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What Makes CS Teachers Change?

by Jill Dimond last modified 2008-01-17 17:46

Researcher: Lijun Ni

To make computing curriculum innovations have real-world impact on student learning, it is critical to understand what factors are most important for shaping the way(s) that our innovations are adopted, adapted, and implemented by CS teachers. We are beginning a study intended to get a better understanding of what makes CS teachers change the way they teach computing.

Teacher Workshop 2

From a teacher-oriented perspective, we propose a theoretical model to represent hypotheses regarding potential adoption factors with an emphasis on the knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs that teachers hold about curriculum, students and themselves. We conducted a pilot study to examine those proposed factors through three summer workshops in 2007. We use the results of the pilot study to extend and refine the proposed model. Our findings indicate that teacher excitement in the new course drives adoption, while systemic issues inhibit adoption. We propose to conduct follow-up studies to track teachers’ adoption status and further validate our model.

This model might potentially provide a basis for researchers to devise effective strategies for removing barriers that prevent teachers’ adoption, and thereby foster the dissemination of innovations emerging from the CS education community.

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