The purpose of these few lines is to pre-sent the main ideas of Portugal’s attemptto integrate Information and Communica-tion Technologies (ICT) into school cur-ricula. More speciﬁcally, we refer to thework that we have recently developed inthe context of the “Learning Outcomes”project hosted by the Portuguese Ministryof Education.
The ”Learning Outcomes” Project
The “Learning Outcomes” project (PMA)is about developing tools and materials tohelp schools and teachers make informedchoices concerning the national curriculumaims, and thus decide which learning ex-periences suit them the best.Advocating a decentralised curricu-lum development, these resources are tobe used voluntarily and freely by schoolsas part of their pedagogical autonomy.One of the tools developed and alreadyavailable is the set of learning outcomesfor preschool, primary and middle schoolstudents (ages 3-14) covering all subjectareas.Moreover, examples of teaching andevaluation strategies were provided forevery subject area, so as to help teachersgain a better understanding of how thelearning outcomes can be put into practice.The ﬁrst PMA phase comprised thedrawing up of learning outcomes for pres-chool and primary school education. Nineteams of experts, coordinated by highereducation teachers, came up with ninereference syllabuses geared towards pri-mary teaching and one geared towardspreschool education, which were sent toseveral professional teaching associationsand scientiﬁc societies for their opinion.The ﬁnal versions of the learning tar-gets for each subject or subject area weredrawn up after analysis of the contribu-tions was received.Keeping sight of the attempt to bringabout innovation and transformation ofthe curricular practices, as well as recogni-sing the need to acquire and develop thebasic digital skills, the idea is above all towork on and mobilise the potential of thetechnologies for the development of a cur-ricular organisation strategy.More than an autonomous curriculum,the deﬁnition of learning targets in the ICTarea aim to build a “framework of compe-tences to be included by each teacher inhis/her speciﬁc area, from the viewpointof the overall development of the pupil,enabling the teacher to understand anddecide, on solid grounds, what materials,for what purposes and how the ICT can bepertinently and appropriately used”.The proposal began with the identiﬁ-cation and reﬂection on the dimensionsof human conduct and on the speciﬁc sci-entiﬁc content in which the technologiescan add value, but also followed a set ofpresuppositions that reﬂected the team’svision as regards the place ICT should oc-cupy in the school today.Consideration was taken, ﬁrstly, of theICT as a cross-subject educational area,whereby it was also assumed that the ac-quisition and development of digital com-petences should be present throughoutthe whole of schooling.Secondly, the acquisition of ICT com-petences was considered an absolute ne-cessity in school at the start of the 21stcentury, in response to the challenges ofthe job market and society in general, con-stituting essential preparation to equiponeself to exercise full citizenship.Finally, and in close articulation withthe ﬁrst two presuppositions, the ICTwould be attributed not only an instru-mental role at the service of other areasof knowledge, but above all would be anopportunity as a strategy for intellectualand social development of individuals, gi-ven that the younger generation’s naturala�nity with the digital technologies leadsto greater motivation and inducement oftheir development.
In order to better clarify the scope of thisproposal, it will be useful to remind oursel-ves of the four core competences aroundwhich it was possible to systematicallyoutline and deﬁne the ICT learning thatthe pupils must acquire and develop th-roughout their primary education, inclu-ding the preschool education period:- Information - Ability to search for andprocess information.- Communication - Ability to commu-nicate, interact and collaborate using net-work communication tools and environme-nts.- Production - Ability to systematiseknowledge based on work processes thatuse the digital resources available and de-velop innovative products and practices.- Security - Ability to use digital resour-ces in compliance with security regulationsTaking the notion of competency to meanthe integrated development of skills andattitudes that pave the way for the use ofknowledge in several situations, we have
ICT Learning Outcomes in thePortuguese School Curriculum
THE LEARNING TEACHER MAGAZINE 1/2012