The time is now for computer science education!
With the shifting economy, educators are increasingly recognizing computer science as a new basic requirement. In his final State of the Union address, President Barack Obama said that “helping students learn to write computer code” is among his goals for the year ahead.
Jim Kurose, the assistant director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) released a letter to the community acknowledging the excitement in the community, but also noting to “please stay tuned as the Administration announces new steps in the coming weeks to support efforts to expand access to computer science education across the Nation.”
White House Office of Science Technology Policy U.S. Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith also showed her support for computer science education in December, noting that “increasing interest and engagement of all students in CS education requires community efforts, with teachers, administrators, nonprofit organizations, corporations, researchers, parents, and the public playing critical roles.”
The task force is led by CCC Council Member Debra Richardson. Debra was joined by former CCC Council Member and CRA-E Co-Chair Ran Libeskind-Hadas to commission the white paper authored by Steve Cooper, Jeff Forbes, Armando Fox, Susanne Hambrusch, Andrew Ko, and Beth Simon. This white paper recognizes the increase in the number of undergraduates declaring a computing major and suggests that we have an unparalleled opportunity right now to expand the reach of computing education through the burgeoning field of Computing Education Research (CER).
From the white paper:
Creating an environment in which computing education research flourishes and also applies to teaching practice is a long-term endeavor. Public interest in K-12 computing education has increased in recent years and many CS departments have new interests in improving the quality of undergraduate education and student retention, especially retention of members of underrepresented groups through evidence-based practices. The growing public interest, combined with the availability of computing education research funding, creates a unique environment for departments to consider CER as a respected research area.
To learn more about CER, please read the full white paper.