Digitalising our schools: Clarity and coherence in policy
AbstractWhile society has moved through a number of "ages" since the industrial age, many schools have remained firmly entrenched in an education system designed for a world which, largely, no longer exists. Educational policy and literature is replete with discourse related to school reform, 21st century learning and the importance of information and communication technologies (ICT). It is also replete with stories of failed reform initiatives. ICT is no exception. Internationally, there is little evidence of any real shift in the ways students experience learning, or that schools are becoming a digital environment rather than a paper-based one.
In this article, we argue that the lack of apparent success in promoting educational reform through ICT is due, at least in part, to a policy disconnect which exists where strategic discourse (goals, purposes, values) is translated into operational discourse (concerning activities and outcomes), rather than where operational discourse becomes operational practice (implementation in classrooms). The conclusion drawn is that operational discourse needs to make explicit the rationales underpinning ICT policy, and policy makers need to ensure that teachers are provided with the necessary opportunities to explore, challenge and change beliefs and practice.
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