Home → Magazine Archive → January 2016 (Vol. 59, No. 1) → Focusing on Teacher Needs in K-12 CS Education → Abstract

Focusing on Teacher Needs in K-12 CS Education

By Mark R. Nelson

Communications of the ACM, Vol. 59 No. 1, Page 5
10.1145/2851202

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It is truly a great time to be in CS education, and yet CS educational needs in K–12 are greater today than ever before. A lack of access to CS among a range of demographics, including Hispanic, female, and lower-income students continues to persist. According to respondents to a recent Google and Gallup study, fewer than half of the students in these demographic groups identify any exposure to CS in school and only 1 in 4 responding schools reported having someone to teach CS. The research found general confusion as to what CS is among students, parents, and educators, with stereotypes existing at many levels.

Add to this mix a dedicated cadre of CS teachers. The 8th-grade music teacher, for instance, teaching CS for the first time this year and trying to learn where to start. The high school Spanish teacher, who is so passionate about CS, that to introduce CS into her school, she teaches CS in Spanish. The high school math teacher who has taught CS in his school for years, but lacks the confidence in his own CS skills to make substantive changes to the projects and programs he uses in class. These are but three examples of real CS teachers who are among the faces of K–12 CS education today.

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