Why we need schools of education for a stable future for computing ed
I’ve mentioned before how much we need schools of education to guarantee the future stability of computing education. The new CSTA report on certification makes the point better than I do.
I just wrote a Blog@CACM post explaining why we in CS need collaboration with schools of education. We don’t want to be in the business of certifying teachers. We certainly do not have the background to prepare teachers for a lifelong career in education. That’s what pre-service education faculty do.
How we get from here to there is an interesting question. Michelle Friend suggests that we start by finding (or getting hired) faculty in science and mathematics education who are interested in starting computing programs. Few schools would be willing to take the risk of establishing computing education programs or departments today. They might exist one day, but they’ll probably grow out of math or science ed — just as many CS departments grew out of math or science or engineering roots.
Given that (in the US) we lose close to 50% of our STEM teachers within the first five years of teaching, we have to establish reliable production of CS teachers, if we don’t want CS10K to be only CS5K five years later. To establish that reliable production, we need schools of education.