Exasperated needs[edit | edit source]
A report, Running on Empty: The Failure to Teach Computer Science in the Digital Age, clearly states that the current computer science education is unacceptable. Computing is driving job growth and new scientific discovery more than ever. However, too many schools have weak computer science standards, if they exist at all.
Despite its importance as an academic field, few count computer science as a core academic subject for graduation. Technology education, computer science and coding are national failings and ones that we cannot afford in this digital age.
Pennsylvania[edit | edit source]
In Pennsylvania, there are no middle school nor high school computer science certificates available for teachers. Furthermore, PA has no computer science course required for graduation.
Background[edit | edit source]
There is an urgent need to improve the level of understanding of Computer Science as an academic and professional field at the state level and nationwide.
Computer Science needs to be clearly defined as a discipline and to be distinguished from other related disciplines such as Information/Instructional/Industrial Technology (IT), Educational Technology (ET), Management Information Systems (MIS) and even the use of computers to support learning in other subject areas.
In many states, Computer Science is not considered a discipline on its own for the K-12 system. Instead, Computer Science is integrated into the K-12 Curriculum and/or taught under different titles.
In many states the term Computer Science is applied primarily to Programming Courses.
Many teachers currently teaching Computer Science are not appropriately prepared to meet the demand of teaching this area.
Very few states have developed standards for the preparation of Computer Science teachers.
There is an urgent need to improve public awareness of the importance of current workforce issues specifically in the area of Computer Science and the long-term impact of the continued shortage of highly skilled technology workers on the economy.
Teacher preparation standards for Computer Science developed by professional organizations need to be shared with all state certification officials, national accreditation associations such as National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC), and national state associations such as the National Association of State Directors of Teachers Education and Certification (NASDTEC). Sharing these standards would not only impact on how states view teacher preparation in Computer Science but could improve the general understanding of this discipline and how it is distinct from other technology disciplines.
Professional associations and school districts should assist in developing curriculum, supporting materials, and professional development for teachers which could be used to support Computer Science learning in K-12 and encourage students to consider computing as a viable educational and career pathway.
To do[edit | edit source]
- An advocate XP encourages schools to offer additional computer science courses that allow interested students to study facets of computer science in more depth and prepare them for entry into the work force or college.
- XPs in Technology of Play.CLOH.org should complement AP computer science classes and tests in schools where they are currently offered.