A K-8 Computer Science Curriculum

Today, the Computer Science Teachers’ Association released its newest document “K-8 Computer Science:  Building a Solid Foundation”.  The document is a collection of articles from The Voice with content specifically targeted for the K-8 classroom.

 

 

Patrice Gams, the chair of the K-8 Task Force introduced the document in a mailing to members of the CSTA.

It provides a review of current thought on K–8 CS education, explores how CS topics and concepts can impact learning the K–8 classroom, and offers practical strategies and resources. Here you will find updates on research from higher education including a study at Harvey Mudd College on a new approach to teaching middle school CS curriculum, ideas on teaching CS skills by playing criminal detective using databases, and suggestions for planning afterschool and summer CS camps.

 

Computer Science K–8: Building a Strong Foundation provides plans for integrating CS into classes as diverse as fine arts and mathematics, and the personal experiences of dozens of classroom teachers using a wide variety of tools and techniques. Examples abound. Multi-media stories can be crafted in language arts classes, multi-level computer games can be designed in mathematics, and art and music projects can be delivered through electronic media. And of course, problem solving is an integral part of any CS activity.

Increasing high-quality CS content in K–8 education may help reverse students’ alarming enrollment and career-choice trends by illustrating, for all students, the potential for personal power afforded by computing skills. Researchers are considering the possibility that early exposure will translate into increased enrollment and a life-time engagement in CS. It is believed that positive experiences at an early age will motivate students to further explore the opportunities that a CS education has to offer. It’s important to take advantage of this developmental stage to build a CS literate and functional population. It is in everyone’s best interest and we have the tools to make it happen.

The document may be downloaded here.

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