IT teacher when I’m not certain that “IT Teaching” as a profession will see out another decade. Ah well, I guess I”ll just have to become an impressive generalist.