Informatics education: Europe cannot afford to miss the boat
Report of the joint Informatics Europe & ACM Europe Working Group on Informatics Education April 2013
Walter Gander, Antoine Petit, Gérard Berry, Barbara Demo, Jan Vahrenhold, Andrew McGettrick, Roger Boyle, Michèle Drechsler, Avi Mendelson, Chris Stephenson, Carlo Ghezzi, Bertrand Meyer
The report defines a blueprint for digital literacy and informatics curricula adapted to the European context, and explains why such curricula are critical to the economic health of European countries.
Developing precise curricula is beyond the scope of the report; it is expected that, based on the report’s recommendation, specific curricula will be developed, taking into account the specific constraints of individual countries.
- All of Europe’s citizens need to be educated in both digital literacy and informatics.
- Digital literacy covers fluency with computer tools and the Internet.
- Informatics covers the science behind information technology. Informatics is a distinct science, characterized by its own concepts, methods, body of knowledge and open issues. It has emerged, in a role similar to that of mathematics, as a cross-discipline field underlying today’s scientific, engineering and economic progress.
- Informatics is a major enabler of technology innovation, the principal resource for Europe’s drive to become an information society, and the key to the future of Europe’s economy.
- European countries are making good progress in including digital literacy in the curriculum. The teaching of this topic should emphasize the proper use of information technology resources and cover matters of ethics such as privacy and plagiarism.
- Informatics education, unlike digital literacy education, is sorely lacking in most European countries. The situation has paradoxically worsened since the 70s and 80s.
- Not offering appropriate informatics education means that Europe is harming its new generation of citizens, educationally and economically.
- Unless Europe takes resolute steps to change that situation, it will turn into a mere consumer of information technology and miss its goal of being a major player.
- Recommendation 1. All students should benefit from education in digital literacy, starting from an early age and mastering the basic concepts by age 12. Digital literacy education should emphasize not only skills but also the principles and practices of using them effectively and ethically.
- Recommendation 2. All students should benefit from education in informatics as an independent scientific subject, studied both for its intrinsic intellectual and educational value and for its applications to other disciplines.
- Recommendation 3. A large-scale teacher training program should urgently be started. To bootstrap the process in the short term, creative solutions should be developed involving school teachers paired with experts from academia and industry.
- Recommendation 4. The definition of informatics curricula should rely on the considerable body of existing work on the topic and the specific recommendations of the present report (section 4).
The report proposes general principles for both kinds of programs, emphasizing in particular:
- For digital literacy, the need to teach not just how-tos but also safe, ethical and effective use of IT resources and tools.
- For informatics, the role of this discipline as a cross-specialty subject, like mathematics.
Dieser Text erwähnt...
- Computer Science: Catch Them Early (Bertrand Meyer) (2013)
- Digitale Schule Österreich (Peter Micheuz, Anton Reiter, Gerhard Brandhofer, Martin Ebner, Barbara Sabitzer) (2013)
- Informatische Kompetenzen für ein erfolgreiches Hochschulstudium (Helmar Burkhart, Lukas Emanuel Fässler, Werner Hartmann, Hans Hinterberger, Beate Kuhnt) (2014)
- ISSEP 2014 - Informatics in Schools - Teaching and Learning Perspectives (Yasemin Gülbahar, Erinç Karataş) (2014)
- 1. Informatics and General Education (Walter Gander) (2014)
- IT an allgemeinbildenden Schulen - Auswertung internationaler empirischer Studien und Literaturanalyse (Carola Schauer, Hanno Schauer) (2015)
- Medienbildung und informatische Bildung - quo vadis? (Klaus Rummler, Beat Döbeli Honegger, Heinz Moser, Horst Niesyto) (2016)
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