Computer Science Implementations: A Study of Perceptions and Professional Development Needs
Type of DegreePhD Dissertation
Curriculum and Teaching
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The goal of this research was to identify the perceived needs of teachers, evaluate the overall climate of the Computer Science classroom, and address strengths and weaknesses in support for Computer Science teachers. The purpose of this study was to determine Georgia K-12 Computer Science Educators’ perceived level of knowledge and if there was a significant difference in perception of knowledge among demographic identifiers, perceived barriers to effective Computer Science instruction, and if a significant difference exists in the perceived level of satisfaction among demographic identifiers. A survey research approach, quantitative design was chosen to describe the characteristics of the population sample. The survey instrument for this study was hosted in Qualtrics survey software and formatted as needed for the purpose of this paper. The survey instrument utilized was a mixed methods survey consisting of both quantitative and qualitative response options. The results of the study showed that respondents have a higher perceived knowledge level for various Computer Science related topics as opposed to others. No statistical significance was found for the demographic identifiers of age or ethnicity for perceived knowledge. However, statistical differences were presented based on degree level earned. Male respondents were more likely to respond with a higher level of perceived knowledge than female respondents. Most respondents indicated the primary barriers were identified as lack of sample lesson plans, lack of computer software, and lack of industry partner contacts. A statistical difference in the perceived level of satisfaction based of gender was identified. As a result of the findings additional analysis and research are needed to determine why males perceive higher knowledge levels than females and why females perceive more barriers than males. A follow-up study should be conducted to clearly define barriers. Similar studies should be conducted in other states. The development of an aggressive Computer Science Teacher recruitment plan is needed to attract more entry-career teachers into the field, as well as ensuring demographic diversity.