WHY SHOULD WE BOTHER TO INTEGRATE THE PENCIL IN THE PRIMARY SCHOOL CURRICULUM? - DEMYSTIFYING THE ISSUE OF INTEGRATING ICT IN THE CURRICULUM
Instituto de Educação Universidade Lisboa (PORTUGAL)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2011 Proceedings
Publication year: 2011
Conference name: 5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-9 March, 2011
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:It is well known the general concern of educators and teachers (and even of educational authorities around the world) with the question of ‘integration of ICT in the curriculum’. This concern is visible at the level of research reported and curriculum guidelines in many countries.
In fact, it is widely discussed the ‘integration of ICT in the curriculum’ and we should recall the discussion and analysis of Seymour Papert in 1996 in an article published in The Washington Post Education Review presenting the parable of ‘integrating the pencil in the classroom to understand the effect in pupils learning’ and suggesting the irrelevance of formulating the issue of ICT in education as a problem of ‘integration’.
This article aims to challenge and interrogate the concept of integration of ICT in the curriculum.
Taking the notion that learning itself is an improvised practice, we discuss the viability and relevance of focusing the issue on the analysis of the learning curriculum as something that unfolds in opportunities for engagement in practice using the available artefacts and resources and which is not fully specified by the educational system (that uses the curriculum as a powerful tool to manage education).
The rationale for the claims we will put forward and discuss in this article draws on (i) the notion that learning takes place through engagement in practices and not through the imposition of specific forms of behaviour based on prescriptive curriculum guidelines, (ii) the idea that more and more children grow up culturally embedded in technology as digital natives and in fact schools are populated by technologically rather powerful habitants in an ecological system in transformation, and (iii) on the notion that ‘integration of ICT in education’ is a misleading formulation for the issue of using ICT in education.
We will argue in the direction of focusing attention in teacher and children practices – both at home and in school – and identify factors and strategies that may help to bridge the existing gap between practices of ICT use at school and at home and/or public spaces. For this purpose we will address the strategic role of learning scenarios as tools for the definition of learning trajectories leading to the assumption of relevant learning curriculum by the pupils.
Finally we will put forward principles for a research agenda on the use of ICT in education.