[LINK] Computing in Schools Report from The Royal Society

Tom Worthington tom.worthington at tomw.net.au
Wed Feb 1 20:17:12 AEDT 2012

The Royal Society issued a report on computing in schools recommending 
improvements in the UK: 

The main findings:

1. The current delivery of Computing education in many UK schools is 
highly unsatisfactory. Although existing curricula for Information and 
Communication Technology (ICT) are broad and allow scope for teachers to 
inspire pupils and help them develop interests in Computing, many pupils 
are not inspired by what they are taught and gain nothing beyond basic 
digital literacy skills such as how to use a word-processor or a database

This is mainly because:
   1. The current national curriculum in ICT can be very broadly 
interpreted and may be reduced to the lowest level where non specialist 
teachers have to deliver it;
   1. there is a shortage of teachers who are able to teach beyond basic 
digital literacy;
   3. there is a lack of continuing professional development for 
teachers of Computing;
   4. features of school infrastructure inhibit effective teaching of 

2. There is a need to improve understanding in schools of the nature and 
scope of Computing. In particular there needs to be recognition that 
Computer Science is a rigorous academic discipline of great importance 
to the future careers of many pupils. The status of Computing in schools 
needs to be recognised and raised by government and senior management in 

3. Every child should have the opportunity to learn Computing at school, 
including exposure to Computer Science as a rigorous academic discipline.

4. There is a need for qualifications in aspects of Computing that are 
accessible at school level but are not currently taught. There is also a 
need for existing inappropriate assessment methods to be updated

5. There is a need for augmentation and coordination of current 
Enhancement and Enrichment activities to support the study of Computing

6. Uptake of Computing A-level is hindered by lack of demand from higher 
education institutions ...

From: Shut down or restart? The way forward for computing in UK 
schools", The Royal Society, 13 January 2012: 

This topic was touched on in "Open Submission to the National Curriculum 
Consultation" (by Pia Waugh for Senator Kate Lundy, 22 April 2010): 

In my National Broadband Network Submission, I suggesting making 
educational materials available free on-line, so we teach digital 
literacy (amongst other things) digitally. It should be possible to 
bootstrap this process: that is we train the course designers on-line to 
train the teachers who then teach it to the students: 

Tom Worthington FACS CP, TomW Communications Pty Ltd. t: 0419496150
PO Box 13, Belconnen ACT 2617, Australia  http://www.tomw.net.au
Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards

Adjunct Senior Lecturer, Research School of Computer Science,
Australian National University http://cs.anu.edu.au/courses/COMP7310/

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