A Brief History of K-12 Computer Science Education in Ireland



  • Roisin Faherty Mrs
  • Karen Nolan
  • Keith Quille TU Dublin
  • Brett Becker
  • Elizabeth Oldham


K-12, Computer Science Education, Computer Science, Computer Science K-12 Education in Ireland, International Computer Science Education


This paper brings together the history of Computer Science Education in Ireland. It aims to plot Ireland's road-map leading to the implementation of formal Computer Science Education in schools. This road map starts with the first notions of introducing secondary school children to computing in the 1970s up to the roll out of a nationwide Computer Science curriculum in secondary school at the Senior Cycle level in 2018. This story is only available in disparate publications and reports, and piecing together the entire story is often difficult especially if you are from another jurisdiction and unfamiliar with the Irish education system. This paper collates the available literature as well as the authors local knowledge of the process, into one usable form that may be of interest locally and of value to other jurisdictions that are beginning their planning of national or regional curricula. This paper describes the development and the current situation of the formal curricula and standards in Computer Science at second level. The current landscape of Computing Education at primary level, which is currently in the planning stages in Ireland, will also be described. Additionally, an investigation into the current landscape of Computing Education in schools in the international jurisdictions that directly influenced the Irish roll out takes place, to evaluate their progress and summarize any lessons learned that might provide insights for Ireland going forward


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Author Biographies

Karen Nolan

Karen is an experienced software developer, having previously worked in industry for ????5
years. She now uses this knowledge to teach a wide range of modules, including Software
Development, DevOps, Software Quality Assurance Testing, Software Design, and Agile
Project Management Methods.
Karen has a keen interest and in and is passionate about Computer Science Education across
all levels of education. She delivers computing camps in primary and secondary schools
around Ireland, promoting computer science to all students

Keith Quille, TU Dublin

Keith’s primary area of teaching is in Software Development, CS???? and CS2 (C, Java and
Python) and applied machine learning but he has also delivered a wide range of other
In addition to his current role in TU Dublin, Keith is involved in the CS education
community, where he is currently the vice-chair of the Irish SIGCSE ACM Chapter.
He delivers computing camps in primary and secondary schools around Ireland, promoting
computer science to all students as part of the CSinc (CS Inclusive research group). Keith
has been commissioned by the NCCA to develop resources for the Leaving Certificate
Computer Science subject and to carry out research for the upcoming primary school
You can find out more about Keith at www.KeithQuille.com.

Brett Becker

Brett is one of Ireland’s leading experts on Computing Education. He is the Founding Chair
of the Ireland Chapter of the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) Special Interest
Group on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE) and an Associate Editor at ACM
Transactions on Computing Education (TOCE).
He has published several dozen papers on Computing Education, including award-winning
work such as the best computer science education research paper at the 20????9 SIGCSE
Technical Symposium and the best reviewed paper award at the 2020 International
Computing Education Research (ICER) conference.
Brett is passionate about global inclusiveness in education and is Chair of the Steering
Committee for the ACM Global Computing Education Conference (CompEd) and Global
Liaison for the SIGCSE Technical Symposium. In 2020 Brett was named as a National
Forum Teaching and Learning Research Fellow.
You can find out more about Brett at www.BrettBecker.com.


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How to Cite

Faherty, R., Nolan, K., Quille, K., Becker, B., & Oldham, E. (2023). A Brief History of K-12 Computer Science Education in Ireland. International Journal of Computer Science Education in Schools, 6(1), 3–34. https://doi.org/10.21585/ijcses.v6i1.148