The Growth of Enterprise Pedagogy: How ICT Policy is Infected by Neo-Liberalism

In all honesty I found “The Growth of Enterprise Pedagogy: How ICT policy is infected by Neo-Liberalism” quite difficult to understand and a little boring having to re-read the same paragraph several times to make sense of what Brown wanted to point out, i also found the references used in first part of the article to be out-dated (there was no quotes from a recent time period; most of the quotes were 7- 10 years old, which made the article difficult to find relevance in today’s society).  Even though I thought this I did manage to find a key point which was thought provoking and very relevant to today’s politicians and their policies regarding education and ICT.

This thought provoking point was about how teachers are often seen as “policy consumers rather than policy producers” (Brown, 2005). Dr Mark Brown states that this is seen as problematic since teachers are not engaged in meaningful discussions about ethical, moral and political questions. Many policies regarding teaching and pedagogy have no real input from educators who are out in the teaching field, instead politicians make the decisions about policies regarding education and pedagogy with no real knowledge about teaching.

“Teaching is inherently a political activity and the policy choices we make of what to emphasize in the curriculum are political decisions.” –Brown, 2005.

Since politicians are making all the decisions regarding ICT and education it can be highly biased, persuading teachers to embrace ICT without having all the real knowledge about the pros and cons of it.  Politicians see ICT as being beneficial for economic objectives rather than promoting the goals of equity, fairness and social justice,  Brown sums this idea up nicely by explaining that “the new ways of e-learning through ICT are infected by the ideological language of a kind of  enterprise pedagogy”  (this can be seen in Figure 1 in the Brown article p.19). However since the politicians are in control of the policies they can persuade teachers to enforce these policies and this so-called “enterprise pedagogy” instead of critiquing it.

As teachers we must be critical of these policies and stop being persuaded by politics and politicians, if we are to re-claim the true meaning of pedagogy in education and ICT. Brown says we must ask ourselves these questions if we are to change the direction of the reform of schools through ICT:

Who is telling the ICT story and Why?

How are they telling the ICT story?

How are different people understanding and responding to the ICT message?

What is missing? Whose voice is not being heard? Whose story is not being told?

 

More information about Neo-Liberalism in education http://www.freepatentsonline.com/article/Educational-Foundations/219010969.html

 

 

References

Brown, M. (2005). The growth of enterprise pedagogy: How ICT policy is infected by neo-liberalism. Australian Educational Computing, 20(2), 16-22.

A bridge too far? Explaining beginning teachers’ use of ICT in Australian schools

Integration of ICT in the classroom

 

It seems like the message about ICT in education about being beneficial in engaging student learning, promoting student-centered learning and actually taking into account that the positives outweigh the negatives when incorporating ICT in the classroom (Isard, 2012) isn’t quite getting through or is simply being ignored or might be getting lost in translation.

I think this because of a recent article I read which was about a study of how young teachers use ICT within the classroom, this study was not only centred on how young teachers use technology in the classroom but also what technology was available to them, what technological support was available and what support the school gave to teachers wanting to embrace and use ICT in the classroom regularly.

The study followed 3 young teachers and their experience with technology in the classroom, I was quite surprised to find that many of the teachers did not have access to adequate technology (Bate, 2010, table 1); it was also very eye-opening to see that the school/principal’s support in ICT is crucial otherwise ICT in the classroom will not be productive. The study also found that during the first 3 years of teaching the young  teachers did not use ICT in ways that could contribute to their pedagogical beliefs due to facing a mix of constraints which resulted  in using ICT in a way that was more teacher centred and not very creative (Bate, 2010, p.10).

As a 2nd year education student I have found that at the moment there is an immense focus on how to incorporate ICT in the classroom, however this can be quite a challenge if when I graduate, I find myself in a school where there is limited support in helping teachers incorporate ICT use in the classroom or there is simply an inadequate supply of technology in the classroom (e.g. 3 computers for a class of 25). This is the position many of the young teachers who participated in the study found themselves in, “with current class sizes, it is impossible to use the computers meaningfully for student directed activity other than for interactive games.” (Mike, 2008, p.8)

ICT is supposed to support student directed learning so if there are not enough computers in a classroom to do this, why bother with ICT in the first place? By reading this article and countless others it is clear there is a complex system that must be united in order for ICT to be incorporated in schools effectively. Bate (2010) states that this complex system can be divided in 3 sections individual, school and systemic levels of education (p.15).

So for ICT to be integrated effectively into the classroom, technology and pedagogy must be united as one, the school leadership must also have an active interest in supporting ICT; this means the school must provide easy access to ICT and have a positive attitude towards it being used in the classroom, Bate (2010) also raises the issue that schools may need a structural reform…

Well now we know the recipe for how to incorporate ICT into schools effectively all we have to do now is follow the procedure….SO LETS GET TO IT!

Bate, F. (2010). A bridge too far? Explaining beginning teachers’ use of ICT in Australian schools.  Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 26(7), 1-19. Retrieved from https://learnit.nd.edu.au/bbcswebdav/pid-50164-dt-content-rid-56449_1/courses/F-ED2632-13S1/bate.pdf

Isard, J. (2012) Why mobile technology makes sense in the 21st century classroom. The Professional Educator. Retrieved from https://learnit.nd.edu.au/bbcswebdav/pid-50164-dt-content-rid-56465_1/courses/F-ED2632-13S1/Mobile_learning_summer_school.pdf

Baskin,C.,& Williams,M. (2006). ICT integration in schools: where are we now and what comes next?. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 22(4), 455-473. Retrieved from http://www.ascilite.org.au/ajet/ajet22/baskin.html

Why mobile technology makes sense in the 21st century classroom

It’s clear the ‘traditional’ classroom is beginning to take on a new shape…..BEHOLD THE 21ST CENTURY CLASSROOM IS HERE!

The 21st century classroom to me is a classroom where technology is incorporated into everyday learning, it’s those tech savvy classrooms which use iPads to teach core subjects instead of relying on out dated , non-interactive (in other words… boring) text books.
Justine Isard (2012) argues that this is a fantastic way of making teaching and learning more real and relevant, she explains this is the case because the current generation, which has become known as the ‘Touch Generation’ (due to a huge exposure to tablets/touch technology in their lives) are closely linked to their mobile technology. I agree the ‘ Touch Generation’ seems to be super glued to their mobile technology… just look around you are bound to see a young person with a tablet or mobile phone in their hands or at least close by them.

So we now understand that by using mobile technology in the classroom, the teaching and learning experience will become more relevant for students, not only that but it can become more ‘student centred’ and students can learn at their own pace (Isard ,2012 ). However that doesn’t mean that as teachers we can start handing out iPads and expect students to do their own learning. John Hattie has found that the effectiveness of a teacher accounts for 30% of variance in students learning (Hattie, 2003, P. 2). This means teachers must have a clear focus on the learning outcomes they want their students to achieve, an iPad is there simply to enhance the learning experience (Isard, 2012)

The 21st century classroom may be taking shape right now but there will always be one thing that will remain the same and that is, the teacher’s role, the teacher will always have control of their classroom, therefore it will become the teacher’s choice on how they will incorporate the use of mobile technology in their lessons. Mobile technology like the iPad will NEVER replace the teacher’s role in the classroom.

 

Hattie, J. (2003). Distinguishing expert teachers from novice and experienced teachers: Teacher’s make a difference, What is the research evidence? , 1-7. Retrieved from http://growthmindseteaz.org/files/RC2003_Hattie_TeachersMakeADifference_1_.pdf

Isard, J. (2012). Why mobile technology makes sense in the 21st Century
classroom. Retrieved from Blackboard.