Are stories as good as the truth; the role of the pedagogic metaphor
At 9th ITTE Research Conference.
09 - 10 Dec 2005.
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Are stories as good as the truth; the role of the pedagogic metaphor.
Teaching some aspects of ICT is sometimes difficult. Some concepts are outside the experience of the learners (for example, packet switching systems, encryption). Some aspects not situated in a current or valid context for the learners (for example normalisation, recursion). Some aspects can be simply boring (for example the structure of the CPU, logic gates).
The research so far has involved interviewing teachers of GCE level computing and ICT courses. A number of difficult topics have been identified to form the focus of those discussions. Text analysis software has been used and a grounded theory approach adopted.
It has been observed that experienced and successful teachers use metaphoric approaches to teach these more difficult concepts. Those approaches include: prose, instructions, pseudo-code, tables, symbols, icons, flowcharts, diagrams, simulations, artefacts, scenarios and role-play. It is proposed that we can establish a better understanding of the range and diversity of teaching approaches by considering the spectrum of metaphoric approaches from the purely verbal narratives through visual imagery to the kinaesthetic activity.
The next phase of the research is concerned with analysing teachers’ descriptions of their teaching methods to better illustrate and describe the generic approaches. A new structure of pedagogy is presented here for comment and discussion.
Dr John Woollard
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