A volunteer group of experienced School of Education faculty developed this series of case studies, resources, and recommendations to provide guidance for other schools of education to implement and align their teacher preparation programs and graduate supplemental programs with the CSTA Standards for CS Teachers. We recognize that schools of education are coming to this work from multiple situations: Some have long standing teacher preparation programs for CS secondary teachers, while others may be eager to develop programs to meet new state policy requirements for CS teacher certification, or to integrate CS pedagogy into K–8 teacher preservice programs. We hope that the CSTA Standards for CS Teachers invite schools of education to evaluate what they are currently doing and look for opportunities to develop new collaborations, and guide faculty and administrators in schools of education as they develop new teacher preparation programs or refine existing ones.
The CSTA Standards for Computer Science Teachers provide clear guidance around effective and equitable CS instruction in support of rigorous CS education for all K–12 students. The Standards:
- Explain what CS teachers should know and be able to do
- Establish benchmarks for CS professional learning
- Provide goals to guide teachers’ professional learning and continuously develop their teaching practice from novice to master CS teachers
CS teachers enter the field from many different areas of specialization, and their preparation varies significantly. Each indicator is a roadmap to support teachers from multiple entry points as they identify their strengths and areas for growth.
The Standards represent a collaborative effort to provide a vision of CS teaching and learning based on the latest research. They were designed to complement the outcomes for student learning delineated in the K–12 CS Framework (2016) and CSTA K–12 CS Standards (2017).
The expansion of computer science education over the past two decades has increased access to high-quality CS learning opportunities for K–12 students and teachers through the adoption of K–12 CS Standards, CS teacher certification and teacher preparation programs, and related efforts. We must now broaden this focus and leverage teacher preparation programs to build a sustainable pipeline of K–12 educators who can support rigorous and inclusive CS instruction. Institutions of higher education are a critical component of meeting the need for qualified CS teachers in K–12 schools: without their leadership and sustained collaboration, the CS teacher workforce will be difficult to scale and preparation for preservice CS teachers will continue to lag behind other academic disciplines. We need CS preservice teachers to address the lack of CS teachers and to support the increase in K–12 CS offerings in schools.
The following action steps were designed to guide Schools of Education as they create and implement CS teacher education programs.
Build Your Team
- Build a team for action and follow-through
- Determine which faculty members will teach or assist in the program and what resources and PD they need
- Find out what is required to teach CS in your state
- Identify which teachers are being prepared and what they are being prepared for
- Be aware of the teacher competency requirements for teaching CS
- Identify the CS standards, courses, and content teachers are expected to teach
Plan Your Program
- Design your CS teacher education program
- Review other considerations and challenges
Each college and university operates within state, regional, and local contexts that influence the design and approaches of computer science preservice programs. The following case studies highlight a variety of contexts across the country and offer examples to help colleges and universities develop their own programs. Each case study is structured to include similar information about the CS program. The table below provides an overview of various features of each program.
|Links to Case Studies
|Certification & Exam
|College of St. Scholastica
|Undergraduate & 2+2 (AA to BS)
|Georgia State University
|PreK-12 CS, GACE Exam
|University of Central Arkansas
|4-12 CS Endorsement, Praxis
|University of Washington
|Graduate & 2+2 (AA to BS)
|Exam-based K-12 CS Endorsement
Preservice teacher education programs provide practicum experiences for teacher candidates where they can observe and practice teaching before they graduate. In-service programs may or may not include field experiences, as program participants are often practicing classroom teachers already. The best opportunity for teacher candidates to practice is through sustained practicums; however, if this is not an option, other types of field experiences can also provide opportunities for teacher candidates to observe and practice. Field experiences vary by when they occur in programs, by their purpose, and by their learning goals, resulting in differing expectations for what teacher candidates should know and be able to achieve. The overarching goal of field experiences is to provide teacher candidates with the opportunity to develop and teach a CS lesson with feedback from an experienced teacher. Because CS is a new discipline, and state requirements for field experiences and teacher licensure vary by location, education programs have found a number of creative ways to provide these experiences.
Teacher education programs employ a variety of strategies to equip teacher candidates with the knowledge and skills they will need in the computer science classroom. Many activities encourage teacher candidates to begin by participating as learners or to practice teaching followed by reflection on their practice. The activities shared in the table below demonstrate that there are a variety of ways to support CS teachers in their professional development journeys. Each activity includes the context, standards and indicators alignment, a description, and (where available) grading rubrics or supports.
|Links to Activities
|Standard 1. CS Knowledge & Skills
|Standard 2. Equity & Inclusion
|Standard 3. Professional Growth & Identity
|Standard 4. Instructional Design
|Standard 5. Classroom Practice
|Use Data to Find Effective CS Teaching Techniques
|3c & 3e
|Assess Cybersecurity Threats and Model Appropriate Responses
|Create Guidelines for Ethical Digital Behavior
|4b, 4f & 4g
|Professional Development & Reflection
|3a & 3f
|Analyze Curriculum with an Equity Lens
|2c & 2e
|Pillars of Computational Thinking
|Create a Parsons Problem
|CS Ed Visions
|Field Experience Observation
|Intro to Translanguaging
Priming the Pump
License & Attribution
Authors: Jen Rosato, Michelle Friend, Octavia Abell, Lauren Margulieux, Mahnaz Moallem, Louis Nadelson, and Anne Leftwich
Suggested Citation: Rosato, J., Friend, M., Abell, O., Margulieux, L., Moallem, M., Nadelson, L., and Leftwich, A. (2022). Guidance for Schools of Education. Computer Science Teachers Association. Retrieved from https://csteachers.org/schoolsofed.
License: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0).
CSTA membership is not just for teachers. We welcome postsecondary faculty and staff, too!