Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Ask Not What Standards Can Do For You, Ask What You Can Do for Standards

Mark Guzdial:

I was critiqued at the meeting for not doing enough work in computing education, or maybe, not doing the right work. One of the state officials asked us how computer science classes in high school correlate to national standards in technology education, since such standards exist. What technology skills would one develop in taking a computer science course? I responded with information about ACM’s Education Policy Committee and said that they were looking at those kinds of questions. She asked why I wasn’t doing that. I pointed out that I have other things that I’m doing, that also need to be done. She got really annoyed that I didn’t see this question as critically important, and I overheard her telling others that they have to “make me” develop these matches to technology standards. (What does that mean?) I do understand that establishing a match to standards is very important, and I understand that there are many policy issues that are critically important for the advancement of computing education. It’s also important to figure out how to teaching computing better and to understand what’s going on when someone learns computing. Not everybody has to do everything.

I can so totally picture that scene.

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