AP® Computer Science: Principles

At a 2008 National Science Foundation-supported conference with the theme of Computational Thinking and Fluency in the 21st Century, a group of the nations leading computer scientists and educators agreed that students require increasing skills in computing across all STEM fields.Advancing U.S. students understanding of the principles and practices of computing is critical to developing a more competitive workforce for the 21st century. Yet, the number of students studying computing and computer science at both the high school and collegiate levels has been declining alarmingly—the number of students taking the AP Computer Science Exam fell 15 percent between 2001 and 2007, while the number of college freshmen intending to major in computer science plummeted more than 70 percent this decade. Conference scholars further noted that given the changing educational needs of students, computer science in the 21st century must build beyond the programming-centric orientation that was prevalent during the disciplines infancy.To that end, the investigators proposed developing a curriculum for a new Advanced Placement Program® AP® course that would fill a critical gap as an adjunct to the existing AP Computer Science A course. In 2009, the College Board, in partnership with the National Science Foundation NSF, received a grant to prototype the development of this new course, titled AP Computer Science: Principles. The new course will introduce students to programming, but will also give them an understanding of the fundamental concepts of computing, its breadth of application, and its potential for transforming the world we live in. It will be rigorous, engaging and accessible. To learn more, see http://www.csprinciples.org.

via AP® Computer Science: Principles.

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About Dr. Bob- Blog Curator

Bob’s has focused his expertise in technology integration in the K-12 community and teacher education. This expertise touches many different aspects of technology and learning. Areas of particular interest include: Learning, Computational Thinking and STEM, Mobile Learning, 1:1 technology initiatives, problem and project- based learning. Bob's experiences have been enhanced through collaborations with Bonnie Bracey-Sutton who formerly worked as President Clinton’s 21 Century Educator and Raymond Rose who formerly was part of the Concord Consortium, a non profit research and development corporation and the lead institution in developing one of the first virtual high schools in the nation. Other important influences include work at Learning Sciences Research Institute as Senior Research Associate at the University of Illinois Chicago where he was involved with studies of best practices of teacher education and technology. Additional experiences include, working with John Bransford at Vanderbilt University’s Learning Technology Center as Project Coordinator for the school’s Preparing Tomorrow’s Teachers to Use Technology Grant (PT3). The grant, national in scope, was responsible for disseminating and helping to implement research on learning and technology into grant activities and the activities of grant partners. Bob now heads up the IRIS Connect project at the University of Mississippi and is part of the Mobile Learning Portal Project at the University of Texas - Austin. The Portal project involves Dr. Paul Resta, who holds the Ruth Knight Millikan Centennial Professorship in Instructional Technology and serves as Director of the Learning Technology Center at the University of Texas at Austin.

Posted on August 4, 2011, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Good comments and I think you recognize the issues well. Computer Science like some other content areas are not tested thus not part of what schools offer. In fact, CS is fighting a battle on the national level for states to recognize it as a content area and add it to the statewide curriculum. A few states, and a few districts do this on its on. But you are right, it’s a vital content area if for nothing more than it’s ability to teach problem solving. The other issue you touched on is it’s teaching. CS is a subject area that suffers in its most common form of pedagogy. What I mean, instead of offering authentic/real world problems as a basis for learning programming, much of it is still based on practice, practice, practice. You can see for yourself that teaching and learning in that manner does not lead to problem solving nor creativity.

  2. I hope this venture is successful because I wholeheartedly believe that our lack of focus on the sciences, especially computer based, could lead to our downfall as a world leader. The computer science programs of yesteryear focus on the mechanical process of programming and do not stress the logic and flow of information within a system. Creative thinking and vision drive success. We lead the world in this area but we do not lead the world in building a strong scientific foundation for students. Looking forward to your thoughts.

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