Friday, 2 March 2007

Cart before horse? Chicken and egg?

I'm back to that old question again..
  • It could be argued that the principles of good teaching practice are constant, and that technology, just another tool, facilitates this.
  • It could be argued that technology is driving change in pedagogy
  • Or we could argue that evolution is the constant, the resulting changes in beliefs and behaviours requiring changes in technology as well as pedagogy. This is an especially interesting idea because it implies that pedagogy and technology alter in parrallel to reflect or support the needs of society.
It is fairly depressing to imagine that education is no more than a reflection of society, because it suggests educators are teaching old ideas to people who will go on to do new things. It's a valuable fear though has it confirms the need for teachers to be faciliators rather than presenters.

The revered Stephen Downes, on his excellent blog argues that "t technology does intrude on [educators] domain, and they can't do anything about it. That if someone prints up copies of the Bible, shoots up your classroom, blows up your city or introduces computers to children, you can't do much about it, and it won't be pedagogical considerations that carry the day. That learning, education, and pedagogy change when these things happen, and you can't do anything about it".

What I would say is that education shouldn't change as a result of these events, instead it should help us develop skills to make sense of them.

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