Why we need schools of education for a stable future for computing ed

August 23, 2013 at 1:39 am 6 comments

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.



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New CSTA Report released on (sad) state of CS teacher certification in US Programmers insist: “Everybody” does not need to learn to code

6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Garth  |  August 24, 2013 at 8:58 pm

    Where do find good examples of CSEd programs? Since there is no market for a major in CSEd at the moment i am looking for examples of programs for non-CS majors interested in a minor or just a certification in CS. Something that would be offered to mainstream teachers so they could start a CS program in their school. A couple of years ago i pitched a series of CSEd courses than i had written to my local university. No interest. The comment from the Chairman of the Ed Dept was there in no interest in the schools for such a degree. I would like to find some examples to do a show-and-tell with.

    • 2. Mark Guzdial  |  August 25, 2013 at 3:08 pm

      Probably your best bet is to look at the places that have endorsement programs. Those are meant to be CS Ed for existing teachers. Aman’s at Purdue gets referenced the most. Here in Georgia, Columbus State, Southern Polytechnic, and Kennesaw State all have endorsement programs.

  • […] about influence relationships between the University and the K-12 system. I have suggested that we will not have a stable high school CS education program in the United States without getting the … in teacher pre-service education. I don’t know how changes in one influence the […]

  • […] or Information Systems/Technology/Just-Information Departments/Schools/Colleges.  Yes, we need a presence in Education Schools at some point, to influence how we develop new teachers, but that’s not how we’ll best push the […]

  • […] to have pre-service computing education programs if we want to make CS education sustainable (see that post here).  Creating these endowed chairs gives us the opportunity to create positions like Ira’s in […]

  • […] I have argued previously that we have to move to a pre-service model, where new teachers are prepared to be CS teachers from undergraduate education.  It’s the only way to have a sustainable flow of CS teachers into the education system.  NYC is working on developing per-service programs now, because it’s a necessity for their CS education mandate.  No reform takes root in US schools without being in schools of education. […]


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