Changing Patterns of Computing Disciplines

Written by Dr. M. A. Pasha 25/05/2012

Computing is an interdisciplinary discipline that crosses the boundaries between mathematics, science, engineering, business and social sciences.  It consists of multiple fields including computer science, computer engineering, information systems, information technology, and software engineering (ACM/IEEE, 2001).  These fields are inter-related but they are quite different from each other. This dynamic nature of computing discipline propelled the international community to devise a model curriculum for computing.

The history of computing curriculum development can be traced back to 1965 when a preliminary version of the recommendations for Computer Science curriculum was published by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM, 1965). Since then the educators and professionals all over the world are striving to formalize the fundamental principles that distinguish the goals and methods of computing from those of other related disciplines.

In early days, the term ‘computer science’ was used as a common notion for computing discipline. With the passage of time, the nature of basic principles, methods, techniques and concepts evolves as the discipline evolves, and new principles replace old ones. Typically there are always strong resistances to change (Lawrence, 1954); therefore, these new developments were sometimes seriously questioned by believers in old principles. For example, Hilbert’s principle that formal mathematical theorems are provable by logical inference was questioned by Kurt Godel (1931), Alonzo Church & Alan Turing (1936), who argued that logic cannot completely prove all mathematical theorems. Similarly, many contradictory views of computing like the mathematical worldview (Davis, 1958 ) vs the interactive worldview (Goldin  & Wegner, 2008),  algorithmic programming  (Knuth 1968; Hopcroft & Ullman, 969 ) vs  contemporary programming (Rice & Rice 1969)  opened up new horizons for computing (Sipser, 2005).

Much efforts have been made to understand this rapidly expanding  nature of computing which include the recommendations of ACM Curriculum Committee on Computer Science (ACM, 1969; 1977; 1979), IEEE Computer Society Education Committee/Model Curriculum Subcommittee. (IEEE, 1976), IEEE Computer Society Educational Activities Board/Model Program Committee (IEEE, 1983), Report on the ACM Task Force on the Core of Computer Science (Denning , et al. , 1988).

Prior to the 1990s, many international bodies were producing their own curriculum recommendations. But, in 1991, ACM and IEEE-CS published a joint curriculum – Known as Computing Curricula 1991 or CC’91 – for four-year Bachelor’s degree programs in Computer Science and Computer Engineering (ACM/IEEE-CS, 1991). At that time Computing was restricted to three disciplines – Computer Engineering, Computer Science and Information Systems (See fig 1). In 1997, IS ‘97 Model Curriculum and Guidelines for Undergraduate Degree Programs in Information Systems (ACM, 1997) was also published.

Computing

By the end of the 1990s, global community started realizing that the field of computing had not only grown rapidly but had also grown in many dimensions. Different kinds of degree programs were offered by different academic institution which brought in the problem of degree accreditation. Consequently, in 2001, ACM and IEEE-CS joint task force produced Computing Curricula 2001 (ACM/IEEE, 2001) which further expanded the concept of Computing into four distinct disciplines – Computer Science (CS), Computer Engineering (CE), Information Systems (IS) and Software Engineering (SE). In response to the CC2001 model, the Information Systems, the Software Engineering and Computer Engineering communities published their own curriculum recommendation reports reports (ACM/AIS/AITP, 2002), (ACM/IEEE, 2004a) and (ACM/IEEE, 2004a) respectively.

The inventions of digital electronics gave birth to ‘digital revolution which brought digital calculators and computer systems into the access of public domain. These gadgets not only revolutionized the conventional concepts of calculation, but also changed the way data was stored, retrieved and controlled. Computers became essential tools at every level of most organizations, and networked computer systems became the information backbone of organizations (Kotkin, 2000).

The digital revolution not only affected the way scientists conduct their research but also expedite the pace of inventions (Thomson, 2007). High pace innovation in technologies for communication, computation, interactivity, and delivery of information introduced invention like ‘the Internet’, ‘the World Wide Web’, ‘email’, ‘bulletin board system’, ‘virtual communities’, ‘E-commerce’ and  other online technologies which brought a paradigm shift in business world –  from data processing to information processing – converting industrial society to an “information society (Cohen, 2009). Such inventions converted computer technology into information technology (IT). While this paradigm shift improved productivity, it also created new work place challenges regarding the development, operation, maintenance, and up gradation of organizational IT infrastructure (Samuelson, 1995). By the end of the 1990s, it became clear that the existing computing degree programs were not producing graduates who had the right mix of knowledge and skills to meet these challenges. Consequently, colleges and universities developed new degree programs to fill this crucial void (Denning, 2001); thus information technology was added as an independent discipline into the computing domain (Burrell, 1997; Lunt, et. al., 2003a; 2003b; Lunt, et. al., 2004; Lunt, et. al., 2005).

The Computing Curricula 2005 (CC2005) produced by the ACM, AIS and IEEE-CS Joint Task Force identified the distinctive features of these five distinct but overlapping disciplines of computing and laid down the key characteristics and skill set which every graduate in their respective discipline must acquire. These recommendations help academic institutions to standardize their computing related degree programs according to the need of the international market. However, the curriculum development process has not stopped yet.  Newly emerging economic trends, escalating pace of Information Technology (IT) usage, development outsourcing, and the emergence of knowledge economies have raised new issues. Recently, the international community has put forward a draft version of Computer Science Curricula 2013 (ACM, 2012) which has redefines the knowledge units and provides concrete guidance on curricular structure and development in a variety of institutional contexts.

Distinctive Characteristics of Computing Discipline

Computing Curricula 2005 (CC2005) produced by the ACM, AIS and IEEE-CS Joint Task Force identified the distinctive features of these five disciplines are explined in below pargarps (see figure as well):

Computer Science spans a wide range, from its theoretical and algorithmic foundations to cutting-edge developments in robotics, computer vision, intelligent systems, bioinformatics, and other exciting areas. Computer scientists develop new programming approaches for software development, devise new ways to use computers and develop effective ways to solve computing problems. While other disciplines produce graduates with more immediately relevant job-related skills, computer science offers a comprehensive foundation for research and innovation.

Software Engineering is the discipline of developing and maintaining software systems that behave reliably and efficiently, are affordable to develop and maintain, and satisfy all the requirements that customers have defined for them.  Software engineering is different in character from other engineering disciplines due to both the intangible nature of software and related operations. It seeks to integrate the principles of mathematics and computer science with the engineering practices developed for tangible, physical artifacts. Software engineering students learn more about software reliability and maintenance and focus more on developing and maintaining software techniques. While Computer Science students just acquire superficial knowledge of these aspects.

