Perspectives on implementing a new technology syllabus in Queensland schools
This study explored factors that favoured and inhibited the implementation of the new Key Learning Area Technology syllabus (QSA, 2003a) in Queensland. It sought to identify and clarify the implementation needs the system, districts, schools and teachers. The aim was to help the system to target specific areas when developing a professional development program for schools. The implementing system differs from the statutory authority responsible for the curriculum development and provision of print and e-based initial in-service materials (QSA, 2003b). The audience for this paper is the education system's curriculum implementation branch. Our questions asked: 1. What are the perceived needs and technology education expectations of schools implementing the syllabus? 2. What vision do schools have for technology? How can schools be assisted in developing this vision? 3. What strategies do schools have in place to enhance "working technologically" under the new syllabus? 4. What factors and actions enhance or inhibit the syllabus's implementation? The factors that impact on implementation include systemic and district implementation models, teachers' views of technology, the relationship of technology to other key learning areas, assessment in an outcomes-based syllabus and to lesser extent teaching time, networks and resources and physical space. The most apparent factor is teachers' limited understanding of syllabus outcomes and difficulty in 'making sense of outcomes'. Observations show that teachers' planning stalls when they need to identify appropriate conceptual learning that links to an outcome, and then plan learning activities that address the specific outcomes.