Whatever subject it is it all goes back to, “What Are Schools For?” Those responsible for exams in ICT are starting to realise that it might have been an idea to talk to classroom teachers of the subject. Entries have dropped from 67,800 to 58,600 and look likely to drop even more in the coming years.
The drawback of the GCSE was, as every teacher would tell you, it was a Microsoft Office course. Designed to make somebody very confident using the software found in that package. The thing is, at GCSE level, do you really need students to know any more? The blindingly obvious answer to that is ‘no’!
All the students need ICT for is to use as a tool in their work and in their studying of more relevant subjects to them. Be honest, what do they actually need coding for?
Unfortunately the Anoraks had to get involved. Now they have their place. At A Level and beyond they are essential but not at GCSE. The Anoraks have looked to make it ‘harder’, whatever that means, but all it has done is put students off. Very worrying is that it has put off a lot more girls than boys.
Some of us here at The Tower have been involved with computers since the early 70’s. Yes, we really are that old. They are amazing things, mind stretching, world changing and fun! Over time too many involved in education have sought to remove every element of fun from learning. “If you can’t measure it then it’s not worth doing” has been a hideous mantra brought in by first Thatcher, then Blair and expanded upon by everyone since. Someone put the fun back before it’s too late.