Teacher training and the Computing Curriculum
With the introduction of new Computing curriculum, students in England are now expected to get familiar with many new concepts and ideas, including programming. Studying under the new Computing curriculum, children as young as five years old will be able to learn and develop computational thinking. They are also expected to learn about concepts such as algorithm and debugging.
The new Computing curriculum was set to revolutionise the education sector in the UK and already, both teachers and students are likely feeling the impact. However, where the curriculum is widely being appreciated by the technology sector, questions are being raised about the pressure teachers are under to impart knowledge of such an advanced nature. As an aftermath of the changes, not only are teachers required to, in some cases, add to their knowledge, they are also tasked with finding the necessary resources to do complete justice to the new curriculum, as well as teach transferable skills that will carry students through an ever-changing, technology-led life.
Teachers need support to be able to adequately teach subjects like coding, software programming and debugging. This can only be done if education suppliers provide schools and teachers with sufficient digital media and teaching resources. Depending on how long teachers have been in the field, there is no denying that in some cases, there is a huge gap between what is being taught today and the technological backgrounds of the teachers. As well as physical training, teachers need to be supported with educational resources that easily identify which parts of software apply to which parts of the curriculum. It helps if these are linked to student resources that guide students through activities that are mapped to the curriculum. It is also important these resources are freely available, as teachers can’t rely on already stretched budgets.
Teachers are great (and we mean really great!) at developing interesting and creative things to do in the classroom, but that is really hard when you haven’t ever taught a subject before, or studied it yourself. That is why as an educational supplier who has worked with teachers for almost 30 years, we don’t just like to help, we have to help.
Like students, teachers all prefer different mediums in which to learn, so we like to use a variety of video, text, diagrams and tutorials. A while ago, we launched our curriculum mapping guide to aid teachers in their journey through the new Computing curriculum. We’d love to hear any successes you have been having with this, or any suggestions of how we can help further. There is a growing need to open up new communication channels between teachers and education suppliers so that they may share ideas and information more freely. Through open dialogue and information and idea exchange, teachers and education suppliers will be on the same page and as a result, resource requirements will be met in a better manner. This is exactly why we like to write this blog (and why we encourage teacher feedback).
Through proper training, guidance and resources teachers can develop a penchant for the subject and can make its learning more interesting for the students. These measures will ensure that the new Computing curriculum will sustain for an extended period of time, not becoming redundant after a mere five or 10 years.