Computer Science Teachers’ Problems of Practice: Solve This!

In 2021 we received funding from a ACM SIGCSE Special Projects Grant, with our colleague Dr. Michelle Friend (University of Nebraska – Omaha) for a project we called: Solve this! Problems of practice teachers face in K-12 CS Education. Since then we have been working on gathering, analyzing, and disseminating the findings. Overall, our goal for this project is to provide a platform for researchers to understand authentic problems of practice that teachers face in order to bridge the gap between research and practice. 

What have we accomplished so far?

At the beginning of the project we designed a survey to be sent to teachers around the world. The survey included demographic questions about the teacher and their locale, but most importantly about the problems of practice they experience when planning, teaching, or attempting to plan/teach computer science in their school or classroom. Once the survey underwent internal and external face validity, we disseminated the survey. Our survey reached teachers in Ireland, Canada, and the United States. We opened it in July 2021 and closed it in October 2021, receiving over 700 responses.

After cleaning the data, we were left with 396 responses. We created over 40 codes as we  analyzed the data and several themes emerged. Although we are still in the process of data analysis, some of the initial findings include problems of practice such as a lack of teaching time or schedule availability to teacher CS, poor academic habits, and challenges related to student interactions or partner work. We have been able to share initial results at several conferences and our paper examining our initial set of data has been accepted to Koli Calling 2022

What is next? 

Our goal is to have our interactive K-12 CS education teaching problems of practice populated and ready for use by the end of this year. All of the problems of practice entered through this study will be added to our website and will be searchable by demographics of the teachers who submitted them (e.g., country, years teaching CS). 

For researchers, this site will provide you with the problems teachers are facing and can help inform your research agenda. 

Teachers will be able to upvote problems of practice that they experience and will be able to add their own problems. 

Watch our social media platforms for our Problems of Practice page announcement!

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