For two decades, the UTeach pre-service teacher preparation program at The University of Texas at Austin has prepared large numbers of STEM majors to enter (and stay) in secondary classrooms. And since 2007, the UTeach Institute has recruited and supported almost 50 universities across the U.S. to establish their own UTeach programs.
With support from the National Science Foundation, the UTeach Computer Science program leverages the expertise and partnerships we’ve developed over this time to scale UTeach CS Principles through the College Board’s AP® Computer Science Principles program. In addition to providing professional development and teacher support for AP CS Principles, we are engaged in continuous research into the effectiveness of the course.
Why offer computer science?
- Computer science is more than programming! Computational thinking develops logical thinking, problem solving, and creativity—skills that are critical in ALL subjects.
- Demands for K–12 computer science education and workforce computing skills are greater than ever. In January 2016, the national Computer Science for All initiative was launched to address these critical needs.
- For more information on U.S. concerns and the recent momentum around computer science education, check out our fact sheet!
Why offer Computer Science Principles?
Computer Science Principles is a NEW way to engage students in computer science education. It goes beyond programming to address big ideas like creativity, abstraction, data and information, algorithms, the Internet, and the global impact of computer science. Beyond that, the Computer Science Principles framework was developed with the explicit intention of broadening participation among young women and others historically underrepresented in the field. It’s an issue of equity!
Why offer UTeach CS Principles?
There are a number of great Computer Science Principles courses available. As you consider which might work best for you and your students, here are the things we think make our course unique:
- UTeach CS Principles was developed for high school teachers and students by highly experienced and successful secondary computer science teachers led by UTeach at The University of Texas at Austin.
- The course engages students in authentic, project-based learning using an approach formalized by the Buck Institute for Education and focuses less on programming than deep conceptual understanding and computational thinking skills.
- UTeach CS Principles can be taught in a variety of classroom and school environments, with no assumptions about students’ access to technology at home and a number of activities that can be completed without 1:1 computer access. No materials costs are assumed.
- The course was designed using evidence-based strategies that incorporate socially relevant content with the explicit intention of motivating young women and others from groups historically underrepresented in computer science.
- UTeach CS Principles is endorsed by the College Board and National Science Foundation. It is designed to meet the spirit and letter of the AP® Computer Science Principles program and to prepare students to be successful on the AP® Computer Science Principles exam and Performance Tasks.
- The turnkey curriculum and teacher materials, coupled with our intensive training and support model, enables teachers and students who are new to computer science to be successful.
- Each year, hundreds of teachers have taught the course nationwide. Teachers help us shape and improve the curriculum and teacher materials and support each other by sharing resources and crowdsourcing solutions.
If you’re interested in the course or would like to share information with district or school administrators, counselors, students, etc., contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.