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Africa Knowledge Exchange III Round Table Discussions. ‘Essential Conditions for Systemic Transformation of Curriculum and Assessment’ Learning Environments for 21 st Century Skills – Curriculum, Assessment & ICT.

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‘Essential Conditions for Systemic Transformation of Curriculum and Assessment’ Learning Environments for 21 st Century

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Africa Knowledge Exchange III

Round Table Discussions

‘Essential Conditions for Systemic Transformation of Curriculum and Assessment’

Learning Environments for 21st Century Skills – Curriculum, Assessment & ICT

The central issue of educational change is the tension between technicalizing(improve teaching) and not technicalizing(improve learning), and here the teacher occupies the fulcrum position.

Papert (1993: 55)

We need to customize our education system to move from a teaching system to a learning system to an entrepreneurial system…

Professor Anomoah Mensah (2009)

A system defends itself against recognizing the depth of its problems and the need for fundamental change.

Papert (1993: 205)



GeSCI approach: A Systemic view to ICT integration in education


Technical level: “Hardware/ software”: : ICT deployment mode should be:

  • Admin / educative use ?
  • Resource centre / library model?
  • PC lab model / distributed model?
  • One2one, mobile, ubiquitous etc?

Process level: “Warmware”: what are educators supposed to do? What pedagogical processes should be developed based on use of ICT?

  • Learning interaction ( among learners)
  • Teaching interaction ( with learners)
  • Management , monitoring, etc. processes ?

Institution level: “Socialware”: what operational models should be developed based on use of ICT:

  • Classroom / virtual model
  • Single institution / network model
  • Hybrid models
  • De-schooling model

Society / policy level:“Cultureware”:Relevance of the education system (and ICT) for development of the society

  • Reproduction / Innovation
  • Production economy / Knowledge society?






Principal, Teacher,

Learners, Parents

School, University


Society &


Pulkkinen, 2009

essential conditions for systemic transformation of curriculum and assessment
Essential Conditions for Systemic Transformation of Curriculum and Assessment

What are the essential conditions that must be in place to begin moving forward?

ISTE, 2009

essential conditions
Shared Vision

Implementation Planning

Consistent and Adequate Funding

Equitable Access

Skilled Personnel

Ongoing Professional


Technical Support

Curriculum Framework

Student-Centered Learning

Assessment and Evaluation

Engaged Communities

Support Policies

Supportive External Context

Essential Conditions

ISTE, 2009

round table discussions
Tables have been organized according to six essential conditions prioritized by participants.

Please find the essential condition theme you would like to discuss.

Discuss challenges in moving forward with your essential condition.

Discuss strategies for moving forward with your essential condition.

Shared Vision

Empowered Leaders

Implementation Planning

Curriculum Framework

Student-Centered Learning

Assessment and Evaluation

Round Table Discussions
Round Table Discussions

Synopsis of Highlights

shared vision
Shared Vision


  • A lack of understanding of the benefits of ICT as a concept in Education
  • Lack of a policy framework
  • Resistance to change
shared vision1
Shared Vision


  • ICT needs identification through a sector wide approach.
  • ICT advocacy programme should be developed
  • Roles and responsibilities within functional structures for advocacy should be defined for stakeholders, research and monitoring.
empowered leaders
Empowered Leaders


  • Lack of definition, identification and categorization of stakeholders along roles, responsibilities and relevance.
  • Lack of shared vision
  • Attitude and mindset
  • Lack of an enabling political environment
empowered leaders1
Empowered Leaders


  • Identify strategic stakeholders eg; parents, business, communities, learners, teachers
  • Conceptualization and contexualization
    • relating to how it will impact on their lives
    • relate it to their broad curriculum
    • how does it improve educational delivery process
  • Sharing the vision and allow stakeholders to participate in vision creation
  • Policies to guide different stakeholders
  • Identification of suitable mechanisms to sustain and manage change
implementation planning
Implementation Planning


  • Capacity: Requisite skills to implement our plans – knowledge to develop ICT enhanced materials (a variety of skills required)
  • Lack of a clear implementation roadmap
  • Lack of awareness on the required capacities for implementation. Lack of clarity on the variety of materials for the student and the teacher
  • ICT integration skills, understanding and development of digital learning materials lacking
  • Assessment methods that are not relevant and aligned with intended objectives
  • No periodic reviews of the digital learning materials (M&E)
  • Initial capital investment huge
  • Enabling infrastructure and environment
implementation planning1
Implementation Planning


  • Analysis of existing curriculum and prioritization of creation of appropriate learning resources
  • Audit capacity for human and financial & organizational resources and plan accordingly
  • Identification of PPP and suitable models
  • Capacity building among curriculum developers to develop and support materials appropriate for the development of the 21st century skills
  • Demystification of the digital resource creation process
  • Development and delivery of the digital resource in the classrooms and integration
  • Teachers Professional Development
  • Action research by the teachers and evaluation of the quality of (digital) resource materials
  • Monitoring and Evaluation for e-content
  • Research and feedback mechanisms
curriculum framework
Curriculum Framework


  • Education Ministries should institutionalize policies for the introduction of ICT in the curriculum
  • Lobbying from grassroots on the need for ICT / change of political mind-set


Lack of policy on the introduction of ICTs

curriculum framework1
Curriculum Framework


  • ICT is not among priority needs for some African countries
  • Money is there but not prioritized where it is needed – misdirected priorities
  • Priorities still focus on textbooks, school infrastructure – ICT is not given a real place


Sensitization of policy makers to attract interest and need – thus to attract budgetary lines for ICT

curriculum framework2
Curriculum Framework


  • Define clearly the profile for the 21st century student by projecting short term and long term needs to guide policy makers and curriculum developers and examination boards
  • Define profiles in terms of a needs assessment of market place skills - if ICT is a condition for national socio-economic development towards a knowledge-based society (analysis of national policy/ consultation schools, leaders, teachers and students, universities, technical institutes, industry)


There is a lack of a well defined profile for 21st student

curriculum framework3
Curriculum Framework


  • Develop curriculum frameworks for vertical and horizontal ICT integration – as a subject (time-tabled) and across all subjects (as a tool)
  • Take content that is globalized and glocalize/ Africanize it


There is no well defined content which is a challenge for the development of ICT in Africa – content received in Africa is europeanized or westernized – does not reflect local realities

student centred learning
Student-centred Learning

Challenges V Strategies

  • Teachers confidence is challenged in student-centred environments:Teacher preparation should adopt student-centered approaches. They have to experience student-centered approaches. In-servicing of those in the field and teacher-educators
student centred learning1
Student-centred Learning

Challenges V Strategies

  • Inadequate resources: using local materials, problem based learning, effective use of ICTs in education
  • Curriculum promotes teacher centred approaches: Alignment of the curriculum with student-centered approaches
  • Examination problems have backwash effects on teaching approaches: Change of assessment approaches to approaches that not only address summative evaluations but also formative evaluations and training of teachers
  • Irrelevance of the curriculum: Involving students/community in the development of the curriculum
  • Personalizing instruction and assessment: Use of technology to meet individual and diverse needs of learners; Monitor student progress using e-portifolio
  • De-contextualize learning: contextualize learning by bringing community into school and vice versa
assessment and evaluation
Assessment and Evaluation


  • Gap between assessment for learning and assessment oflearning
  • Examination Councils’ inability to assess higher order skills
  • Lack of special/customized software for assessment
  • Large classes
  • Limited access to technology
  • Inadequate teacher preparation for reliable and valid assessment
  • Teaching geared towards exams – high stakes exams
assessment and evaluation1
Assessment and Evaluation


  • Harmonize assessment for learning and assessment of learning to complement each other and to assess a range of competencies
  • Address fear of teachers for technology and make them comfortable with technology (e-readiness of teachers)
  • Develop creative ‘homegrown’ solutions to address assessment challenges
  • Prepare teachers who are critical thinkers and creative problem solvers
  • Monitoring and evaluation mechanisms to be put in place for effective assessment processes and adjustments to be made as necessary
  • Clear criteria and guidelines for process and product assessment
  • Continuous professional development of teachers, including on assessment (formative, diagnostic and summative)
  • Seamless assessment system incorporating school based and high stakes examinations
gesci towards inclusive knowledge societies
GeSCITowards Inclusive Knowledge Societies


Mary Hooker

Esther Wachira



  • International Society for Technology in Education 2009. Essential Conditions for Systemic Transformation of Curriculum and Assessment IN: African Knowledge Exchange (AKE) workshop: 21st Century skills, ICT, Curriculum & Assessment. 8-10 July 2009 Accra Ghana [Online]. Available from ISTE at:
  • Mensah, A. 2009. Plenary Session: What 21st Century Students need from their Education Systems: knowledge and skills, attitudes, learning environments, technology and learning models IN: African Knowledge Exchange (AKE) workshop: 21st Century skills, ICT, Curriculum & Assessment. 8-10 July 2009 Accra Ghana [Online]. Available from AKE at:
  • Papert, S. 1993. The Children’s Machine: Rethinking School in the Age of the Computer. New York: Basic Books
  • Pulkkinen, J. 2009. Preliminary Conclusions and the Way Froward. IN: UN Global Alliance for ICT and Development Expert Group Web-Forum. 11 March 2009 [Online]. Available from GAID at:[Accessed 17 April 2009]