Stuff that occurs to me

All of my 'how to' posts are tagged here. The most popular posts are about blocking and private accounts on Twitter, also the science communication jobs list. None of the science or medical information I might post to this blog should be taken as medical advice (I'm not medically trained).

Think of this blog as a sort of nursery for my half-baked ideas hence 'stuff that occurs to me'.

Contact: @JoBrodie Email: jo DOT brodie AT gmx DOT com

Science in London: The 2016 scientific society talks in London blog post

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Trying to familiarise myself with the 'Computer Science teaching in schools' literature

As I'm helping out a bit more on another project at Queen Mary (on my boss Paul Curzon's cs4fn project) I'm trying to find out a bit more about 'the literature' relating to various outreach programmes that aim to engage school pupils in the world of computer science.

As I'm not familiar with either the literature, or the search strategies I should be employing to winkle it out (very familiar with life sciences / medical database searching, less so with computer science other than the ACM Digital Library and generic Web of Knowledge) I feel I'm fiddling about more than necessary.

Here are some papers I've found (some are written by my colleagues) on the topic, but what I'm particularly after is information about surveys of CS teachers - what do they want / need? There are already some looking at awareness of CS among high school children and first year students (who studied maths and were required to take a CS module, which they seemed to rather like) but I've not found many that have asked teachers.

I've also just discovered the CSTA (Computer Science Teachers' Association) which does have one or two surveys up its sleeves, so will be hunting there too.

But my question so far (and it may not even be the right question of course!) is - what do computer science teachers want or need to help them teach computer science and encourage pupils to think computationally?

Bibliography - not systematic I'm afraid, mostly foraged and follow-on from citations. Many will prove to be not that relevant but the process of finding that out for myself has been useful! The order below is the order in which I downloaded PDFs or noted the citation. I've added links which should help anyone to track the papers down although I can't guarantee that you'll be able to access them (they open on my computer because I'm within an academic institution that is subscribed to most of them).

1. Published papers
2. Parliamentary discussions / reports to Government

1. Published papers
01 Myketiak (2012)
cs4fn: a flexible model for computer science outreach

02 Curzon (2009)
Computational thinking (CT): on weaving it in

03 Curzon (2008)
Engaging with computer science through magic shows

04 Bell (2011)
Introducing students to computer science with programmes that don't emphasise programming

05 Curzon (2007)
Serious fun in computer science

06 [Multiple authors - conference proceedings]
Proceedings of the 12th annual SIGCSE conference on Innovation and technology in computer science education

07 Thies (2012)
Reflections on outreach programs in CS classes: learning objectives for "unplugged" activities

08 Taub (2012)
CS Unplugged and Middle-School Students’ Views, Attitudes, and Intentions Regarding CS

09 Blum (2007)
CS4HS: an outreach program for high school CS teachers

10 Carter (2006)
Why students with an apparent aptitude for computer science don't choose to major in computer science

11 Liu (2011)
A Survey on Computer Science K-12 Outreach: Teacher Training Programs

12 Ragonis (2010)
A Survey of Computer Science Teacher Preparation Programs in Israel Tells Us: Computer Science Deserves a Designated High School Teacher Preparation!

13 Porta (2010)
Dec-CS: The Computer Science Declining Phenomenon

14 Guzdal (2011)
Learning How to Prepare Computer Science High School Teachers

15 Moura (2011)
Teaching a CS introductory course: An active approach

16 Donathan (2011)
Successful K-12 Outreach Strategies

17 Ragonis (2011)
A Study on Attitudes and Emphases in Computer Science Teacher Preparation

18 Tillman
(year not given on preprint, est > 2010)
Pex4Fun: Teaching and Learning Computer Science via Social Gaming

19 Altinkurt, Y., & Yilmaz, K. (2012). Prospective science and mathematics teachers’ computer anxiety and learning styles. Energy Education Science and Technology Part B: Social and Educational Studies, 4(2), 933–942.

20 Sherrell (2012)

Tri-P-LETS: Changing the Face of High School Computer Science. Journal of Computers in Mathematics and Science Teaching, 31(1), 61-85. Chesapeake, VA: AACE.

21  Curzon (2008)

Securing the future of computer science: computer science for fun
9th Annual Conference of the Subject Centre for Information and Computer Sciences

22 Curzon (2009, though year not given on preprint) Enthusing students about computer science

23 Lapidot (2007)
The Israeli Summer Seminars for CS Leading Teachers

24 Cutts (2007)
Enthusing and informing potential computer science students and their teachers

25 Major (2011)
Experiences of prospective high school teachers using a programming teaching tool

26 Lapidot (2007)
Supporting the Growth of CS Leading Teachers

27 Denning (2005)
Recentering computer science

28 Cutts (2011)
Computing as the 4th "R": a general education approach to computing education

29 Roberts (2005)

30 Gal-Ezer (2010)

31 Arkansas Legislation (2007)

32 Pontier (1996)

2. Parliamentary discussions / reports to Government
13 January 2012
Royal Society report

Computing in schools: Shut down or restart?

"There is a need to improve understanding in schools of the nature and scope of Computing. In particular there needs to be recognition that Computer Science is a rigorous academic discipline of great importance to the future careers of many pupils. The status of Computing in schools needs to be recognised and raised by government and senior management in schools."
"Every child should have the opportunity to learn Computing at school, including exposure to Computer Science as a rigorous academic discipline."
 And from the Summary document (Paul Nurse, foreword):
"It is becoming increasingly clear that studying Computer Science provides a ‘way of thinking’ in the same way that mathematics does, and that there are therefore strong educational arguments for taking a careful look at how and when we introduce young people to the subject."

9 February 2012
Schools: ICT

13 March 2012
Schools: Computer Science
Northern Ireland Assembly

"Given that the school viability audits use the percentage of pupils attaining grades A to C at GCSE as an indicator of a quality educational experience, and that it is generally recognised that ICT would give a better chance of pupils achieving a higher grade than other subjects such as computer science, does the Minister agree that schools are unlikely to choose to offer the more challenging option, unless they are actively encouraged to do so?"

22 March 2012
Digital Economy
Oral Answers to Questions — Culture, Media and Sport
10:30 am

" I am concerned about getting more young people involved in the industry, given that the number of people studying computer science is lower now than it was a decade ago and the proportion of women doing computer science has gone down to only 14%."

9 November 2012

"...we are now consulting on withdrawing the existing ICT Programmes of Study and Attainment Targets from September 2012. This will free schools to develop more innovative ICT curricula with a greater focus on computer science, drawing on support from industry and other expert groups.

ICT will however remain a compulsory subject at all key stages, pending the outcome of the current review of the national curriculum in England." 

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