The contexts for education on computer and information literacy and computational thinking
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The International Computer and Information Literacy Study (ICILS) 2018 collected and reported information relating to the national contexts in which computer and information literacy (CIL) and computational thinking (CT) are developed for grade eight students. This information illustrates the range of national approaches regarding curriculum, assessment policy and program support regarding these areas and can support interpretation of data gathered from students, teachers, and schools in ICILS. National research coordinators (NRCs) coordinated responses to detailed questions about characteristics of the educational system, plans and policies for using ICT in education and about how such policies are implemented in schools. Additionally NRCs authored respective country profiles which describe the overarching goals and direction for the educational system in participating countries, detailing how the curriculum relating to the use of ICT in education is developed, implemented, and assessed, highlighting many similarities but key differences across participating ICILS 2018 countries. In almost all countries, schools had at least some autonomy with most aspects of school policies, with private schools typically having a greater degree of autonomy. A wide range of differences across participating countries exist, both in relation to information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure availability and economic characteristics. Although the formulation of plans and policies supporting the use of ICT in education differed across countries, there was a high degree of similarity in the content related to improving student learning, ICT resources, methods to support student learning, and the priorities for the use of ICT. While many countries had explicit or implicit recognition of different CIL aspects in their national curriculum, aspects of CT were less frequently included. Countries had very different approaches to the development of teachers’ capacity to use ICT, but generally provided a large degree of support for teacher access to ICT-based professional development. Reports from school principals and ICT coordinators provide a contrasting profile of differences across participating ICILS countries in terms of school resourcing, policies, and priorities.
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