Pressing Research Questions from Practitioners

During EdCon 2019 held in Las Vegas, Chris Stephenson, Head of Computer Science Education Strategy for Google, met with a group of practitioners and policy makers to learn what research questions they would like to see answered.

First, they asked the group to brainstorm questions for which they need answers and share all of their questions. Then they asked them to pick a most important one (as a group) for each category. The most important questions appear in bold below.

Most Pressing Research Questions Sourced from Practitioners and Policy Makers
EdCon 2019, Las Vegas

These research questions were collected from practitioners, researchers, and policy makers who attended the CS-ER session led by the Google CS Education Strategy Group at EdCon 2019:


What are the best practices for CS PD in terms of positively impacting student learning?
Are there unique pedagogical approaches that best support CS learning?
How do we sustain the CS teacher pipeline?
How do we measure effective CS teaching?
● What core skills must teachers have to teach CS?
● How do we get more K-8 teachers involved in CS education?
● What is the resources model for sustained PD?
● How do we ensure the PD focuses on pedagogy?
● How do we continue/sustain CS training for teachers?
● What PD options are available for teachers and what are the most effective?


How does early CS experience impact future interest in CS?
What models of CS content delivery provide the largest impact on students learning (after school, in school discrete courses, in school integrated into other disciplines)?
What data exists currently that demonstrates that the CS curriculum /instruction currently being delivered truly moves the needle?
● Is there a correlation between student engagement in CS and success in other academic areas?
● How does learning CS lead to learning in other disciplines (especially math and science)?
● What are the best IDEs for supporting student learning?
● Are there different pedagogies more suitable/effective for direct instruction versus integrated instruction?
● How does exposure to CS in school impact students who are non-CS majors in university?
● How do industry mentors and the pipeline issues affect CS student identity?


● What does CS immersion look like in K-5?
● What is the best way to integrate CS in K-12?
● What are the implementation options for CS in elementary school?


What are the best methods for scaffolding CS concepts for students with academic deficiencies or disabilities?


● Which policy items provide the best environment for additional progress (which is the firestarter)?
● How do we scale CS in a way that avoids the unexpected negative consequences of some policies?


Why do some districts jump on board with CS while others hold back?
How do we reach a common definition of computer science that resonates for school districts and states?
● Who/what are the gatekeepers to CS and how do we remove them?
● How do we help school leadership successfully advocate for CS?
● How do we inform parents (especially from underrepresented populations) about the importance of CS?
● How do we develop parent advocates?
● How can higher ed support extended learning/expansion of content for CS?

To cite this reference, please use:

Stephenson, Chris. “Most Pressing Research Questions Sourced from Practitioners and Policy Makers from EdCon 2019.” CS Education Research Resource Center,, 15 July 2020.

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