Higher education

We can't achieve CS for All without colleges and universities.

How can Education support CS for All?

Today, many Washington state CS teachers in K-12 are passionate former software engineers with little exposure to pedagogy, equity, or classrooms. We envision in a future in which all CS teachers, as well as all primary teachers, and secondary STEM teachers, are empowered to integrate computing into their teaching, just as computing is integrated into every part of society. With this broad training in CS teaching, all youth, not just white and Asian boys near cities, will understand computing and its role in society.

This vision cannot happen without Colleges, Schools, and Departments of Education preparing outstanding, equity-focused CS educators. This requires:

  • Rigorous, foundational discoveries about CS teaching and learning. This requires outstanding tenure-track faculty who do research on computer science education. They will not only advance the science of CS teaching and learning, but also help organize state, national, and international CS for All efforts and teach in pre-service programs.
  • Pre-service CS teacher education programs that prepare K-12 teachers to teach CS, aligned with Washington state standards and it's new CS endorsement. For guidance, read the national report, Priming the Computer Science Teacher Pump, on the role of education in supporting K-12 CS education.
  • Pre-service STEM teacher education that integrates NGSS and Common Core aligned CS topics into primary and secondary pre-service courses.
  • Partnerships with CS departments to identify courses that serve as content requirements for the state's CS endorsement.
  • Teaching-track faculty with a passion for preparing both STEM and CS teachers to hep deliver the above.

Demand for the above is high, especially with recent state policy requiring all Washington high schools to offer opportunities to learn CS. Our state is thousands of teachers short from achieving this goal.

How can Computing and Information Sciences support CS for All?

K-12 teachers are beginning to teach both dedicated CS courses, as well as STEM courses that integrate CS. School districts are hiring CS teachers. Colleges of Education around the country are beginning to prepare CS teachers. U.S. states and territories are beginning to change policy and fund teacher preparation. Non-CS departments in higher education are integrating CS concepts into their college curricula. And research funders like NSF and the U.S. Department of Education are putting tens of millions of dollars into CS education research, to ensure CS for All efforts are inclusive and effective.

However, CS departments are largely absent in these efforts, when they should be leading.

There are many ways CS departments can lead:

  • Support current tenure-track faculty who have interests in CS education. Encourage them to shift their research, teaching, and service to support CS for All.
  • Hire new tenure-track CS education faculty, who do research on computer science education, who will not only advance the state of the art of CS teaching, but also help organize state, national, and international CS for All efforts. They might even improve instruction in your department.
  • Support teaching-track faculty to conduct K-12 outreach in their local teaching communities.
  • Ensure admissions requirements are compatible with state policy.
  • Develop course equivalencies for the growing diversity of CS courses being taught in Washington state high schools.
  • Encourage alumni to volunteer in schools to CS through programs like Microsoft TEALS.

Without engaging, the world will build K-12 CS education infrastructure, it will just build it without broad engagement from the discipline of computer science.

How can I learn more about computer science education research?