- Year 2016
- NSF Noyce Award # 1136322
- First Name James
- Last Name Matthews
- Discipline Mathematics
Mark Jury, Siena College; Michele McColgan, Siena College; Larry Medsker, Siena College;
Lucas Tucker, Siena College
James Matthews, Siena College
There is a shortage of qualified and capable teachers of computer science in all schools, especially high-need schools. Most states do not have a certification area for computer science. This is one of the reasons there is a shortage. Our project includes an innovative way to produce more teachers capable of teaching computer science. This results of our project benefit the ‘CS 10K Project’, supported by the NSF. The goal of the CS 10K Project is to produce 10,000 computer science teachers.
Our overarching goal is to produce teachers capable of teaching computer science. Our Noyce scholars preparing to teach mathematics have been required to minor in computer science, complete a course on methods of teaching computer science, and participate in high school computer science teaching.
Our Noyce mathematics scholars understand early in the program that they must minor in computer science. They complete a strong minor in the subject including a computer science methods of teaching course that is team-taught by computer science, mathematics, and education faculty. We would like to have the Noyce scholars teach at least one computing course during the student-teaching experience but because most high-need schools do not offer these courses this has not been possible. We do have them participate as judges in a high school programming contest and we think this has been helpful in their preparation to teach CS.
At our institution we have a long history of success producing secondary mathematics teachers. Our Noyce project is requiring our mathematics scholars to complete a strong minor in computer science so they are qualified to teach computer science at the Advanced Placement level. In the 12 years prior to receiving our grant, we only had 4 out of 65 students take these computer science courses despite being strongly advised to consider doing so. During the years of our Noyce grant, we have prepared 22 secondary mathematics teachers and 17 of them have completed the courses that will enable them to teach computer science.
Our project contributes to the NSF CS 10K goal of producing qualified computer teachers for the secondary level. We have disseminated our results at a national conference of computer science educators, the Association of Computing Machinery’s Special Interest Group on CS Education. We have also started a local chapter of the Computer Science Teachers Association.