Today we touch upon a significant issue of the education system: we need to empower computer science teachers to overcome the barriers that hinder their professionalism. In turn, we need to obtain a better understanding of the difficulties they face, and the way they think about them. Given the focus of UMI-Sci-Ed, we look specifically into resources allocation and other stakeholders’ involvement in educational activities. Can teachers get the resources that they need to run UMI activities? Can they involve members of the local Communities of Practice in their teaching? How important it is for them? Understanding teachers´ needs will help the project to design better support for integrating UMI activities in their everyday practices.
An initial exploratory study was conducted in Norway. Thirty-two computing education teachers participated in the study by answering a questionnaire, which was inspired by the well-known work of Bandura on teachers’ self-efficacy (Bandura & Wessels, 1994). All of them live in Norway. The results indicate that they have high self-efficacy in factors that they considered important. Also, the findings indicate same levels of self-efficacy in both men and women, as well as, across groups with different prior teaching experience. The results can be interpreted through the prism of the Norwegian computing education context: there is an ongoing reform in computing education in schools of Norway (as in many other countries, as well). This reform is driven by a rapidly growing demand “for requiring rigorous computing education where previously there has not been such requirement [and] the question arises as to the anticipated effects of such a major policy change” (Tenenberg & McCartney, 2014, p.6).
The results of the preliminary study are reported in a paper authored by Anna Mavroudi and Monica Divitini from the Department of Computer Science (IDI) of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. The paper will be presented in the 6th Computer Science Education Research Conference (CSERC ’17, https://www.ou.nl/web/cserc ) by Monica Divitini. CSERC’17 takes place on 13 – 15 November 2017 at Helsinki, Finland. It is an international forum for researchers with interests in all aspects of computer science education. It embraces a broad view of current and future trends in computer science education and aspires to be a lively environment for presenting the latest research results. Contact us if you would like to get a copy of the current version.
Is the situation similar in other European countries? To find out, we plan to start a larger scale study. We would like to hear from you, the link to the questionnaire is:
You will be able to answer it after you create an account in the UMI-Sci-Ed platform, this will give you also access to our materials (learning scenarios and projects) as well as to our emerging Community of Practice. Stay tuned!
- Bandura, A., & Wessels, S. (1994). Self-efficacy, 71-81.
- Tenenberg, J., & McCartney, R. (2014). Computing Education in (K-12) Schools from a Cross-National Perspective. ACM Transactions on Computing Education (TOCE), 14(2), 6.