- School districts face a challenge when trying to bring computer science skills into curriculum, even as 70% of school principals across the U.S. are now focused on bringing these lessons into classrooms, according to a new survey from Education Week.
- Some 47% of administrators said they feel tech industry and vendor pressure for more computer science education, but principals and administrators are also facing staffing shortages on top of having trouble finding qualified teachers for computer science classes.
- Computer science curriculum can differ widely in schools using free programs like the Hour of Code, with others offering more robust classes like Advanced Placement Computer Science.
While few educators would dispute that computer science skills are beneficial to students today, putting them into play in schools is another matter. To make these classes a reality, curriculum administrators have to face many obstacles, from funding to finding time in the school day to even locating qualified teachers, before they can run these classes.
Adding computer science successfully to any curriculum may require seeing the skill as a core science — akin to chemistry, physics and biology — in order for students to not only have an opportunity to learn these skills, but to make sure they have some familiarity before graduating into a mostly digital world.
A 2016 report from the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation acknowledges that there are limited hours in the day to add computer science classes to curriculum. But these classes, particularly at the high school level, do more than teach students about the inner workings of computers: They can also “instill creativity, critical thinking skills, and logical reasoning.”
Whether these programs need to start small or schools can afford to launch a robust program, students will benefit in the end.