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Finding a Home for Computing Education in Schools of Education

Overview:


The STEM +Computing Partnership (STEM+C) program seeks to advance multidisciplinary integration of computing in STEM teaching and learning through applied research and development across one or more domains; advancement of computer science in K-12; and broadening participation in computing fields. Investments are made in critical areas of pedagogy, pre-service and in-service teacher professional development. With the expansion of computing education in mainstream K-12 schools and the demand for teachers surpassing the number of teachers prepared to teach computer science, teacher preparation programs must be engaged to produce a scalable, sustainable pipeline of computer science teachers; thus, there's a need for computing education in the schools of education, including pre-service teacher development, faculty hiring, and research. This project proposes two workshop meetings designed to emphasize the importance of computing education in pre-service teacher preparation, provide models of computer science teacher preparation, and discuss challenges faced by education programs in advancing computing education alongside mathematics and science education. Given how integral computing is within the other STEM disciplines, the integration of computer science and computational thinking within the other STEM disciplines will be explored within the context of the workshop.
The proposed workshops will bring together leaders from schools of education, teacher educators, educational researchers, and state administrators to discuss issues faced by schools of education and K-12 schools in the creation of computer science educator programs. Outcomes will include a list of issues that schools of education will need to face as they consider preparing computer science teachers. The conference will also produce a research agenda for subsequent examination of these issues. The conference organizers have been involved in the education of hundreds of computer science teachers and will lead discussions and record important outcomes to create a body of knowledge about computing education for K-12 schools.