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Abstract

The interdisciplinary nature of information systems (IS) presents significant challenges for IS teachers. This paper examines the nature of the IS teaching task. It asks: what are we trying to achieve as IS teachers? What are the characteristics of IS and what might these tell us about how we should be teaching IS? What is the nature of the multiple role of the IS teacher? Where do our curricula come from and how do we integrate research and teaching? Since IS has no unified theoretical foundations, unlike the computational mathematics which underpins computer science, identifying principles on which information systems teaching should be based is difficult. By identifying some of the various roles which IS teachers adopt, this paper seeks to define some overarching principles that should drive IS teaching. Teacher's roles include theoretician, practitioner, priest, counsellor and evangelist. Each of these roles suggests principles for teaching IS. The paper also suggests the key importance of networks of communication in establishing the basis of IS teaching.

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