Computer Engineering is a discipline that embodies the science and technology of design, construction, implementation, and maintenance of software and hardware components of modern computing systems and computer-controlled equipment. Computer engineering has traditionally been viewed as a combination of both computer science (CS) and electrical engineering (EE) (CE2004). Its curriculum focuses on the theories, principles, and practices of traditional electrical engineering and mathematics and applies them to the problems of designing computers and computer-based devices.  Computer engineering students study the design of digital hardware systems including communications systems, computers, and devices that contain computers. They study software development, focusing on software for digital devices and their interfaces with users and other devices.

Information systems programs make graduates ready to integrate information technology solutions and business processes to meet the information needs of businesses and other enterprises, enabling them to achieve their objectives in an effective, efficient way. Information systems curriculum emphasizes various aspects of information, and views technology as a tool for generating, processing, and distributing information. Students of this program learn how computer systems can help an enterprise in defining and achieving its goals, and the processes that an enterprise can implement or improve using information technology. They learn both technical and organizational factors to help organizations to determine how information and technology-enabled business processes can provide a competitive advantage.

Information Technology emphasis on the technology itself whereas Information Systems focuses on the information aspects only.  Today, organizations of every kind are dependent on information technology.  IT specialists possess the right combination of knowledge and practical, hands-on expertise to take care of both an organization’s information technology infrastructure and the people who use it.

Distinct Characteristics of IT, CS and SE graduates

Over the past sixty years, computing has become an extremely broad domain that extends well beyond the boundaries of computer science to encompass such independent disciplines as computer engineering, software engineering, information systems, information technology and many others. Realizing this breadth of computing domain, the global community deduced that no group representing a single specialty could hope to do justice to computing as a whole (SE2004). Consequently, independent Task Force on each discipline was assigned the task of curriculum development in their respective field.  Keeping in view the distinctive nature of IT, CS, and SE the Task Force of respective discipline laid down the key characteristics of graduates of these disciplines. These characteristics are shown in Table 1.  Every graduate in their respective discipline must acquire a skill set that enables him or her to successfully perform integrative tasks, including the ability to:

Information Technology (IT   2005) Software Engineering (SE   2004) Computer   Science (CS 2008)
–   Use and apply current technical   concepts and practices in the core information technologies;-   Analyze, identify and define the   requirements that must be satisfied to address problems or opportunities   faced by organizations or individuals;-   Design effective and usable IT-based   solutions and integrate them into the user environment;

–   Assist in the creation of an effective   project plan;

–   Identify and evaluate current and   emerging technologies and assess their applicability to address the users’   needs;

–   Analyze the impact of technology on   individuals, organizations and society, including ethical, legal and policy   issues;

–   Demonstrate an understanding of best   practices and standards and their application;

–   Demonstrate independent critical   thinking and problem solving skills;

–   Collaborate in teams to accomplish a   common goal by integrating personal initiative and group cooperation;

–   Communicate effectively and   efficiently with clients, users and peers both verbally and in writing, using   appropriate terminology;

–   Recognize the need for continued   learning throughout their career.

–   Show   mastery of the software engineering knowledge and skills, and professional   issues necessary to begin practice as a software engineer.-   Work as an individual and as part of a   team to develop and deliver quality software artifacts.-   Reconcile conflicting project   objectives, finding acceptable compromises within limitations of cost, time,   knowledge, existing systems, and organizations.

–   Design appropriate solutions in one or   more application domains using software engineering approaches that integrate   ethical, social, legal, and economic concerns.

–   Demonstrate an understanding of and   apply current theories, models, and techniques that provide a basis for problem   identification and analysis, software design, development, implementation,   verification, and documentation.

–   Demonstrate an understanding and   appreciation for the importance of negotiation, effective work habits,   leadership, and good communication with stakeholders in a typical software   development environment.

–   Learn new   models, techniques, and technologies as they emerge and appreciate the   necessity of such continuing professional development.

–   Demonstrate knowledge   and understanding of essential facts, concepts, principles, and theories   relating to computer science and software applications.-   Use such knowledge and understanding   in the modeling and design of computer-based systems in a way that   demonstrates comprehension of the tradeoff involved in design choices.-   Identify and analyze criteria and   specifications appropriate to specific problems, and plan strategies for   their solution.

–   Understand the elements of   computational thinking. This includes recognizing its broad relevance in   everyday life as well as its applicability within other domains, and being   able to apply it in appropriate circumstances.

–   Analyze the extent to which a   computer-based system meets the criteria defined for its current use and   future development.

–   Deploy appropriate theory, practices,   and tools for the specification, design, implementation, and maintenance as   well as the evaluation of computer-based systems.

–   Recognize and be guided by the social,   professional, legal and ethical as well as cultural issues involved in the   use of computer technology. Increasingly cultural issues are also relevant.

2. COMPUTING DISCIPLINE IN PAKISTAN

In Pakistan, at university level computer education can be traced back to late 70’s when a department of computer science was established at Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad. Presently, 74 public and 62 private universities including their affiliated colleges are offering degree programs in various computing disciplines.  To ensure the quality of education students receive in universities and institutions, the Higher Education Commission (HEC) has setup an accreditation authority: National Computing Education Accreditation Council (NCEAC). The accreditation council periodically evaluates, scrutinizes and monitors the standards followed in different Universities, Degree Awarding Institutions and their affiliated colleges offering computing degree programs.

In addition, realizing the need of standardization, HEC as a part of its constitutional responsibility, has constituted four committees, as stated in [4], involving the respective expert faculty members both from public and private sectors throughout the country. All these committees worked independently in their respective domains through extensive interaction and consensus of national and international experts in the field and revise the existing curriculum after every three year. Recently, in 2009, the curriculum revision committee has published the revised curricula for BS, MS and PhD programs. The revised curricula [4] have been circulated nationwide for implementation.

Reference

ACM (1965). An undergraduate program in computer science – preliminary recommendations. Communications of the ACM, 8(9), 543–552.

ACM (1969).  ACM Curriculum Committee on Computer Science,  Curriculum 68: Recommendations for academic programs in computer science. Communications of the ACM, 11(3), 151–197.

ACM (1977). ACM Curriculum Committee on Computer Science, Curriculum recommendations for the undergraduate program in computer science. SIGCSE Bulletin (ACM), 2 (June), 1-16.

ACM (1979). ACM Curriculum Committee on Computer Science. (1979). Curriculum 78: Recommendations for the undergraduate program in computer science. Communications of the ACM, 22, 3 (March), 147-166.

ACM/IEEE-CS Joint Curriculum Task Force. (1991). Computing Curricula 1991, ACM Baltimore, MD. (Order No. 201880)

Beniger, J. R. (1986). The Control Revolution: Technological and Economic Origins of the Information Society. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press..

British Computer Society and The Institution of Electrical Engineers (1989). Undergraduate curricula for software engineers, London.

