This paper was prepared for the Australian Council for Computers in Education and represents the views of that Council and its affiliates: CEGSA, ECAWA, ICTENSW, ICTEV, ITEANT, QSITE, TASITE, and The Australian Computer Society. It also represents the views of VITTA. Consultation ACCE would like to thank its member associations: CEGACT, CEGSA, ECAWA, ICTENSW, ICTEV, ITEANT, QSITE, TASITE, and The Australian Computer Society for their contribution to this paper. It also acknowledges the contribution of VITTA (The Victorian Information Technology Teachers’ Association). The position represented here is truly a national teachers’ association position on a very important issue. ACCE would like to recognise the committee that coordinated the consultation and developed the paper on behalf of ACCE: Dr Nicholas Reynolds (chair), Paula Christophersen, Phil Callil and Helen Otway.
The Melbourne Declaration recognises the importance of ICT as being ‘central to Australia’s skilled economy (requiring) crucial pathways to post-‐school success’ (MCEETYA, 2008). It specifies Information and Communication Technology and Design and Technology as one of the eight learning areas of the Australian curriculum. The Melbourne Declaration makes particular mention of the role of ICT in supporting learning in all curriculum areas. The Australian Curriculum as presented by ACARA acknowledges the interdisciplinary role of ICT by defining its role as a General Capability (GC) and its specific role as a discipline by placing Information and Communication Technology into the ICT and Design and Technology Learning Area. This position paper argues that the current articulation of ICT as both a GC and as part of the so called ‘Technologies’ Learning Area does not support the development of digital literacy, does not provide enough rich ICT use to develop essential pathways and does not support the creation of a digitally productive, knowledge based society. This paper argues that ICT needs to be its own learning area, either within the framework of the ICT and Design and Technology Learning Area, or as a new area. This notion is not alien to the spirit of the Melbourne Declaration. In that document the term ‘Humanities and social sciences (including history, geography, economics, business, civics and citizenship)’ is used to define one Learning Area, yet in the first phase of the Australian Curriculum, History is presented as a standalone Learning Area, as is Geography, a phase two learning area. As a learning area, work is just beginning on determining ICT’s conceptual ‘home’ and its content. In December 2010, a group of experts representing areas (‘contexts’) such as ICT, design and technology, systems engineering, primary industries, food and technology and textiles met at ACARA to discuss what in essence comprises a technologies learning area. ACCE was represented at that meeting. One key issue raised at the meeting was the role of the ‘Design Process Framework’ in defining what constitutes Technology education. At that meeting significant emphasis was placed on the Technology Education Network’s 2010 draft position paper (TEN 2010). The design process framework is the underlying theoretical framework in that document and is now guiding curriculum development for ACARA in the ICT and Design and Technology Learning Area. That paper, while recognising that ICT is part of a broad learning area, devalues the importance of ICT by referring to the learning area as the ‘Technologies’ learning area, rather than as Information and Communication Technologies and Design and Technology.
“To Continue Reading Please Click ‘Download File’