Over the years, I’ve taken courses in educational philosophy and curriculum development. They usually have pretty heavy reading lists, and I admit, sometimes the sheer volume and pace means that not a lot sinks in the first time around. It can be a lot to chew on.
The first time I took a philosophy of education course, I was still too new to teaching to be able to connect to some of the ideas. A few years later, I took a curriculum development course, and found the readings much more meaningful and relevant. I felt like I was finally getting a better grasp of the major thinkers like Dewey and Bruner, Piaget and Vygotsky, and because I was teaching special ed. classes at the time, I particularly recognized Popham’s ideas in IEP creation.
This term, I am taking a course on tech-integration methodology, and again, various points of view such as Scardamalia & Bereiter, Papert, Bates and Poole, Turkel, etc are represented on the reading list. The interesting thing I’m noticing this time is that many of these ed tech readings refer back to and/or build on some of those “old” texts I came across years ago.
This leaves to wonder, why didn’t my previous coursework in philosophy and in curriculum development include some of these ed tech writers?
We won’t be able to ignore the increasing place that tech could play in our teaching and learning for much longer. Maybe it’s time for education faculties to update their course content to include ed tech texts as part of the philosophy/curriculum dev. offerings. As we teachers design our units and lessons, and witness our districts setting tech direction, we really should have a better idea of all the background ideas and research in this field, and how it all relates to classic theories guiding our approaches to teaching.