Computer Science – A Field of Dreams

By Robert Plants

[Editor’s Note: This article was written in response to Bonnie Bracey Sutton‘s call for submissions from selected writers. Bonnie is ETCJ’s editor of policy issues, and the focus of her call was Erik W. Robelen’s “Schools Fall Behind in Offering Computer Science” (Education Week, 7.14.10); WebCite version. -js]

You can’t build it and expect people to come. We cite statistics on what is and what isn’t but fail to dig into the symptoms. We point out initiatives that may influence supply and demand but don’t go on to look at what influences K-12 education that results in the dearth of interest in computer science. In most states, the emphasis lies in producing enough teachers to staff the education that we have. We have an educational system focused on a standardized curriculum, rote memorization, nationalized testing, curriculum standards. Dig a little deeper and you will find that the structure of schooling is about the little red brick building we have always known, grades, classrooms, curriculum, teaching strategies – one size fits all. In many ways, our system of schooling has not changed in 100 years. Continue reading