ACCE Position Paper on ICT in the Australian Curriculum

Posted: March 12, 2013 in Trend in ELT Assignment

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.

Current  position

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.


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