CC ( 2001). ACM/IEEE-Curriculum 2001 Task Force. Computing Curricula 2001, Computer Science. IEEE Computer Society Press and ACM Press.

CE2004 (2004). IEEE/ACM Joint Task Force on Computing Curricula. Computer Engineering 2004.

Chandler, P., & Sweller, J. (1991). Cognitive load theory and the format of instruction. Cognition and Instruction, 8, 293-332.

Confrey, J. (2006). “Comparing and Contrasting the NRC Report on Evaluating Curricular Effectiveness with the What Works Clearinghouse Approach.” Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis 28( 3): 195–213.

Clark, R. and Harrelson, G.  L. (2002). Designing Instruction That Supports Cognitive Learning Processes, J Athl Train. 37(4 suppl): 152–159.

Cox, A. (2004). Diagnóstico y perspectiva de los estudios de posgrado en Costa Rica. Digital Observatory for Higher Education in Latin America and the Caribbean. UNESCO, OPES 18/2004, 2004.

Curriculum Guidelines  for Undergraduate Degree Programs in Computer Engineering. IEEE Computer  Society Press and ACM Press.

Cohen, E. (Ed.). (2002). Challenges of information technology in the 21st century. Hershey, PA; Idea Group.

CSAB (1986).  Defining the computing sciences professions. Computing Sciences Accreditation Board.

CC ( 2005). Computing Curricula 2005: The Overview Report. IEEE and ACM Press. Retrieved from http://www.acm.org/education/education/curric_vols/CC2005-March06Final.pdf

Chatterjee, S., Ranjan, R.,  and Sharma, R. (2010). Recruitment Process Outsourcing Annual Report 2010 – A Year of Rapid Growth and Intense Competition. Everest Group.

Dodd, P. (2005). Export of Ukrainian IT Services and Products rose 57% to USD 110 Million in 2004. Shadowbox Studious, March 2005.

Davis, M. (1958). Computability & unsolvability. McGraw-Hill.

Denning, P. J., et al. (1988). Report on the ACM Task Force on the Core of Computer Science. New York: ACM Press (Order No. 201880).

Denning, P.J. (2001). The IT schools movement. Communications of the ACM, 44(11), 18.

Gödel, K. (1931). “Über Formal Unentscheidbare Sätze der Principia Mathematica und Verwandter Systeme, I.” Monatshefte für Math. u. Physik 38, 173-198.

Hopcroft, J. E., & Ullman, J. D. (1969). Formal languages and their relation to automata. Addison-Wesley.

HEC(No-date). Implementation of Semester System in Higher Education Institutions of Pakistan, Policy Guidelines Approved by the Higher Education Commission (HEC).

IEEE Computer Society Education Committee/Model Curriculum Subcommittee (1976). A Curriculum in computer science and engineering.  IEEE Computer Society, Committee Report.

IEEE Computer Society Educational Activities Board/Model Program Committee (1983). The 1983 IEEE Computer Society model program in computer science and engineering. IEEE Computer Society, December.

ILO (2012). Global Employment Trends, International Labour Organization.

IS2002 (2002). ACM/AIS/AITP Joint Task Force on Information Systems Curricula.

IS2002 Model Curriculum and Guidelines for Undergraduate Degree Programs in Information Systems, Association for Computing Machinery, Association for Information Systems, and Association for Information Technology Professionals.

Kotkin, J. (2000).The New Geography: How the Digital Revolution Is Reshaping the American Landscape, Random House.

Knuth, D. (1968). The art of computer programming, Vol. 1: Fundamental algorithms. Addison-Wesley.

Lawrence, P.R. (1954) “How to Deal with Resistance to Change”, Harvard Business Review, (May/June), pp. 49-57.

Lunt, B., Reichgelt, H., Ashford, T., Phelps, A., Slanzski, E., & Willis, C. (2003a). An empirical comparison

of baccalaureate programs in computing. Proceedings of the 2003 International Conference on Engineering and Computer Education (ICECE) Mar 17-20, 2003, Santos, SP, Brazil. [Proceedings on CD-ROM (no page numbers).]

Lunt, B., Reichgelt, H., Ashford, T., Phelps, A., Slanzski, E., & Willis, C. (2003b). What is the new discipline of information technology? Where does it fit? Conference for Industry and Education Collaboration (CIEC) 2003, Jan 28-31, 2003, Tucson, AZ. [Proceedings on CD-ROM (no page numbers).]

Lunt, B., Ekstrom, J. Gorka, S., Kamali, R., Lawson, E., Miller, J., & Reichgelt, H. (2004). Defining the IT curriculum: The results of the past 2½ years. Proceedings of the International Conference on Engineering Education and Research (iCEER), June 27-30, 2004, Olomouc, Czech Republic. 2004; Proceedings on CD-ROM (no page numbers)

Lunt, B., Ekstrom, J. Gorka, S., Kamali, R., Lawson, E., Miller, J., & Reichgelt, H. (2005). Defining the IT  curriculum: The results of the past 3 years. Journal of Issues in Informing Science and Information Technology, 2, 259-270.

Krishnadas, K.C. (2005). India Software Exports Soar To $12 Billion, Says Nasscom. Outsourcing Pipeline. June 02, 2005.

Final Report Task Force on Globalization Of Research and Graduate Education. 2008

Nerad, M. (2010).Globalization and the Internationalization of Graduate Education: A Macro and Micro View, Canadian Journal of Higher Education, Revue canadienne d’enseignement supérieur, Volume 40, No. 1, 2010, pages 1-12.

Reichgelt, H., Lunt, B., Ashford, T., Phelps, A., Slanzski, E., Willis, C. (2004). A comparison of baccalaureate

programs in information technology with baccalaureate programs in computer science and information systems. Journal of Information Technology Education, 3, 19-34.

Marcus, N., Cooper, M., & Sweller, J. (1996). Understanding instructions. Journal of

Educational Psychology, 88, 49-63.

Mahoney, M. S. (1988). The History of Computing in the History of Technology. Annals of the History of Computing 10 (2): 113-125.

Miller, G. A. (1956). The Magical Number Seven. Retrieved September 20, 2008, from Music Animation Machine Web site: http://www.musanim.com/miller1956/

Mulder,  M. C. and Dalphin, J. (1984). Computer science program requirements and accreditation—an interim report of the ACM/IEEE Computer Society joint task force. Communications of the ACM, 27(4):330-335.

Neerincx, M.A., Dobbelsteen, G.J.H. van den, Grootjen, M. & Veenendaal, J. van (2003). Assessing cognitive load distributions for envisioned task allocations and support functions. Thirteenth International Ship Control Systems Symposium (SCSS), Orlando,  Florida.

Porter, A. (2004). Curriculum assessment. Complementary Methods for Research in Education. J. Green, G. Camilli, & P. Elmore (Eds.) Washington DC: AERA. pp. 141-159.

