How CAS Started Something is wrong – but I feel powerless Something is wrong – but I feel powerless
How CAS started If we get together, perhaps we can get something done
Computing at School Simply a group of individuals, concerned about the state of computing education in our schools Including: Teachers Industry (eg. Google, Microsoft) University academics (incl. CPHC, UKCRC) Members of exam board (eg. AQA) Members of professional societies (eg. BCS) Parents Local educational advisers Teacher trainers Varied backgrounds, with common concerns
Thesis Computer Science should be recognised in school as a rigorous subject discipline, like physics or history, quite distinct from the (useful) skills of digital literacy. Just as every student needs to learn a bit of chemistry, even though few will become chemists, so every student should learn a bit of computer science (including some elementary programming) because they live in a digital world. From primary school onwards (like science). Re-introduce the thrill and excitement of computational thinking and creation.
Presentati on to insert name here 19 Computer Science at heart of new curriculum Schoolchildren from age 5 to be taught programing Still includes digital literacy as major component Feb 2013 draft published for consultation July 2013 national curriculum published
Reflection on our challenges… “Curriculum isn’t our biggest challenge. The biggest challenge will be developing effective teacher preparation and support…. Few schools today have teachers with any formal CS training. The computing community must launch an unprecedented effort to prepare teachers, working with in-service as well as pre-service teachers, and in both traditional and alternative certification programs.” Jan Cuny, 2011
From …. To ……… ICT Teacher (2011) Teaches on application-based courses May/may not have any CS training May/may not have taught CS post-16 CS Teacher (2014) Teach examined courses in Computer Science Teach programming Continue to teach digital literacy and IT
Challenges … teachers Many ICT teachers have migrated from other subject areas during the years when digital literacy teaching was all that was needed ICT teacher training is one of the hardest subject areas to recruit to Teachers urgently need CPD at a time when schools are reluctant to release teachers Teachers lack confidence since the recent “bad press” given to ICT teaching
Challenges … curriculum Pace of change is remarkably fast Several new school qualifications in Computer Science available now for teaching Michael Gove: “ Disapplying the ICT programme of study is about freedom. It will mean that, for the first time, teachers will be allowed to cover truly innovative, specialist and challenging … they will have the freedom and flexibility to decide what is best for their pupils.” Teachers need support to make use of this freedom
Accreditation Action Research Modeling good practice Community of Practice TrainingCascade Workshops/ Training courses CAS Master Teacher/ Digital Schoolhouse model Hubs & Online forums Network of Excellence Model (from university to school to school) Model of teacher professional development in the UK
Phase 2 £2 million (2 years – but 5 year project) 600 Master Teachers Primary and secondary Each MT supporting 40 schools Universities support with courses Stability of GCSE numbers Development of classroom ready resources Towards a self-sustaining model
Opportunity – and danger Opportunity: to make a decisive lasting change that establishes computer science a proper school subject, on a par with maths or chemistry. Danger: raised expectations not met, enthusiasm leaks away, teachers discouraged, system reverts to the mean It’s not enough to hope that someone else will do it. We have to. There is no “them”. There is only us.
What your institution can do Be a visible champion for computer science [not just programming] as a school subject, and help to explain what that means Help to create a sense of optimism, possibility, and unstoppable momentum. Play a pro-active role in the Network of Excellence. Actively think “What can we do?” rather than wait for CAS to say “Can you do X?”.