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Title: Who's in control (of the teaching of computer control)?
Authors: Steeg, Torben
Ling, Mary
Keywords: control
systems
microcontroller
PIC
ECT
teaching approaches
cross-curricular
Issue Date: 2006
Publisher: © DATA
Abstract: The UK National Curriculum (NC) review that led to the 2000 NC Orders (DfEE, 2000) had an emphasis on ‘slimming down’ the curriculum and removing areas of overlap between subjects. However, computer control was one of a very few content areas that was left explicit in the National Curricula of two different subjects; Design and Technology (D&T) and Information and Communication Technology (ICT). Previous research by one of the authors (Steeg, 2003) has noted the different approaches to the teaching of control in the two subjects (led largely by the dissimilar ways that control is described in the Programmes of Study for the two subjects) and highlighted some of the implications that this can have for pupils’ learning. At a time when the NC is under review and there is renewed interest in the ways that subjects (and D&T in particular) in schools interact with each other (Barlex, 2000, 2005), it is timely to examine in more detail not just the differences in the teaching of control between ICT and D&T departments but also the ways that schools and departments within them deal with these differences. To this end, the pilot study reported here examines in detail the ways that the teaching of control is conducted in the ICT and D&T departments of six schools, with a focus on two main questions: • How is control taught and how, if at all, does the teaching differ between D&T and ICT? • What collaboration exists between D&T and ICT departments in the teaching of control? The main data collection was through detailed interviews conducted with the heads of department of both ICT and D&T in each school. This was supplemented by classroom observation of ‘control’ lessons and scrutiny of the schemes of work for control in the departments. The data indicate that there is little collaboration between D&T and ICT departments and that it is common for pupils at Key Stage 3 to be exposed to control ideas in both subjects, but in ways that often have little in common. The implications of this for pupil learning and their attitudes towards D&T are explored.
Description: This is a conference paper.
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/2859
Appears in Collections:D&T Association Conference Series

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