IT Education for Disadvantaged Students: Lessons from Europe

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ConferenceProceedings of the IEEE International Symposium on Technology and Society (IEEE ISTAS '04) - Globalizing Technological Education, June 17-19, 2004., Worcester, Massachusetts, USA
Subjectinformation technology; training; education; disadvantage; employment; certification; Europe; formation; éducation; désavantage; désavantagé; emploi; accréditation; Europe
AbstractAcross the European Union, education and training in IT is seen as a way to move people experiencing disadvantage - such as the unemployed, people with disabilities, immigrants, marginalized women and disadvantaged youth - into sustainable employment. All the EU member countries and the European Commission have invested heavily in IT education and training programs for these groups. A study in five European countries concluded that for students experiencing disadvantage, IT training and education should be only one element of a much broader pedagogy. Successful programs in the countries studied - Ireland, the UK, Finland, Italy and Spain - used a pathway approach containing five elements. The first is contacting and motivating students, involving effective outreach to ensure that potential students are aware of and receptive to education and training opportunities. Second is developing skills, not only IT skills but also other vocational skills and soft skills such as communication and job-readiness skills. The third element of the pathway approach is ensuring support for social and cultural needs, including acknowledging and respecting cultural and other forms of diversity. The fourth is providing employment and career guidance services in a client-friendly and flexible manner. Finally, developing employment progression measures includes personal planning, mentoring, and ensuring that students are familiar with the local and global work culture. This paper discusses the study findings and concludes with guidelines for educators involved in designing and delivering IT education programs for students experiencing disadvantage.
Publication date
AffiliationNRC Institute for Information Technology; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedNo
NRC number46570
NPARC number8913682
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Record identifier1b9233f8-3fb4-40f7-8743-6668b265e98d
Record created2009-04-22
Record modified2016-05-09
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