Towards a Critique of Teachers’ Digital Competence Frameworks
by Oliver McGarr - August 02, 2019
The importance of Digital Competence in teacher education has increased in recent years resulting in a range of digital competency frameworks aimed at guiding governments in their integration of digital competence in teacher education. Through an analysis of two influential supranational competency frameworks, the UNESCO ICT Competency Framework for Teachers and the DigCompEdu framework, this commentary highlights three key influences that have shaped their current form. These influences include the rise of teacher performance and competency frameworks in general, the tradition of ranking teachers’ levels of technology use and the techno-centric education discourses that have a strong constructivist focus, aligning technology use with constructivist practices. Through this exploration, assumptions underpinning these frameworks are unearthed, and in doing so, questions are raised about their use and implications for teacher education. This commentary argues that, while such frameworks provide helpful guidance for policy makers and teacher educators, they may stifle teachers’ professional autonomy and ‘straight-jacket’ technology use in a linear and deterministic manner.
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