On September 14, CRA executive director, Andrew Bernat was a speaker at the White House Summit on Computer Science for All. The audience heard from students and leaders of CS education efforts as part of the CS for All initiative. The initiative aims to ensure CS education is available to all K-12 students across the U.S. CRA member institutions’ support will include faculty expertise and effort, the development of innovative computing education products, and teacher development.
Computing Research News
CERP asked 3,616 undergraduate computing majors about their perceptions of institutional support for becoming a middle or high school computing teacher. As seen here, very few students in this sample have been exposed to this career path in their department, and more than one-third of students perceive the career path as viewed negatively in their department. Furthermore, few students knew where to seek advice for this career path at their institution. These data suggest colleges and universities in general, and computing departments specifically, could improve the amount of emphasis placed on teaching middle or high school computing. In turn, this might result in increased interest by computing majors in becoming middle or high school computing teachers. Given recent efforts to promote widespread K-12 computing education, enhancing support for students who might be interested in becoming middle or high school computing teachers is important.
This year, a national initiative called Computer Science for All (CS for All) was announced in the President’s weekly address, drawing national attention to CS education. The initiative, led by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Education in partnership with other federal agencies and private partners, aims to ensure CS education is available to all K-12 students across the U.S.
CS for All has gained tremendous momentum, and it was the subject of many conversations at the 2016 CRA Conference at Snowbird. A session on Tuesday evening provided the opportunity to talk with faculty from leading computing departments about ways their departments are supporting CS for All.
CERP asked undergraduate computing majors what would increase their interest in becoming a middle or high school computing teacher. This infographic shows that financial incentive in the form of a higher teaching salary, free tuition for teacher training, and forgiven student loans were the top factors increasing students’ interest in becoming a middle or high school computing teacher. These findings provide insights into how to generate more computing educators for the K-12 school system, which is becoming increasingly important, given recent efforts to promote widespread K-12 computing education.
On January 30, President Obama announced a new Computer Science Education initiative that would allow states to take the lead in increasing access to CS in K-12 classrooms. We highlighted the exciting initiative on the CRA Policy Blog and the CCC Blog.
It is a very exciting time for Computer Science (CS) education! I know our community was proud and excited to hear President Obama explicitly call out CS education in his final State of the Union address. Even more recently, on Saturday, January 30th, the President unveiled the Computer Science for All initiative in his weekly […]