Peterson, G.W., et al. (1996)“A Cognitive Information Processing Approach to Career Problem Solving.” In Career Choice and Development, 3rd ed. Edited by D. Brown, L. Brooks, and Associates. Toronto: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1996.

Rice, J. K., & Rice J. R. (1969). Introduction to computer science: Problems, algorithms, languages, information and computers. USA: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.

Sipser, M. (2005). Introduction to the theory of computation (2nd ed.). PWS Publishing Company.

SE2004 (2004).  IEEE/ACM Joint Task Force on Computing Curricula. Software Engineering 2004, Curriculum Guidelines for Undergraduate Degree Programs in Software Engineering,

IEEE Computer Society Press and ACM Press.  Retrieved from http://sites.computer.org/ccse/SE2004Volume.pdf

Taylor, S. E. and Gollwitzer, P. M. (1995). Effects of mindset on positive illusions,  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol 69(2): 213-226.

Thimbleby, H.: “Teaching HCI to make it come alive,” HCIed2008 Conference, Interaction Design and Architecture, 3–4:9–16, special issue edited by Giovannella, C., Kotze, P. & Wong, W. (2008)

Turing, A.(1936). On computable numbers, with an application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Proceedings of the London Mathematical Society, Series 2(42), pp 230–265.

Goldin, D. & Wegner, P. (2008). The Interactive Nature of Computing: Refuting the Strong Church–Turing Thesis, Minds & Machines, 18:17–38.

Gerjets, P., Scheiter, K. & Catrambone, R.(2004). Designing Instructional Examples to Reduce Intrinsic Cognitive Load: Molar versus Modular Presentation of Solution Procedures, Instructional Science 32: 33–58, 2004.

Shaw, M.(1985). The Carnegie-Mellon curriculum for undergraduate computer science. New York: Springer-Verlag.

Shaw, M. and Tomayko, J. E.(1991) Models for undergraduate courses in software engineering. Pittsburgh: Software Engineering Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, January 1991.

Sweller, J. (1994) Cognitive load theory, learning difficulty, and instructional design, learning

and instruction, 4(4): 295–312.

Advertisements

Teacher Training Workshop

Information Regarding the Teacher Training Workshop at Department of Computer Science & Information Technology

For some time now, the global education and economic landscapes have been in a state of rapid transformation, spurred in significant part by two key changes.
1. The continued ascent of the knowledge economy, which has created powerful new incentives for people to build their skills through education – and for countries to help them do so.
2. The explosive growth of higher education worldwide, which has increased opportunities for millions and is expanding the global talent pool of highly educated individuals.
Global community has acknowledged that higher education is the only way to lead the world. It is a necessary and laudable goal that is critical to economic competitiveness, equal opportunity, and a healthy democracy. It is equally important to success in the 21st-century knowledge economy. Latest employer surveys indicate increased emphasis on hiring individuals with postsecondary degrees and higher levels of skills and knowledge. Latest surveys have shown that in 2008, a man with higher education could expect to earn 58% more than his counterpart with no more than an upper secondary education, on average across OECD countries. By 2010, this premium had increased to 67%.
Time has come to realize that educational attainment is a key driver of economic performance, especially related to innovative growth. It is the actual skills and knowledge acquired that matter for productivity. It follows that improving the quality of education is at least as important as increasing the overall rate of participation in higher education. The achievement of this goal requires sustained attention to the quality of student learning. Quality learning can only be achieved through quality teaching which can be achieved through developing faculty’s quality teaching skill.
At Department of Computer Science & Information Technology, I have delived a two days Teacher Training Workshop encompassing following areas:
1. Key Skills of an Effective Teacher
2. Course Development, Effective Pedagogy & Content Delivery
3. Assessment & Evaluation
4. Guidance & Counseling

I have uploaded the slides of this workshop for knowledge sharing. Please visit http://www.innovators.edu.pk/node/288 to download my presentations slides.

Understanding Differences Among Content Knowledge, Competency, Expertise, and Dispositions

It is not a research paper. I have compiled this information for my students. Puting here just for knowledge sharing. Some of you may find it useful

Understanding Difference among Competency, Expertise, Content Knowledge, and Disposition

Expertise, competency, content knowledge and dispositions are commonly used terms. These terms are often used interchangeably but have distinct meanings depending on the context. Each term has its own theoretical construct and related knowledge which makes them distinct. Here I have tried to define each of these terms as they are important for our students who have recently joined university education.

Let’s start with Content Knowledge.

Content Knowledge

The traditional form of knowledge is often referred to as content knowledge. Knowledge is the systematic collection of information, such that it intends to be useful. Knowledge represents a state or potential for actions and decisions in a person, an organization or a group. It could be changed in the process of learning which causes changes in understanding, decision or action. Although knowledge is usually considered abstract concept, Content knowledge can be defined as the information and explicit knowledge that can be identified, stored, accessed, possessed, measured and translated/abstracted outside of the situation/environment in which it was created. Content knowledge is static and is minimally impacted through social interaction unless has social valuation. In other words, if content knowledge is not identified as being valuable it may be lost, and if it has perceived exceptional value, it may be controlled.

Ackoff (1999) considers knowledge as a deterministic process. When students “memorizes” information (as they often do), then they amass knowledge. This knowledge has useful meaning to them, but it provides little help in inferring new knowledge. For example, elementary school children memorize, or amass knowledge of “tables”. They can tell that “2 x 2 = 4” because they have amassed that knowledge; but if asked what “1267 x 300” is, they cannot respond correctly because that entry is not in their learnt tables. To correctly answer such questions, students need a true cognitive and analytical ability – known as understanding.

Students usually amass content knowledge reading text books, attending lectures, surfing the Internet or through dialog with their peers. As grades are the key objectives of our education system, most of our teachers focus on transferring content knowledge. Students memorize content knowledge and reproduce in examination for teachers to measure and award grades. Whereas, for succeeding in today’s world, possessing content knowledge alone is not as important for students as to be able to know how to use content knowledge in the real world. In other words, they need to have understanding and experience to use content knowledge efficiently and effectively. This is what in literature known as competence (Herling, 2000; Yaklief, 2010). As the majority of our students possess content knowledge without competency, they usually face difficulty in performing their assignments as the situation requires (Herling, 2000; Laufer & Glick, 1998). It not only shakes their confidence, but also distorts their image among peers. Hence, along with content knowledge, students need to develop competency as well.

