Supporting Teachers for Computer Science Reform

February 1, 2021


Phillip Boda

The Learning Partnership

Steven McGee

The Learning Partnership

As K12 computer science education is expanding nationwide, school districts are challenged to find qualified computer science teachers. It will take many years for schools of education to produce a sufficient number of certified computer science teachers to meet the demand. In the interim courses like Exploring Computer Science (ECS) can fill the gap. ECS is designed to provide a robust introduction to computer science and the accompanying professional development is structured such that a college level understanding of computer science is not required. This brief summarizes research with 20,000 Chicago Public Schools high school students and their teachers to test the claim that the ECS professional development can provide an adequate preparation for teaching ECS. The results provide strong evidence that full completion of the ECS professional development program by teachers from any discipline leads to much higher student outcomes, independent of whether a teacher is certified in computer science.


Suggested Citation

Boda, P. & McGee, S. (2021, February). Supporting teachers for computer science reform: Lessons from over 20,000 students in Chicago [Research Brief]. The Learning Partnership.

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