Computing education is bursting onto the K-12 education scene in the United States. On January 30, 2016, President Obama announced that computer science for all initiative. For example, New York City has mandated every school to to provide computing education to all students by 2025; similarly, Chicago is making education in "coding" a requirement. The recently passed federal education legislation notably includes CS in the list of “well-rounded” and critically enriching subjects. States are rapidly developing certification credentials for computing teachers.
With the expansion of computing education in mainstream K-12 schools, the current training mechanisms for teachers quickly will fall short of supporting a sustainable pipeline of teachers. Current methods of preparing teachers often rely on identifying in-service teachers and providing them professional development in a specific program or curricula. If CS is going to become a core subject in K-12, the community needs to engage with current methods of teacher preparation to produce not only CS teachers at scale, but also update the technological preparation of K-8 teachers to include computer science topics and computational thinking.
In order to address these challenges we propose to bring together CS education researchers, leaders from departments of education, teacher education researchers, and computer scientists in a workshop to help answer the above questions and more. The proposed workshops address the issues surrounding the expansion of Computing Education into teacher education programs, specifically as it related to schools of education with the following goals:
The workshops and discussions contribute to a better understanding of the issues facing K-12 computing education by resulting in the following three outcomes:
We expect that the discussion of these topic areas will help deans of schools of education as well as directors and faculty in teacher education programs undertake the necessary steps for preparing their students and faculty for computing education in K-12 as well as identify key issues for faculty development within teacher education programs.
Our discussions draw from both research and practice informing teacher education and programmatic developments. Our invitation list includes workshop participants and organizers who come from research, K-12 education, teacher education, and computing education. In addition to contributing to essential community building in this new disciplinary content area, we intend to reach out to the larger education audience that so far has been largely disconnected from CS education. We will propose to host conference panels at larger national conferences such as AERA and connect with national organizations such as the CSTA and Code.org that have developed visibility and large networks in order to reach out and inform diverse audiences.
Funding for the workshop, Finding a Home for Computing Education in Schools of Education, was provided through grant number 7667100 by the National Science Foundation. Any opinions, findings, or conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the CSNYC and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. Travel reimbursed as explained in the acceptance email.