Competency

Herling (2000) defines competence as “an ability to do something satisfactory-not necessarily outstandingly or even well, but rather to a minimum level of acceptable performance (p.9).” The “minimum level of acceptable performance” makes competency a relative term. Different organizations may have defined their own competency model based on the skill sets required to efficiently perform required work. The level of competency of required skill set also help organizations to quantify overall capacity among workers. Although students may discover the required skill set of a domain through surfing the Internet, it is the responsibility of academia to identify and list down the minimum level of competency of the required skill set of the domain in which students would be seeking employment. For this purpose, teachers can follow professional bodies’ guidelines and select appropriate course contents, classroom activities and associated pedagogy to help students to develop required level of competency.

Expertise

Expertise is usually defined as individuals’ ability of translating content knowledge into practice. Some authors have associated it with the application of content knowledge to the in-hand problem/situation. Others have extended it further by including the capacity of individuals to modify or create content knowledge through research or discursive processes (Laufer & Glick, 1998; Yahlief, 2010). In general, expertise is correlated with the depth of understanding based on experience. For example, an expert not only knows what (content knowledge) and how (competency), but also why and when to use content knowledge (analogy and reasoning) (Allee, 1997). This requires a certain level of domain knowledge and know-how of the contexts in which the content knowledge can be applied (Sternberg & Horvath, 1999). Herling defines expertise as “displayed behavior within a specialized domain and/or related domain in the form of consistently demonstrated actions of an individual that are both optimally efficient in their execution and effective in their results (p.20).”
Sometimes expertise is categorized as generalized expertise and specialized expertise. Specialized expertise comes from experience and learning within a specific domain, such as heart surgery or brain surgery within the medical professions. Specialized expertise is gained through interaction with the environment, professional artifacts, and other professionals within a community of practice (Herling, 2000; Sternberg & Horvath, 1999; Yaklief, 2002). However, specialized expertise needs social recognition and the community considers it important. Without social recognition there is no expertise. Social recognition allows experts to convert their specialized understanding into content knowledge that can be disseminated among those who may be interested in joining the specialized community. Generalized expertise can either be developed through application of the specialized expertise across domains (Herling, 2000) or through a deep understanding of the domain as a whole, within multiple specializations within that domain linked together to create general expertise (Allee, 1997; Herling, 2000). Expertise is dynamic and constantly changing as deeper meaning is developed through interaction and understanding. Hence, the level of expertise may vary among experts of the same domain.

Dispositions

In 1992, the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC) coined the term Dispositions. The Council defined it as “the values, commitments and professional ethics that influence behaviors toward students, families, colleagues, and communities and affect student learning, motivation, and development as well as the educator’s own professional growth (INTASC, 2009). Dispositions are differentiated from skills or items of knowledge and are usually considered as habits of mind or tendencies to respond to certain situations in certain ways (Katz, 1995). Pink (2006) brought in the idea of “Right Brain Dispositions” i.e., to shift programmatic thinking of education from left brain (analytical) alone to include the right brain (global).

The concept of disposition is getting popularity among various disciplines, like teacher education, computing, engineering, medicine, etc. This is due to the reason that the integration of technologies has made graduates role more complex in today’s work places. They are expected to be involved in more real-time scenarios than ten years before. Such challenges demand from graduates a very high level of creativity, responsiveness, proactive thinking, agile decision making, analytical mindset, etc. Once these skills were considered as competitive edge, but today these have become as perennial capabilities of successful graduates. Such challenges demand from teachers to adopt a full brain approach and shift students’ learning objects from skill development to disposition development. For example, “having the disposition to be a programmer” is more effective than “having programming skills”; same is the case with “having the disposition to be a software developer” than “having software development skills”.

Dispositions are not learned through formal instruction or exhortation (Kohn, 1993). To acquire or strengthen a particular disposition, a student must have the opportunity to express the disposition in behavior. Teachers can strengthen the required dispositions by setting learning goals rather than performance goals. A teacher who says, “See how much you can find out about something,” rather than, “I want to see how well you can do,” encourages students to focus on what they are learning rather than on an external evaluation of their performance (Dweck, 1991). For strengthening students’ dispositions we need to learn from John Dewey statement, “The self is not something ready-made, but something in continuous formation through choice of action” (Dewey, 1893, p.652).

There is another aspect related to job satisfaction. Fresh graduates need to develop dispositions regarding their professional career. In the last decade a stream of research has appeared which suggests that judgments of job satisfaction are significantly influenced by the individual’s affective disposition (Arvey, Bouchard, Segal, & Abraham, 1989; Judge &Hillin, Levin & Stokes, 1989; Pulakos & Schmitt, 1983; Staw & Ross, 1985; Staw, Bell, & Clausen, 1986). Affective disposition has also been linked to behaviors such as absence (George, 1989), turn over, and pro-social behaviors (George, 1991). Therefore, teachers need to promote affective disposition of the students through teaching-learning-assessment experiences, so that the practical attributes of affective disposition could be available to every student in their classrooms, institutional environment, and teachers’ routines practices.

Making a right kind of dispositional decisions is not only important but also a challenging task. Teachers and curriculum experts need to consider this aspect seriously so that the students should be prepared to be successful in today’s competitive age.

Consulted Resources

    • Wikipedia
    • http://connecting2theworld.blogspot.com/undefined?&lang=en_us&output=json
    • Herling, R. (2000). Operational       definition of expertise and competence. Advances in Developing Human       Resources, 8-21.
    • Laufer, E., & Glick, J.       (1998). Expert and novice differences in cognition and activity: A       practical work activity. In Y. Engeström, & D. Middleton, Cognition       and communication at work (pp. 177-198). Cambridge: Cambridge University       Press.
    • Yaklief, A. (2010). The three       facets of knowledge: A critique of practice based learning theory.       Research Policy, 39-46.
    • Allee, V. (1997). The Knowledge Evolution.       Newton, MA: Butterworth-Heinemann.
    • Sternberg, R. & Horvath, J.,       eds. (1999). Tacit knowledge in professional practice: researcher and       practitioner perspectives. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
    • Yakhlef, A. (2002). Towards a       discursive approach to organisational knowledge formation. Scandinavian       Journal of Management, 18, 319-339.
    • Interstate New Teacher Assessment       and Support Consortium (INTASC). (1992) Model standards for beginning       teacher licensing, assessment and development: A resource for state       dialogue. Retrieved online April 22, 2009, from http://www.ccsso.org/projects/Interstate_New_Teacher_Assessment_and_Supp…
    • National Council for the       Accreditation of Teacher Education.(2002). Professional standards for the       accreditation of schools, colleges, and departments of education.       Washington, DC: Author
    • Katz, L. G. (1995). Dispositions       in early childhood education.In L. G. Katz (Ed.), Talks with teachers of       young children.A collection. Norwood, NJ: Ablex. ED 380 232.
    • Pink, D. (2006). A whole new       mind: Why right brainers will rule the future. Riverhead, NY: Riverhead       Trade Publications.
    • Kohn, A. (1993). Punished by       rewards: The trouble with gold stars, incentive plans, A’s, praise, and       other bribes. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin.
    • Dweck, C. S. (1991).       Self-theories and goals: Their role in motivation, personality, and       development. In Richard A. Dienstbier (Ed.), Nebraska symposium on       motivation: Vol. 38. Perspectives on motivation (pp. 199-235). Lincoln:       University of Nebraska Press.
    • Dewey, J. (1893).       Self-realization as the moral ideal. The Philosophical Review, 2,(6),       652-664.

 

Our new book titled “Secrets of Successful Presenters: A Guide for Successful Presenters” has been published

Our book titled “Secrets of Successful Presenters: A Guide for Successful Presenters” has been published by LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing (Germany). The book helps readers to learn how to present themselves, their business, and their cause with a comprehensive, understandable, and thriving way.
As we know in today’s competitive world we should all be on the lookout for ways to make ourselves stand out in business world. Being able to create and make an effective presentation is a great way to make ourselves stand out. Either we are a CEO, project manager, entrepreneur, sales person, teacher, or a public speaker; we need to strengthen our presentations skills to influence other to achieve our goals. For this we need to learn about the secrets of successful presenters.
Successful presenters possess appropriate knowledge, skills and attitude to achieve the objectives of their presentation. For this they take advantage of their knowledge about:
• the secretes of information & cognitive theories;
• learning methods divulged by learning theories and how to use them effectively;
• learning styles and how to select suitable method to gain presentation’s objectives;
• individual’s learning capacity and how to maximize their learning gain;
• audience stereotypes their attitude & psychology.
Knowledge of such aspects not only helps them to select appropriate contents, design and delivery style for their presentation but also reduce the physical and psychological stress of their audience. This way they make their presentations memorable and thriving.
This book is for those who does presentations or may need to do a presentation in the future. Unlike most presentation books that say the same things regarding presentation design and delivery, our book divulge those secrets which help readers to learn above mention aspects to become world class presenters. It will also give you the in’s and out’s for presenting yourself, your business, and your cause with a comprehensive, understandable, and thriving way. I hope reader will like this book and recommend it to their friends and institutional libraries. Please click below image to purchase this book.

book image

Combatting extremism through education

Although the 20th century has been marked as the most lethal century in the history of humanity in which over 150 million people have died at the hands of others (ICE, 2001) but the same century has also been the most promising one in terms of intellectual & technological inventions. The great challenge inherited by the 21st century is that how can we ensure that such developments be used in the promotion of peace and prosperity of nations and in the improvement of the quality of life of people, thereby truly allowing for the survival of humanity?

The 21st century is loaded with a large number of challenges for the global community. These challenges include the exponential growth of information & innovation, availability of information (time, speed, volume, mode and nature), globalized business environment and access to data, the control of international and inter-organizational business processes in real time, highly uncertain and chaotic business environment, new level of national & international competition (hyper-competition), social & cultural diversity, rapidly changing products and processes, energy, government regulation, increasing importance of skill, quality, productivity and other stresses (Davenport, 1998; Locke et al, 2005; AMR Research, 2006; the Aberdeen Group, 2007; Hawking, 2007; Caruso, 2009;). Moreover, extremism has emerged as a common trait of the globalized society; posing serious threats to global prosperity, harmony, and peace.

May people consider “education” as a solution to this problem. They may be right; but someone has to define “Education”. Education is commonly defined as “change of behavior” and “to educate” means “ to modify behavior”. The question that logically must follow is, “change to what?” ”To what extent shall we modify the child in order to change our society?” A review of the educational philosophies – perrennialism, essentialism, eclecticism, progressivism, re-constructionism, modernism and post-modernism – and their associated objectives reveals that they have always been affected by the underlying socio-economic and political conditions of the specific time slot in the course of history (Lovat & Smith, 1995:11). Talking about the relationship between educational knowledge and power, Bemstein (1971: p.41) argues “How a society selects, classifies, distribute and evaluate the educational knowledge it considers to be public, reflects both the distribution of power and the principle of social control”. The NEPI Report (1992) acknowledges this reality as it states, “There are, therefore, important social and political dimensions to the curriculum. The way in which knowledge is organized in the school curriculum is a social activity which produces a social product. It is drawn up by particular groups of people; it reflects particular point of views and values; it is anchored in the experiences of particular social groups; and it produces particular patterns of success and failure.” A further exploration of these aspects may demand for a new definition of education. The question that logically will follow is “ Who is responsible of defining education?”

However, in current situation knowledge of personal, social, and civic responsibilities is the key area which may help us to combat against terrorism. It has also been included in major Frameworks for 21st century skills.
The Partnership for 21st Century Skills Framework has included following section:
Life skills: Good teachers have always incorporated life skills into their pedagogy. The challenge today is to incorporate these essential skills into schools deliberately, strategically and broadly. Life skills include:
• Leadership
• Ethics
• Accountability
• Adaptability
• Personal productivity
• Personal responsibility
• People skills
• Self-direction
• Social responsibility

Metiri Group and NCREL ‘s 21st century skills framework has included
Effective Communication
• Teaming, Collaboration, and Interpersonal Skills
• Personal, Social, and Civic Responsibility
• Interactive Communication
In their 21st century skills framework the American Association of Colleges and Universities has included
Personal and Social Responsibility, including

• Civic knowledge and engagement—local and global
• Intercultural knowledge and competence
• Ethical reasoning and action
• Foundations and skills for lifelong learning

Some useful material on “Extremism and Education”

