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The development and implementation of ICT policy for schools in the Irish post-primary context: a critical analysis

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dc.contributor.advisor Gleeson, Jim Johnston, Keith T. 2014-09-08T14:15:56Z 2014-09-08T14:15:56Z 2014
dc.description peer-reviewed en_US
dc.description.abstract Since the mid 1990’s there has been an increased emphasis on ICTs in national educational policies, particularly in developed countries. This has been reflected in increased levels of Government expenditure coupled with the development and implementation of specific initiatives to support the use of ICTs in schools. This emphasis has been based on the perceived educational potential of the Internet coupled with the global adoption of concepts such as the ‘knowledge/information society’ and the ‘knowledge economy.’ In Ireland the first ever policy for ICT in schools entitled Schools IT2000: A Policy Framework for the New Millennium was launched by the Department of Education and Science (DES) in 1997. Schools IT2000 aimed to address the development of technology use in primary and post-primary schools and focused on four main areas: technology infrastructure, training for teachers, pilot projects and support services. This study aims to establish how this policy was developed, to identify the factors that influence its development and to establish the outcomes arising from its implementation. It takes a critical qualitative approach drawing on nineteen interviews with policy makers and actors who were prominent at differing levels with respect to this initiative, as well as documentary evidence and related literature. The analysis of Schools IT2000 is set against the backdrop of the dominant discourses on ICT policy and educational change, the broad context of Irish educational policy making and the history of developments relating to technology in education in the Irish setting. The evidence suggests that Schools IT2000 enacted an approach to policy and policy implementation consistent with a techno-centric/innovation-focused discourse, characterised by a lack of clarity regarding educational purpose, an emphasis on the provision of infrastructure underpinned by the unstated assumption that technological provision (coupled with basic IT skills for teachers) would lead to worthwhile outcomes, little consideration of school and teacher contexts, an over reliance on pilot projects and limited attention to ongoing evaluation and research. The influence of political and external factors including the neo-liberal agenda also contributed strongly to the approach enacted. Based on this analysis recommendations for future DES post-primary level ICT policies are presented. These recommendations centre on the necessity to recognise the significance of context and the complexity of change in respect of any future ICT policy initiatives. This suggests a greater attention to social practice type variables than was the case in Schools IT2000. The desirability of engaging teachers in professional learning communities in the context of schools as learning organisations is advanced in respect of the implications of this understanding of educational change. en_US
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher University of Limerick en_US
dc.subject ICTs en_US
dc.subject post-primary schools en_US
dc.subject Ireland en_US
dc.title The development and implementation of ICT policy for schools in the Irish post-primary context: a critical analysis en_US
dc.type info:eu-repo/semantics/doctoralThesis en_US
dc.type.supercollection all_ul_research en_US
dc.type.supercollection ul_published_reviewed en_US
dc.type.supercollection ul_theses_dissertations en_US
dc.rights.accessrights info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess en_US

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