NCCE #ResearchBytes

Very pleased to have contributed to the current #ResearchBytes newsletter from the National Centre for Computing Education

Developing computing pedagogy post-2014: a doctoral study
Dr Elizabeth Hidson, Senior Lecturer in Education,
University of Sunderland, UK
As a former ICT teacher who stepped out of school to study for a doctorate in 2014, the ICT to Computing curriculum change was an obvious area of research for me. ICT teachers already in post were now teaching computing, and the expectation was that they were finding pragmatic ways to work within the new curriculum.
I undertook some in-depth case study research into how teachers across England researched and planned their lessons. Most of these planning sessions were observed via desktop-sharing in Skype, making it possible to watch and listen while a teacher located and modified resources, discussed their approaches, or grappled with subject knowledge deficits while teaching themselves a new programming technique before introducing it to their students. Lesson planning like this would normally have remained largely hidden, but the study highlighted it conceptually and methodologically as a promising area for future research. One example of this could be researching new approaches to developing programming pedagogy to track the development of pupils’ computational thinking.

I found that participating teachers demonstrated a range of practical and useful approaches to planning Computing lessons under the new PoS, and the approaches were much more focused around collaboration and communities of practice than anticipated. The way that participant teachers worked to locate, use, and modify teaching resources led me to the conclusion that the resources themselves had real potential for the sharing of pedagogical approaches. Developing teaching resources and sharing them is a way to share good practice, but it is also a way to use and share the theoretical approaches that underpin planning.

I used Shulman’s (1986, 1987) frameworks of pedagogical reasoning and Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK) in order to have a language with which to describe the pedagogical practices I observed as teachers planned lessons. One of the long-standing critiques of ICT as a subject has been that it was under-theorised and overly skills-driven. As the new Computing curriculum continues to be embedded in England, being able to ascribe shared meaning to what practitioners say and do is important, especially as some of their practices, such as lesson planning, are carried out in isolation. Subject knowledge exchange is needed, but so is pedagogical knowledge — not just what to teach, but how and why, as well as what the best teaching methods are.

Using the language of pedagogy to discuss, plan, and share resources and approaches is important for making classroom practitioners integral to building collective understanding of the professional knowledge and skills needed to shape the subject as it develops.

Next steps:Choose an activity or lesson that you are confident with and share it with a peer: discuss with them how you teach the concepts and why you do it that way. A great place to do that is your local CAS community, or online via #caschat.Read Elizabeth’s full thesis.

The joy of being cited

One of the unexpected pleasures of working in educational research is to find that someone has read your work and referenced it in theirs. Being relatively new to the field, I am always pleased when I realise that this has happened. Strangely, this can happen in quite unexpected ways. I realised that my (Doyle, 2004) MA dissertation work had been cited by my supervisor, Professor Andrew Burn, in The Sage Handbook of E-Learning Research (first edition – 2007, see pictures below), but I only found out by chance more than a decade later.

A few weeks ago, Google Scholar alerted me that my 2018 paper “Video-enhanced lesson observation as a source of multiple modes of data for school leadership: A videographic approach” had been cited by Briggs & Coleman in the Oxford Research Encyclopedias section on Research Methodology on Educational Leadership and Management. I was pleased to see that others in the field had picked up on my argument that video can provide rich data for school leaders, beyond its inital use as a tool for enhanced lesson observation.

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Video in Language Teacher Education

Imagine my surprise when I was trying to find a link to something I knew was online – I typed my name and up popped the Warwick University page on Video in Language Teacher Education (ViLTE), with one of my papers!

Naturally, I was pleased that my work was being shared. I’m a video person rather than a languages person, but having worked extensively with linguists at Newcastle University, there has always been a crossover. Video-enhanced observation formed a key part of my work on the VEOEuropa project and the proPIC project.

Link to ViLTE

Video is a key interest of mine – in practice and in research. It’s also an area I will be contuining to work on in the future.


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First journal article in print to land on the doormat!

This is quite a proud moment – my first journal article, online since January, has landed in print version on my doormat!

Video-enhanced lesson observation as a source of multiple modes of data for school leadership: A videographic approach

Hidson, E. (2018). Video-enhanced lesson observation as a source of multiple modes of data for school leadership: A videographic approach. Management in Education, 32(1), 26-31. Also available from: