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1010 Technology - 19 October 2010

Curriculum Report – Technology

Focus

·       With the proposed review of the curriculum, management and teachers have continued to revise the vision statements for the various curriculum areas.  It is envisaged that this statement will be indicative of the schools philosophy and vision. 

·       The essence statement for Technology learning, currently before staff and the Board of Trustees for their consideration is as follows: 

·        Technology is about the adaptation and innovation of practical and intellectual resources to develop products and systems.  Children learn practical skills as they develop models, products and systems. 

·       We believe that this statement sets a direction for our school in this curriculum area.

Programme

·       This year the teaching of technology has varied throughout our school.  Most teachers have adopted an integrated approach where technology is incorporated into other areas of learning.   Some classes in both the junior and senior syndicates have used developmental activities that have a technology component but are only a part of a wider topic.  Learning activities have included cooking, kite making, tie dye, cells and circuits, recycling, wearable art, and gardens.

·       A survey of teachers has shown that most teachers claim to be confident in teaching what they perceive to be technology but most were unsure whether or not they were doing enough to fulfil the requirement for this curriculum area. With this in mind it may be time to look at what professional development is needed in our school.

·       One suggestion is that the school could develop a number of progressions in practice, knowledge and understandings in this curriculum area so we know what to teach, what to focus on and what to assess.

·       The increasing move toward using the inquiry learning approach within this curriculum area sees technology fitting more closely to other aspects of the curriculum. This allows students to learn the concepts and social skills within a framework of investigation.  The new structure allows children the opportunity to pose questions and take directions in their learning that interests them.  For some teachers this student led approach can be challenging while others welcome and adapt to meet this interest.

Assessment Procedures

·       The summative assessment process has not been formalised as much cross-curricular teaching and learning occurs. Therefore the essence of assessment is formative in collaboration with students evaluation of what has been learnt.

·       There is great difficulty in analysing the achievement of students within the technology curriculum. By using a cross-curricular approach the question arises as to whether the data-based information provided to parents through the end of year written report is accurate. 

Looking Ahead

·        Because the inquiry approach is dependent on student interest, it is difficult to run a programme with no money being specifically allocated to technology. This has meant that some staff fund programmes for their children. Other staff members feel they have to limit the learning opportunities for their students.

·       This maybe something that should be considered when budgets are set for 2012.