NAACE and transformed education

Feb 16, 2006

Miles Berry

I’m involved with NAACE’s project on transformed education, which is an attempt firstly to come up with some sort of consensus view of the characteristics of transformed learning, how technology can support this, and what a school needs to do to bring this transformation about. The intention is thento move on to produce CPD toolkits to help schools along this route, starting with one focussed on learning platforms.

Roger Broadie has done a fine job of weaving together the various contributions into broad clusters of characteristics, and the contribution that technology can make.

The most recent question has been about the “over-riding, educational, organisational,change management and/or education system issues” that the school needs to address before they start thinking about the what and the how. I used some of the work I’d done for the NCSL SLICT seminar series to provide a basis for my response, as the ideas seemed to have wider application than just learning platform implementation. slide10

  1. Individual – social
    Does a school view learning as a social activity or a more idividual / personalized pursuit – in classroom terms, do they favour whole class interactive teaching or individualized schemes of work?
  2. Teacher – learner
    Who’s the technology for? Who should have control of it? To what extent is learner voice and autonomy valued? This applies to curriculum design as much as technology.
  3. Resources – activities
    Is the technology, or indeed the curriculum, seen as a series of knowledge to be presented, or rather as activities to be engaged in?
  4. Standard – bespoke
    Obvious when applied to VLE provision, but the same applies to any technology systems (qv Buliding Schools for the Future), and indeed to school as a whole – is it the local branch of the DfES, or is an independent, autonomous institution, fitting its curriculum, policies, ethos to its pupils and community.
  5. Closed – open
    How much contact or engagement does the school seek with the wider world – is it an ivory tower/walled garden or is it intimately engaged and embedded in its community and the global village?
  6. Behaviourist – constructivist
    What sort of learning do the school want to see? Is knowledge a fixed body of facts or something which the community build for themselves?
  7. Control – autonomy
    Moreover, where does the school see control of the technology and/or curriculum to be located – central government, local authority, SMT, subject leaders, teachers, pupils?
  8. Technology – pedagogy
    What’s the leading force for the change – is it educational vision, or is it technological determinism? To what extent is the technology to be used to used to support a broader educational vision of transformation, or is the transformation to be led by what the tech. makes possible?


The other slide was about the topology of resources/activities in a VLE, but also has wider application – does the school see, for example, its curriculum as a linear sequence of objectives which all progress through, perhaps at differing paces, or does the curriculum branch  (eg following 11+, or as vocational/academic etc), alternatively does the school see the curriculum as made up of richly connected areas of learning, through which many routes are possible, or do we have a highly personalized curriculum, centred on the learner, making use of learning from a number of different sources?