Some limitations of the existing Curriculum
Overall, the distinction between perennial and contextual skills is important because, unlike perennial capabilities, new, contextual types of human performances are typically not part of the legacy curriculum inherited from 20th century educational systems. Conventional, 20th century K- 12 instruction emphasizes manipulating pre-digested information to build fluency in routine problem solving, rather than filtering data derived from experiences in complex settings to develop skills in sophisticated problem finding. Knowledge is separated from skills and presented as revealed truth, not as an understanding that is discovered and constructed; this separation results in students learning data about a topic rather than learning how to extend their understand beyond information available for assimilation. Also, in 20th century instruction, problem solving skills are presented in an abstract form removed from their application to knowledge; this makes transfer to real world situations difficult. The ultimate objective of education is presented as learning a specific problem solving routine to match every situation, rather than developing expert decision making and metacognitive strategies that indicate how to proceed when no standard approach seems applicable.
In the legacy curriculum, little time is spent on building capabilities in group interpretation, negotiation of shared meaning, and co-construction of problem resolutions. The communication skills stressed are those of simple presentation, rather than the capacity to engage in richly structured interactions that articulate perspectives unfamiliar to the audience. Face-to-face communication is seen as the “gold standard,” so students develop few capabilities in mediated dialogue and in shared design within a common virtual workspace.
Given that the curriculum is already crowded, a major political challenge is articulating what to deemphasize in the curriculum – and why – in order to make room for students to deeply master core 21st century understandings and performances. This is not a situation in which one must eliminate an equivalent amount of current curriculum for each 21st century understanding added, because better pedagogical methods can lead to faster mastery and improved retention, enabling less reteaching and more coverage within the same timeframe (Van Lehn and the Pittsburgh Science of Learning Center, 2006). However, what education should emphasize as its core outcomes is politically controversial even if substantial sections of the 20th century legacy curriculum are not eliminated.
In the legacy curriculum, little time is spent on building capabilities in group interpretation, negotiation of shared meaning, and co-construction of problem resolutions. The communication skills stressed are those of simple presentation, rather than the capacity to engage in richly structured interactions that articulate perspectives unfamiliar to the audience. Face-to-face communication is seen as the “gold standard,” so students develop few capabilities in mediated dialogue and in shared design within a common virtual workspace.
Given that the curriculum is already crowded, a major political challenge is articulating what to deemphasize in the curriculum – and why – in order to make room for students to deeply master core 21st century understandings and performances. This is not a situation in which one must eliminate an equivalent amount of current curriculum for each 21st century understanding added, because better pedagogical methods can lead to faster mastery and improved retention, enabling less reteaching and more coverage within the same timeframe (Van Lehn and the Pittsburgh Science of Learning Center, 2006). However, what education should emphasize as its core outcomes is politically controversial even if substantial sections of the 20th century legacy curriculum are not eliminated.
Beyond curricular issues, classrooms today typically lack 21st century learning and teaching in part because high-stakes tests do not assess these competencies. Assessments and tests focus on measuring students’ fluency in various abstract, routine skills, but typically do not assess their strategies for expert decision making when no standard approach seems applicable. Essays emphasize simple presentation rather than sophisticated forms of rhetorical interaction. Students’ abilities to transfer their understandings to real world situations are not assessed, nor are capabilities related to various aspects of teamwork. The use of technological applications and representations is generally banned from testing, rather than measuring students’ capacities to use tools, applications, and media effectively. Abilities to effectively utilize various forms of mediated interaction are typically not assessed. As discussed later, valid, reliable, practical assessments of 21st century skills are needed to improve this situation.
Lack of professional development is another reason 21st century skills are underemphasized in today’s schooling. Providing educators with opportunities to learn about the ideas and strategies discussed in this volume is only part of the issue. A major, often unrecognized challenge in professional development is helping teachers, policy makers, and local communities unlearn the beliefs, values, assumptions, and cultures underlying schools’ industrial-era operating practices, such as forty-five minute class periods that allow insufficient time for all but superficial forms of active learning by students. Altering deeply ingrained and strongly reinforced rituals of schooling takes more than the superficial interchanges typical in “make and take” professional development or school board meetings. Intellectual, emotional, and social support is essential for “unlearning” and for transformational relearning that can lead to deeper behavioral changes to create next-generation educational practices. Educators, business executives, politicians, and the general public have much to unlearn if 21st century understandings are to assume a central place in schooling.

Pakistan’s Education System and Links to Extremism
Author: Jayshree Bajoria
October 7, 2009; Council on Foreign Relations
http://www.cfr.org/pakistan/pakistans-education-system-links-extremism/p20364
The World Bank says nearly half the adult population of Pakistan can’t read, and net primary enrollment rates remain the lowest in South Asia. Experts say the system suffers from inadequate government investment, corruption, lack of institutional capacity, and a poor curriculum that often incites intolerance. In August 2009, chief counterterrorism adviser to the White House John Brennan, summing up a concern held by many U.S. terrorism experts, said extremist groups in Pakistan have exploited this weakness. “It is why they offer free education to impoverished Pakistani children, where they can recruit and indoctrinate the next generation,” he said. There have been some efforts by the Pakistani government, Western governments, and the World Bank to reform the system, but serious challenges remain. [ A bird eye view of this paper may give some points]

Universities failing to fight extremism, says watchdoghttp://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/feb/18/counter-terrorism-watchdog-universities-fail-fight-extremism
Lord Carlile, who is in charge of overseeing the government’s counterterrorism strategy, Prevent, urges ministers to develop a “new narrative” for combating extremism, supporting moderate Muslim theologians against al-Qaida. “You have to meet like with like,” he says.
He is scathing about the conclusion reached by Universities UK, representing 133 universities – and says their report contains a “glaring omission”. He told the Guardian: “[There] is a total failure to deal with how to identify and handle individuals who might be suspected of radicalising or being radicalised whilst within the university.”
The vice-chancellors’ report says universities should “engage, not marginalise” extreme political views on campus. It says universities should confront “aberrant behaviour” and refer it to police but it is “emphatically not” universities’ function to engage in censorship or surveillance of students.
The report adds that “by being places where ideas and beliefs can be tested without fear of control”, universities act as a safeguard against ideologies that threaten Britain’s open society.

Education, Extremism and Terrorism: What Should be Taught in Citizenship Education and Why By Dianne Gereluk, Continuum (May 10 2012)
This book considers whether the issues of extremism and terrorism should be addressed and taught in schools. In England, the issue of extremism and terrorism has recently been introduced within various aspects of the curriculum at secondary level. Little has been said about the justification of including these issues and little has been said about how such subjects should be broached within school walls. This text redresses this void and explores and critiques various justifications used for why these issues should be addressed in schools. The broader education and political objectives of the extent to which the state should develop political education with particular reference to extremism and terrorism. In light of the exploration of the justifications for teaching extremism and terrorism, the way in which educators should teach these topics in school are explored with practical suggestions.
The Educational Environment as a Means for Overcoming Youth Extremism by Panina, G. V. Russian Education and Society, v52 n10 p3-18 Oct 2010
During Russia’s societal transition extremist behavior by young people shows signs of increasing. An extra effort is required on the part of Russian educators to try to contain this phenomenon. The increasing extremist activity on the part of young people is linked to a particular stage of the development of society. It appears that youth extremism serves as an indicator of society’s economic development, and of its transition to the postindustrial phase of development. In this article the author attempts to substantiate this paradoxical assertion. The author discusses extremism as an indicator of social troubles and describes some measures to overcome youth extremism. The author stresses that the most important way to combat youth extremism consists of showing concern for the development of the social institution of education and perfecting its structural components.

