CS10K:CS1C@OC – Building a Local Area Network of Computer Science Teachers

Principal Investigator: Debra J. Richardson (Information and Computer Sciences (UCI)
Co-Investigators: Rebecca Black (Information and Computer Sciences, UCI)
Elizabeth A. Simon (Education Studies, UCSD)
Elizabeth A. van Es (Education, UCI)
Mark Warschauer (Education, UCI)
Funder: National Science Foundation
Duration: October 2016 – September 2019

Project Description

The University of California Irvine (UCI) has undertaken a project, called CS1C@OC, to provide in-service teachers in Orange County with a program of study intended to satisfy California’s new teacher certification pathway in CS. This certification pathway is the Supplementary Authorization in Computer Science, which requires college credit in computer science.

Despite the demonstrated need for students to learn foundational computer science skills, few K-12 students have access to rigorous CS courses. CS remains privileged knowledge, and improving access to this knowledge is one of the major economic security and social justice issues of the 21st century. The CS community has struggled to overcome issues of access and equity, and some enormous strides have come in teaching tools, pedagogies, and standards. But none of these accomplishments can be broadly implemented or sustainable without teaching certification pathways for CS teachers and teacher preparation programs focused on computing, especially for those teaching in underserved communities. CS1C@OC is developing such a teacher preparation program.

CS1C@OC aims to increase in-service teachers’ CS content knowledge and their competence and confidence in evidence-based pedagogical practices for teaching computer science to diverse learners; increase diverse students’ knowledge and skills in computational thinking and computer science principles and their interest in taking more CS courses; and increase the capacity of Orange County schools to provide CS courses.

CS1C@OC is recruiting 100 secondary school teachers, preferably from low-income communities, with preference given to teachers who, along with their school, make a commitment to teach Exploring Computer Science (ECS) and/or Computer Science Principles (CSP). UCI will provide on-line and face-to-face courses in CS principles and pedagogy intended to satisfy the requirements for the CS supplementary authorization while emphasizing CS instructional approaches that have proven successful with females and students from low-income, underrepresented communities. These course are scheduled to meet in-service teachers’ time requirements.  It will also develop a hybrid professional learning community for participating teachers so they can share information and experiences, continue to learn from each other, and have further opportunities to develop themselves both personally and professionally throughout the school year.  The project will evaluate impact on teacher learning and development as well as impact on student learning and attitude changes.

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