Pursuing the Vision of CS for All: Views from the Front Lines
1. Cuban, L. “Coding: The New Vocationalism (Part 2). “Larry Cuban on School Reform
and Classroom Practice,” Wordpress, 13 July 2017; https://larrycuban.wordpress.
com/2017/07/14/coding-the-new-vocationalism-part-2/. Accessed 2018 June 28.
2. Della Cava, M. “Should Students Learn Coding? Students, Schools Disagree,
Poll Finds.” USA Today, August 20, 2015; http://www.usatoday.com/story/
tech/2015/08/20/google-gallup-poll-finds- parents-want-computer-science-education-but-administrators-arent- sure/31991889/. Accessed 2018 June 28.
3. Fullan, M. The new meaning of educational change. (Routledge, 2007).
4. Gallup. “Searching for Computer Science: Access and Barriers in U. S. K- 12
Education.” Gallup, August 20, 2015; https://services.google.com/fh/files/misc/
searching-for-computer-science_report.pdf. Accessed 2018 July 3.
5. Google Gallup. “Trends in the State of Computer Science in U. S. K- 12 School,” 2016;
http://goo.gl/j291E0. Accessed 2018 July 3.
6. Google Inc. & Gallup Inc. “Diversity Gaps in Computer Science: Exploring the
Underrepresentation of Girls, Blacks and Hispanics,” 2016; http://goo.gl/PG34aH.
Accessed 2018 July 3
7. Miltner, Kate M. “Who Benefits from Teaching All Kids to Code? Tech Companies
for One.” Slate; http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2017/12/
who_benefits_from_the_push_to_teach_all_kids_to_code.html. Accessed 2018
8. Singer, N. “How Silicon Valley Pushed Coding into American Classrooms.” The
New York Times, 27 June 2017; https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/27/technology/
education-partovi-computer-science-coding-apple-microsoft.html. Accessed 2018
9. Wang, J., Hong, H., Ravitz, J. and Moghadam, S.H. Landscape of K- 12 computer
science education in the US: Perceptions, access, and barriers. In Proceedings of the
47th ACM Technical Symposium on Computing Science Education, 2016, 645–650.
201 Washington Road
Princeton, NJ USA
333 Ravenswood Ave
Menlo Park, CA USA
333 Ravenswood Ave
Menlo Park, CA USA
DOI: 10.1145/3230704 ©2018 ACM 2153-2184/18/09 $15.00
is taking place in rural and tribal schools, which can be especially vulnerable to teacher shortages.
We found that teachers acting as advocates for computer
science instruction was a commonality across projects. The
willingness of these teachers to engage in intensive professional
development to learn a new curriculum with a steep learning
curve belies the view of Computer Science for All as a top-down reform or the “new vocationalism.” [ 1, 8] These teachers
have taken on the mission to bring computer science to their
students because they feel strongly that young people will need
to understand computing to participate fully in the modern
world. In some cases, teachers with little to no computer science background are willing to undergo extreme frustration to
gain the skills needed to accomplish this mission.
School change guru Michael Fullan has described educational change as a socio-political process, one in which it is essential to pay attention to both the big and the small pictures
[ 3]. The Google-Gallup studies offer important insights into the
big picture—the broader forces impacting the success of the CS
for All movement. Our examples from the field offer a closer
look at the details—the lived experiences of educators working to prepare their students for life and citizenship in a digital
world. Listening to the voices of those who are charged with
enacting sweeping reforms is essential for gaining an understanding of how curriculum policies play out in the classroom.
An examination of the experiences of teachers and administrators in our three projects demonstrates that the story is always
more nuanced than the broad slogans of reform would indicate.
Monitoring the progress of the CS for All movement and keeping it on track toward its goals will require that we balance statistics on course adoption with these first-hand accounts from
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation
under Grants 1418149, 1542737, and 1312129. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions
or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not
necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. The authors would like
to thank all of the participating teachers for their contributions to this work and Teach
for America for the photographs.
Early results indicate that training
teachers from arts and
humanities disciplines may be a
prudent strategy to prevent
them being pulled away to teach
another course in a subject
that is included in high-stakes testing.