How can we keep extremism out of our schools?
Blog of Neil O’Brien
Neil O’Brien is Director of Policy Exchange, an independent think tank working for better public services, a stronger society and a more dynamic economy. He writes in a personal capacity.
http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/neilobrien1/100064844/how-can-we-keep-extremism-out-of-our-schools-with-a-commitment-to-british-values/

Can Autonomy Counteract Extremism in Traditional Education? Author: RESNICK, DAVID
Source: Journal of Philosophy of Education, Volume 42, Number 1, February 2008 , pp. 107-118(12)
Abstract:
The very purpose of traditional—especially religious—education is to induct the young into a unique vision of reality. When the compelling religious vision conflicts with other visions, extremist confrontations may result. This paper explores ways to `square the circle’ of the educational conundrum of how to educate for fervent commitment to tradition without precluding autonomy and diversity, both within the tradition but especially vis-à-vis outsiders. Some liberal educators see educating for autonomy as an antidote to extremism, but such an approach is found wanting both ethically and empirically. Reinforcing the roots of toleration within religious traditions is offered as a more effective alternative.

A Critical Moment for Pakistan to Make a Decision

The Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2011 was launched on January 26, 2012 at the Planning Commission auditorium Islamabad. For this report, the data was collected with the help of more than 5000 volunteers as a nationwide citizens’ effort on education and learning accountability, in 84 rural districts and 3 urban city districts, covering 2,502 villages, 97 urban blocks, 49,793 households and 146,874 children. The report highlights trends in learning for 5-16 year olds -and access for 3-16 year olds disaggregated by gender. According to this report the Early Childhood education (3-5 year olds) shows the highest enrollment of 51.3% in Punjab and lowest in Gilgit-Baltistan (29.4%) with majority enrolled in government schools. For urban areas this trend is highest in Karachi (68.9%) with majority of children in private schools (Lahore, Karachi and Peshawar).

Of the 6-16 year olds surveyed the rural enrolment trend is 80% whilst out of school persists
at 20% comprising of higher number of children who have never enrolled (15% never enrolled and 5.0% drop out). In the 3 urban city districts the enrolment is around 90%. Girls lag behind boys in enrolment and learning in rural areas. In urban areas the trends for girls is much better than their rural counterparts. In Karachi for instance, among the enrolled children 52.4% were girls as compared to 47.6% boys. Also, 45% girls were found to be able to read simple sentences in Urdu/Sindhi as compared to the 38% boys who could read sentences in Urdu/Sindhi.

The overall rural private sector enrolment accounts for 23%. Of the total enrolment 2 percent study in madrasahs (highest Madrasah enrollment in Balochistan Province (5.2%) and district
Bahawalpur in Punjab at 5%). Not only are families paying for private schools fees but 11% rural households are also paying for tuition centres/preparatory academies. In urban areas this trend is from 31% to 50%. In the rural sample the percentage of government school children taking tuitions is 7.1% vs. private school children which is 24%. In rural districts like Nankana Sahib and Sheikhupura supplementary learning is highest (37%). The trends of rural non-state private schooling are highest in the provinces/areas of: GilgitBaltistan (43%) and Punjab (33%) and lowest in Sindh (10%).

Like 2010 the ASER 2011 evidence is most worrying on learning levels across school systems 47.4% of the children in grade 5 can read Urdu/Sindhi while 52.6% of children completing primary will not be able to read simple grade 2 level stories in Urdu or mother tongue.
40.6 % of the children in grade 5 can read English sentences while 59.4 % of children completing primary will not be able to read simple grade 2 level sentences in English.
37.3 % of the children in grade 5 can do three digit division (grade III level) while 62.7% of children completing primary will not be able to do the simple 3-digit division.

In the rural sample teachers attendance (overall) in government schools is 83% whilst for primary level it is 85% on a given day; the comparable figures for private schools are 89% overall and 83% at the primary level.

The difference across public and private in teachers’ presence may be narrowing.The presence of children continues to be a challenge with 79.7% children present in government schools (rural) on a given day according to the headcount measure and 85.2% in private schools (rural). In the urban sample Karachi was found to have the lowest student attendance rates. Overall student attendance in government schools in Karachi on the day of the visit was 66.5% according to the head count measure.

In FATA 75 % children were found to be enrolled in schools while 25 % were out of school. Among the enrolled 56 % were in government schools, 35% went to private schools while 5.4% were enrolled in madrasahs. 30% children in the 5-16 age group could read story level text in Urdu while 18% could read simple English Sentences. 31.8% were found to be able to do simple 3 digit subtraction sums.

Facilities in government schools have improved most in Punjab followed by KP. In Punjab 80% government schools have a useable water facility and 70% have a functional toilet
whereas in KP 59% government schools were found with a useable water facility and 52% with a functional toilet.

Mothers’ literacy in rural areas persists at 34.5% compared to 32.3% in 2010 whilst for urban mothers this is 61% (Peshawar) 77% (Lahore) and 82% (Karachi).

The above given statistics have raised a question of accountability for the current government. Pakistan is not only a signatory of both international declarations “Education For All” & “Millennium Development Goals”, but Article 25-A (the Right to Education) has been inserted in the chapter of the fundamental rights of the Constitution as part of the 18th Constitutional amendment under which “The State shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of five to sixteen years in such manner as may be determined by law.” The above given statistics once again reconfirm the continuation of conventional challenges including disparities in opportunities particularly for the rural poor and girls, poor quality education, low enrollment and completion rates, high drop-out rates and low levels of transition to secondary education. According to UNESCO’s report “Education for All Global Monitoring Report 2011”, there are 7.261 million children out of school at the primary level, and 58% are female, and overall all estimates of 5-16 year olds who are out of school go up to 20 million children. Under such circumstances, the question is “how will Pakistan compete in the forthcoming era of knowledge economies?”. Both Pakistan government and the nation need to realize that today’s young children will be the future workforce. Keeping in view the forthcoming challenges of the knowledge revolution we, as a nation, have to put “Education” on the top priority. Otherwise, Pakistan gets ready for a socio-economic alienation from the global community.

What’s wrong with computing curricula in Pakistan?

If you want to know what’s wrong with computing Education in Pakistan; read our recently published research paper: “Rethinking of Computing Curricula in Higher Education in Pakistan”

Author: Muhammad Anwar-ur-Rehman Pasha,Dr. Shaheen Pasha

Abstract: Developing & implementing appropriate curricula is a paramount challenge in computing education. To meet this challenge, educators from all over the world are updating curriculum on a regular basis. Recently, the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan has revised the existing curricula of degree programs to standardize computing education in Pakistan. Taking a content analysis approach the study has pointed out many some shortcomings of the revised curricula. The study recommends that the teaching of over-crowded course contents must be discouraged as it promotes rote learning and inhibits creativity and innovation. Curriculum development processes must be followed to develop an effective curriculum. Also, the curriculum must enrich students’ experiences, thoughts, beliefs, assumptions, and attitudes in their field of study to develop special characteristics and mindset. The recommendations made in this study may help the concerned authorities to take measures to improve the quality and standards of the computing curriculum in Pakistan.

Follow this link to read full text: