What Universities Must Do to Prepare Computer Science Teachers: UTeach leads a multi-university group to grow computing education

February 23, 2018 at 7:00 am 5 comments

Kimberly Hughes, Director of the UTeach Institute at The University of Texas at Austin has written a blog post about a multi-university effort to grow CS education. They have an interesting set of recommendations. I look forward to seeing the white paper that the blog post promises!

In-service teacher professional development has been key to the explosive growth of K–12 CS education offerings, but the role of universities in the preparation of computer science teachers is absolutely critical if we are going to address the current shortage of CS teachers at scale and with any kind of lasting impact. Yet there are precious few exemplars on which to model new programs. Partly this has been a chicken and egg problem. For example, the UTeach program at UT Austin has had an undergraduate pathway to CS certification for more than ten years. But with so little demand for CS teachers at secondary schools throughout the state, very few students were recruited and prepared. Now that the demand for CS teachers is increasing, UTeach Austin and other UTeach partner universities are ramping up and expanding their efforts.

Source: What Universities Must Do to Prepare Computer Science Teachers: Networked Improvement in Action

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5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. gflint  |  February 23, 2018 at 10:17 am

    I am always curious where the teachers to teach the teachers come from. Very few university CS teachers have a clue about K-12 CS. Experienced K-12 teachers are needed to teach in-service and pre-service K-12 CS and they all seem to have K-12 teaching jobs. Back to the chicken and the egg.

    • 2. Mark Guzdial  |  February 23, 2018 at 10:54 am

      Agreed — it’s a huge issue. University people who know CS Ed might be able to talk about misconceptions, evidence-based teaching, etc. That’s what I did when I taught a CS methods course. But there’s very few University people who can teach that. Even then, I haven’t taught K12 CS for over 25 years. I don’t have on-the-ground experience to share. Whatever we do is a compromise.

      • 3. Mike Zamansky  |  February 23, 2018 at 10:48 pm

        I’m also pretty worried about this. Once my programs go live I’m hoping to rely on the CS teacher’s I’ve worked with over the years as adjuncts but I’m still very concerned and this is with me having more access to strong experienced K12 CS teachers than most.

  • 4. Mike Zamansky  |  February 23, 2018 at 4:41 pm

    You know I’ve got something to say about this but I can’t just yet. Soon.

  • 5. csjenny7  |  February 23, 2018 at 8:03 pm

    K-12 cs teachers should not only be comfortable with computer science concepts,principles and progamming skill, but also effective pedagogies designed to facilitate teaching and learning. I am curious what kind of courses are included in the CS certification at UT Austin?Thank you!


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