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Providing On-Line CS Teacher Education, Designed For Teachers

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Mark Guzdial

Georgia Institute of Technology professor Mark Guzdial

I've written several times in Blog@CACM about computer science teachers. Successful computer science teachers have different knowledge and skills than software developers, or even general teachers (see post here). CS teachers need professional learning opportunities in order to develop their expertise and confidence, which increases their sense of identity as CS teachers, which improves their quality and retention (see post here). MOOCs have not been successful (so-far) in helping teachers to learn CS because of high drop-out rates (see post here).

For the last three years, my research group at Georgia Tech ( has been developing an ebook for teaching teachers about computer science -- specifically, teaching the AP CS Principles (see curriculum using Python. This is an ebook designed explicitly for teachers' needs:

  • It's an ebook (not a class, not a video) so that it can be completed in small chunks that fit into a teachers' life.
  • The structure of the book has little expository text or videos. Most of the ebook is a pattern of worked examples and practice exercises -- lots and lots of them.
  • It doesn't aim to teach software development. It aims to teach the reading and debugging skills that are most critical to what a successful CS teacher does.
  • The ebook includes pedagogical concept knowledge (PCK), the specific knowledge that CS teachers need to be successful teachers, like misconceptions that students typically make.
  • There is support for "book clubs," groups of readers who can negotiate a schedule to push each other to complete.

I am pleased to announce the ebook is ready for release!

Please share this URL with any teacher you think might want to learn about teaching CS (especially for the AP CS Principles -- see learning objectives here) in Python:


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