Classification of Paradigms

(by Kemmis and Atkin – How Do Students Learn)

Instructional Paradigm
  • To teach a given piece of subject matter, or to impart a specific skill. Involves a breaking down of tasks into sub-tasks, each with its own stated objectives and pre-requisites. Separate tasks are then structured and sequenced to form a coherent whole.
  • Examples are drill and practice, skill and drill
Revelatory paradigm
  • This involves guiding a student through a process of learning by discovery. The subject matter and its underlying model or theory are gradually “revealed” to the student.
  • ICT tool acts as a mediator between the student and a hidden model of some situations. Exemplified in educational programmes by simulations of various types.
Conjectural paradigm
  • Students are allowed to manipulate and test their own ideas and hypotheses, e.g., by modelling whereby the user creates a model of a situation and may go on to test it. Modelling is different from simulation as in a simulation, the model is pre-created by the programmer.
Emancipatory paradigm
  • ICT is used as a labour saving device, tool that relieves mental drudgery. For example, ICT tools are used fro tabulating data, calculating, statistical analysis, or drawing graphs.
  • ICT is used purely as a tool for learner’s convenience, to be used when and where as needed. ICT is only partly involved in the learning process, i.e. to take over the “inauthentic” learning part of the learning task.
In comparison with ICT in Education - Claims, Issues and Perennial Questions

(a) Claims

  • Motivate and excite learners
  • Increase achievement
  • Allow differentiation and individualisation of learning
  • Increase learner autonomy and independence
  • Provide an enriched, stimulating teaching and learning environment
  • Allow learners to learn at their own pace
  • Have a positive impact on standards and achievement
  • Focus student attention
  • Teach important facts and skills
  • Enhance the learning of difficult, abstract concepts
(b) Issues
  • Lack of training
  • Lack of time to learn
  • Lack of access and availability
  • Attitude to and fear of using ICT
  • Scepticism about its actual benefits in the classroom
  • Lack of collegial support, e.g. Principal, HOD
  • Lack of technical support
  • Danger of unrestricted access to the Internet
(c) Perennial Questions
  • Why should ICT be used in Education?
  • When should it be used?
  • When should it be not used?
  • How can ICT use be successfully integrated into the curriculum?
  • What do teachers and learners actually gain from using ICT?
(Shared by Mr Ang, 2007 June)

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