Computational Thinking for STEM Teacher Leadership Training at Louisiana State University

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



We developed and piloted a new course titled Computer Science Teaching Methods (CSM) in the fall semester of 2019. This course was based on materials developed from a previous program that trained high school teachers in computational thinking and programming through LSU's Cain Center. Pedagogical content knowledge informed the design of this course. Also, data gathered from teacher and instructor interaction at multiple sites during the summer STEM professional development program contributed to the courses' design. The CS Methods course targeted undergraduate computer science majors who were considering a career in teaching or who were interested in CS pedagogy. We encountered several challenges recruiting and retaining students and found that computer science students attracted to teaching careers do not fall into the stereotype of most computer science majors. Participation of women was higher than the average undergraduate CS courses. A disconnect appeared between the pedagogical practices promoted for teaching computing at the high school level and those being practiced at the college level. After learning about the 5E pedagogical model for teaching computing, students expressed interest in the potential of using more student-centered instruction, not only for high school instruction, but also for their own college courses. An area of disconnect also emerged in the programming formats, as all the students were comfortable with Java but all were unfamiliar with popular block-based programming platforms, such as Scratch. The transition from the CS curriculum taught in high schools to what follows in college needs to be smoother.

Publication Source (Journal or Book title)

2020 Research on Equity and Sustained Participation in Engineering, Computing, and Technology, RESPECT 2020 - Proceedings

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