New CSTA Report released on (sad) state of CS teacher certification in US

August 22, 2013 at 1:49 am 3 comments

Copied from the press release sent to me by Stacey Finkel, CSTA’s media person.  I’ve just started reading the report, and it’s really interesting.

A new report released today by the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) finds that Computer Science teacher certification/licensure in the United States is deeply flawed. While companies look to fill lucrative positions in the computing field, there is a critical shortage of qualified teachers to teach the next generation of computer scientists.

Bugs in the System: Computer Science Teacher Certification in the U.S., developed with support from Google, is a comprehensive study of all 50 states and the District of Columbia revealing that each state (and in some states each school district) has its own process, its own definition of Computer Science, and its own idea of where Computer Science fits in the academic program and who is qualified to teach it.

Bugs in the System reveals that only two states (Arizona and Wisconsin) require teachers to be certified/licensed in Computer Science and in many states there are no requirements for teaching Computer Science at all, meaning teachers with little or even no Computer Science knowledge can teach it and teacher preparation institutions are unlikely to offer programs for new Computer Science teachers.

The report also reveals confusion at all levels about what Computer Science is and the knowledge required to teach it. As a result, teachers who want to teach Computer Science can be faced with, sometimes insurmountable challenges. For example, in Florida becoming a certified Computer Science teacher requires taking a course called K-6 Computer Science Methods, however the course is not offered in any teacher preparation program in the state.

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Amit Deutsch  |  August 22, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    Well that explains why it’s been so hard to find information on becoming a Computer Science teacher in California. Hype can’t make up for shortcomings, it’s great that more people are interested in learning to code now but there are still so many systemic and pedagogical bottlenecks.

  • […] 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 […]

  • […] their classes) from their teacher certification: math teacher, reading teacher, science teacher.  Most states have no teacher certification for CS.  Lijun Ni’s work found that a community of practice was critical for establishing that […]


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