Empowering learners with ICT is a battle against educational fundamentalism
Australian Council for Computers in Education (ACEC) and Information and Communications Technologies in Education, Victoria (ICTEV)
Faculty of Education and Arts
School of Education / Centre for Schooling and Learning Technologies
Over the past 40 years computer-based systems have developed and become infused in almost every aspect of life in Australian society transforming many things to become almost unrecognisable, except it would seem, schooling. Research has identified a range of reasons why we have hung on to, what some would view as, the ‘horse and buggy’ in schools with most of the legitimate constraints now overcome. However, over the past decade we have suffered from an epidemic of what I view as education fundamentalism, supported by sections of government, the profession and the media. There appears to be an assumption that there was a ‘golden era’ of education when teachers presented the facts to students who dutifully committed them to memory, showed this by passing exams and then became successful Australian workers. The claim seems to be made that since then student achievement has deteriorated and that this is because educators have moved away from these ‘age-old’ ways of teaching. It is not surprising that the use of digital technologies does not seem to be supported because they weren’t present in classrooms in that ‘golden era’. I believe that we need to build on what we know to be true about teaching and learning, some of it going back to over a century but we don’t need to be limited by the technology and ideologies of those times.