Computer Science Teacher Capacity: The Need for Expanded Understanding
Keywords:computer science education, elementary education, secondary education, professional learning, diversity equity and inclusion (DEI)
With the increasing need for the incorporation of computer science (CS) concepts into elementary and secondary education, it is imperative that the teaching workforce is adequately prepared to ensure that instruction in CS is robust, relevant, and aligned with appropriate learning standards, where appropriate. This paper shares results from a recent survey administered to current computer science educators across the K-12 space in the state of New Jersey. Using these results and recent literature, the research distills actionable, assessed needs to guide the provision of professional learning to ensure that educators have the necessary tools and knowledge to ensure robust and equitable implementation of computer science education. Results point towards a need to expand the present understanding of computer science by effectively differentiating CS from technology-based instruction and addressing an overrepresentation of analytical content domains, reaffirm a commitment to equity by acknowledging the persistent gaps in participation of marginalized student groups, and critically examining when and where the use of technology is necessary for delivering CS instruction.
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