Teachers, tasks and transformative learning- how well does it work?

Year: 2012

Author: Dacy, Helen, Seers, Matthew

Type of paper: Abstract refereed


The implementation of a 1 to 1 laptop program in a school carries with it an anticipation that it will be a pivotal step in transforming the medium of teaching and learning. However, it is the on-the-ground attitudes underpinning the program, from the school administration, the teachers and the students, that have a huge impact on the introduction of these programs into schools. Although the general capabilities implemented in the Australian curriculum have been real driver of information and communication technologies in schools, it is the changes in classroom practice and belief and the learning that results from these, that measure the success of a technology or eLearning program. Merely mandating that such programs exist in schools does not guarantee success.

St Patrick's College Shorncliffe, an all-boys, 5-12 school in Queensland, has had a 1 to 1 laptop program in operation for 18 months. During this time period, there have been two major concerns for the school - firstly, identifying what learning is really occurring through the use of the laptops as a medium for teaching/learning and secondly, investigating how the learning from one class is being transferred into skill building across subject areas. In this same time period, the school has also implemented Eric Frangenheim's reinterpreted Bloom's taxonomy to underpin its pedagogy, which continues to be focused on the notion of critical thinking. This pedagogical stance and the implementation of ICTs across the curriculum have precipitated an examination of the success of skill building and transfer across key learning areas.

By exploring the attitudes and experiences of staff and students, this study aims to investigate what learning and what successful skills transfer has occurred. This paper examines the role of the staff, the students, and the school infrastructure and policies in managing this change in pedagogy. The study aims to outline the extent to which this transition is building a culture in the school in which transformational learning is occurring and the strategies that have been successful in its implementation.