IMPORTANCE OF IT TOPICS FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF TEACHERS AND OF THEIR PUPILS, OR WHAT WOULD TEACHERS WANT TO TEACH AND WHAT WOULD THEIR PUPILS WANT TO LEARN?
Palacký University of Olomouc, Faculty of Education (CZECH REPUBLIC)
About this paper:
Conference name: 12th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 11-13 November, 2019
Location: Seville, Spain
Abstract:The change in the curriculum with respect to the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) school subject, which is planned in connection with the implementation of the Digital Education Strategy up to 2020, raises high expectations. It is supposed to represent a change for the better, as it should help improve the quality of education in general. Naturally, the basic educational content is given, however, in our opinion, it is important to involve in the modified curriculum also subjective preferences—both from the point of view of IT teachers and their pupils. In the submitted paper, we shall focus on the nature of those preferences. Partial outputs of our research, which focused on the issue of teachers’ and pupils’ preferences related to the educational content of IT subjects taught at primary schools in the Czech Republic, will be presented.
Our research was primarily focused on the issue of accentuating the teaching contents of IT subjects taught at primary and grammar schools in the Czech Republic, from the perspective of teachers. The target research group consisted of IT teachers of upper primary schools and grammar schools. The main objective of the research conducted was to determine the current level of preference of individual teaching units focused on both "traditional" and "non-traditional" (the "traditional" themes included the themes which are firmly embedded in the FEP for the area of Information and Communication Technologies, and "non-traditional" themes were those which are expected to be included during the implementation of the Digital Education Strategy up to 2020) IT topics from the perspective of IT teachers.
A questionnaire was used as the basic means to obtain the data needed to conduct a research survey. The questionnaire contained closed-ended questions providing research participants with options from which to choose a response, semi-closed questions proposing a range of answers (using the four-step scale), and open-ended questions, allowing the respondents to comment on the changing status of the observed phenomena.
The research questionnaire was being distributed from April to June 2018 among IT teachers of 35 upper primary schools. For the sake of the determination of the power of the individual groups of respondents answering in the same way, basic descriptive statistics and visualization with graphs were used. Furthermore, the results obtained were subjected to an analysis. which monitored the importance of responses for individual groups of respondents broken down by significant features (such as gender). For the purpose of this verification, the parametric Student's t-test for independent groups was applied.
Based on the results, it can be stated that our initial research assumptions were largely confirmed. It is therefore possible to claim that IT teachers of upper primary and grammar schools attach most importance to thematic units which correspond to the current focus of the FEP with respect to Information and Communication Technologies. However, they are rather interested in teaching thematic units which are beyond the FEP relevant to the area. IT teachers emphasize the need and the benefits of teaching IT topics beyond the given FEP for the Information and Communication Technologies subject. Most teachers also understand the need for teaching the thematic unit focused on algorithmization and programming, and only a minority of teachers do not perceive this need.
Keywords: informatics, IT subjects, IT teachers, teaching IT