Giving Compass’ Take:
• A survey commissioned by Microsoft and conducted by public opinion and data company YouGov found that while many teachers believe computer science education should be required, there are not enough trained educators to make that standard a reality.
• What changes in both education funding need to happen to adequately train teachers? And will computer science education be worth the investment?
• Read about the organization that is bringing computer science into more classrooms.
Is there a disconnect in current efforts to teach computer science? Some teachers think so. In a new survey, 88 percent of teacher respondents said they believe computer science is critical for students’ success in the workplace—but two in 10 teachers said their students aren’t taught any computer science.
Commissioned by Microsoft, in time for Computer Science Education Week, the survey was conducted by public opinion and data company YouGov, who surveyed 540 K-12 teachers.
The majority of teachers surveyed believe the gap exists for a few reasons: computer science isn’t part of their school’s curriculum, there is a lack of funding for it and it’s not a subject students are tested on.
“Computer science is clearly in high demand,” says Mark Sparvell, senior manager of education marketing at Microsoft. “Teachers see it as a priority, parents see it as a priority from previous research. And yet, it’s in low supply.”
Sheena Vaidyanathan, a computer science integration specialist at Los Altos School District in California, says that states, school districts and boards of education have not prioritized computer science education the way they should.
A core part of integrating computer science education into classrooms all around the United States comes down to teacher training, she explains. “We must accept the fact that unless we do this in a systematic way, our teachers are not ready to teach [computer science].” She points to the United Kingdom as an example. The country has made efforts to improve curriculum and train 8,000 teachers in computer science.
But for now, big tech companies are happy to play a major role in bringing computer science to students in the US. Sparvell says Microsoft is committed to preparing students for higher education and a rapidly evolving workforce.
Read the full article about computer science by Tina Nazerian at EdSurge
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