Do we still need Computer Science teachers?

These days it seems like “how to learn coding yourself” opportunities are everywhere. There are MOOCs from major universities, code.org has great online tutorials, Facebook just opened a website called TechPrep to help parents and students alike find resources and tools, and there seems to be a new edtech company starting up every week with online CS resources. The question for many becomes “do we still need computer science teachers?” The CSTA (Computer Science Teachers Association) Research Committee has been analyzing the High School survey results from May and below are some of the highlights. A detailed Summary of Results is available on our website.

  • 51% of the survey respondents have computer science teaching experience of 15 years or more
  • 45% of the teachers reported that computer science courses make up 50-75% of their teaching load.
  • 66% of the teachers reported that they are offering a CS principals course
  • 79% of the teachers reported that they offer the APCS A course.
  • 68% of those who offer APCS A course reported that half of their course enrollment are female, and between 20-40% are underrepresented minorities.
  • Majority of the teachers (68%) also reported that CS enrollment has increased in the past 3 years

These statistics are encouraging for the outlook of CS education and what is going on in the High Schools at this time. However, this data is self-reported and we need to examine ways to triangulate the numbers, especially the APCS-A enrollment numbers

Source: The CSTA Advocate Blog

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One thought on “Do we still need Computer Science teachers?

  1. CS is one of those rare disciplines that you can practice in your own basement, unlike, for example, dentistry (hopefully). This makes it easy to acquire knowledge and experience. However, it’s worth pointing out that online tutorials, self-teaching, and even structured distance education courses are a poor substitute for a class environment where the instructor is readily available in person. Teachers in a classroom setting can, more easily than in any other scenario, help to answer the “why” questions which, inevitably, are asked by curious students when new material is introduced. It is also easier to develop a rapport with an instructor who is physically present.

    On a separate note, that survey they’ve got…yikes, is that ever one poorly-designed questionnaire.

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