Monday, October 22, 2012

ICT for schoolchildren 3

Education Secretary Michael Gove seems to be content to delegate the design of the school computing curriculum to technology vendors, which he entrusts with the future of UK Computing.

"If we want our country to produce the next Sir Tim Berners-Lee – creator of the Internet Web – we need the very best Computer Science teachers in our classrooms. They need to have the right skills and deep subject knowledge to help their pupils." (DfE Press Release 19 October 2012, corrected 22nd October. See also The Register 19 October 2012)

Did Sir Tim have a good computer science teacher? No, he had a first class degree in physics. There are many notable examples of IT entrepreneurs who studied computing at school and college, but Sir Tim isn't one of them.

I can see no reason to correlate successful innovation (in IT or any other field) with "deep subject knowledge" on the part of one's teachers. Not for the first time, politicians make a fetish of the wrong thing.

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