In the past four years, the proportion of US high schools offering at least one computer science (CS) course increased from one-third to one-half (source), and more growth is expected. Simultaneously, the field of computer science has shifted significantly and we have continued to learn more about what it means to teach computer science with equitable outcomes in mind. One challenge in CS education is ensuring that curriculum and pedagogy adapt to these shifting grounds; it is easy to imagine the frustration of a student who discovers that their high school CS instruction has left them poorly prepared for future opportunities to learn computer sciences.
We are pleased to announce, in collaboration with the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA), our new NSF-funded project to address this issue. With Bryan Twarek (PI) and Dr. Monica McGill (Co-PI) at the helm, the Reimagining CS Pathways: High School and Beyond project has the long-term goal of articulating a shared vision for introductory high school CS instruction that could be used to fill a high school graduation requirement as well as the alignment between that content and the two AP CS courses and college-level CS courses.
Our work will not be in isolation. The project includes three convenings of K12 teachers and administrators, instructors at 2- and 4- year colleges, curriculum developers, industry representatives, state CS supervisors, and other vested parties. Written reports of these convenings will be shared with the public. Additionally, the project will create:
- Recommendations for the content of an introductory high school CS course
- Descriptions of high school CS courses beyond an introductory course, including suggested course outcomes
- Recommendations for possible adjustments to the CSTA standards and the AP program
- A framework for the process of creating similar course pathways in the future
Undergirding this work is a commitment to more equitable CS instruction, ensuring that all students – including those who have historically been less likely to study CS – will have access to these CS pathways. A more coordinated approach to high school and college level CS instruction is also more likely to meet the needs of industry and society as a whole.
This project expects to have its recommendations and framework available in the summer of 2024.
If you are interested in participating, please reach out via our contact form or, for more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.