- Year 2023
- NSF Noyce Award # 2147890
- First Name Thomas
- Last Name Koballa
- Discipline Computer Science, STEM Education (general)
Bob Allen, Susie Morrissey, Anthony Choi
The project is implementing and investigating a professional development approach to increase the number and diversity of computer science (CS) teacher leaders in rural, high-need school systems in South Georgia. In preparing CS teacher leaders, the project addresses the near absence of CS instruction in rural schools, a significant gap in the STEM knowledge pipeline.
How is the project reducing CS teacher isolation, improving CS instruction, creating CS teacher leaders, and increasing CS teacher retention in rural school districts?
Guiding the project’s approach and evaluation is a research-based framework that extends the work of the Developing Master Teachers through the South Carolina Science and Mathematics Teacher Leaders program (NSF Award #1439842). The framework highlights areas of need for rural school systems and their teachers, specific to CS teaching and leadership. It generates researchable questions about reducing teacher isolation, improving instruction, creating teacher leaders, and increasing teacher retention. Unique to the project is CS as a new teaching area for experienced STEM teachers. Now in Year 1, the approach is being implemented through a 14-month online Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) in Teacher Leadership degree program, followed in Years 2-5 by online CS minicourses, in-person CS Leadership Assemblies, and CS system-level planning events. The work is being carried out in partnership with eight rural school systems.
Now in Year 1, the approach is being implemented through a 14-month online Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) in Teacher Leadership degree program, followed in Years 2-5 by online CS minicourses, in-person CS Leadership Assemblies, and CS system-level planning events.
The creation of MTFs will encourage continuing CS education in the partnering school systems, providing CS education for current and future students. Furthermore, the inclusion of CS MTFs in rural schools will provide their students with access to CS learning experiences aligned with the Georgia Department of Education’s CS Career Pathways and opportunities to pursue careers in a well-paying industry that has a shortage of applicants.