Technology, education and fads

 

Sir, – For years, teachers were told that the introduction of iPads in school classrooms was innovative and progressive education at its best. Despite the objections of many teachers, the advice of experts and other interested parties was used to justify the use of these devices. Many naive principals believed the hype.The recent report on the use of iPads in Rathoath clearly highlights the folly of relying upon non-teacher advice when implementing education reform (“iPads in school experiment gets fail mark as kids go shopping and gaming”, News, February 28th).

Unfortunately, an almost identical scandal is currently at work in secondary schools. The new Junior Cycle is being hailed as a progressive education initiative that will sweep away outdated teaching practices and improve learning. Once again, despite all the objections of the many professionals (teachers) who have to implement the reforms, the changes continue and are justified by selectively quoting the research and beliefs of external (usually university-based) experts.

Ignoring the voice of teachers while basing (second-level) education change upon the “expert” advice of those who choose not to teach in schools is a disastrous policy. Let’s hope that the lesson from Rathoath will be learned by the next government and applied to the new Junior Cycle reforms. – Yours, etc,

SEAN KEAVENY,

Castleknock, Dublin 15.