Pedagogy. It’s just a wanky term to describe the theory and practice of teaching.
You might say I sound a bit like Marc Fennell thanks to me making a statement like this, and to be fair, I’d agree. In fact, if you are reading this Triple J crew, I have both radio and written experience, can I have a job? Anyway….
This blog is meant to focus on two theorists, the first being the study of one guy who’s name is Peg Ertmer (bet he didn’t get teased at school with a name like that) whereby I’ll be looking at his philosophy: Teacher Pedagogical Beliefs and Classroom Technology Use: A Critical Link. The second work I’ll be referring to is Mark Brown’s The Growth of Enterprise Pedagogy which will probably put you to sleep just like it did to me.
If you’ve read my previous blogs, you will have seen me mention the fact that the government recently decided to throw as much money towards school and whatever the school could catch, they kept. As always, there are schools who have deeper pockets than others and were also to catch more money – *cough* Private and Independent schools for examples.
Where did the money go? Technology.
It seems that every school went absolutely bananas in spending millions of dollars on laptops or iPads for the students, IWBs (Interactive WhiteBoards) in classrooms and installing wifi hotspots in every nook and cranny in the school. Although I have many, many issues with the way the money was spent, the main issue I have is that with the money going towards the
technology, is there anything left to train the staff and students in using these new toys?
Dr. Brown’s paper focuses on this issues, suggesting that perhaps schools and departments are focusing far too heavily on how to use ICT in the classroom, that they are moving away from the ability to teach the content necessary for the students to receive academic greatness.
I have to say I agree. In my last blog, ICT as a Cognitive Tool, I provided a WebQuest I’ve made before. The quest itself should take 3-4 lessons with one of those explaining the task itself in detail. The timeframe I spend creating the quest and the task out weigh that of the activity itself. Therefore I have to ask myself, was it worth it? No, I don’t think so.
Ertmer suggests that what we are missing out on most here is the relationship between “pedagogical beliefs and technology practices”. Apparently there is even training ‘readily’ available in assisting teachers/educators in strengthening this link. Personally I’ve never seen or heard of this happening, although I do work for a CEO school in a low socio-economic demographic. For the sake of a four word rant, all I’ll say here is THE FUNDING IS HORRIBLE.
Acting as something of a voice for the school I work at, I’m simply saying I’d rather spend the money on redeveloping the ‘Learning Support’ department of the school where the equipment is in the same condition as it was when I was at school. This concept of moving forward in time and with technology seems to have missed us. I don’t think we really need to worry so much about the theory of teaching, rather we need to worry more about who is readily available to help us with our teaching.
Anyway, thats a blog for another day.
Should ICT become the focus of our classrooms? Gosh, I hope not! Well it won’t in my classroom. Sure, I see the relevance behind being able to use an IWB in a classroom rather than using a textbook and chalkboard, however I don’t think that the way forward is to have such faith in technology.
It seems a lot of people are suggesting that with these ‘advances’ in technology, that magically the students will become interested in Chemistry or in Food Tech classes, rather I think the way forward from where we are right now is to look back.
Technology screws up. Overhead projectors don’t.