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Title: Preparing Pre-Service Teacher Candidates for the Praxis Exam: An Innovative Model of Blended Support
The expansion of K-12 computer science (CS) has driven a dramatic need for educators who are trained in CS content and pedagogy [1]. This poster describes our effort to train teacher candidates (i.e., pre-service teachers who are students seeking degrees within a College of Education), who are specializing in secondary mathematics education, to be future CS educators. We specifically describe our collaboration to provide a blended preparatory six-week training for the ETS CS Praxis exam (5652), assisting our pre-service students in satisfying the CS certification requirements in our state before they graduate and begin their professional teaching career. Given the unique challenges of pre-service CS teacher preparation [2], blended models, which combine both in-person and online instruction, are an effective approach to building a pre-service program. Within our pre-service CS program, students first complete a two-course pathway that prepares them in AP CSP content and pedagogy experiences, including observations in local AP CSP classrooms [3]. After completing the two courses, our students participate in the blended version of the WeTeach_CS Praxis preparation course to achieve certification. The in-person support provided by the blended model contributed significantly to certification success in this project. With a cut-score of 149 for the Praxis more » exam, all 11 of our pre-service students who completed the course received a passing score (including one student with a perfect score of 200, and another student with a 195); the average score for our pre-service students was 175. An additional 11 in-service teachers, with diverse backgrounds in CS content knowledge, also participated in the blended Praxis preparation course, with an average score of 166. Given the unique challenges of pre-service CS teacher preparation, university pre-service CS teacher programs should look to innovative models of teacher support developed by in-service programs to make substantial gains in CS teacher certification. Incorporating an asynchronous online course that allows teachers with a wide range of prior experience in CS to learn at their own pace with in-person coursework and support appears to be a viable model for assisting non-CS major teacher candidates in achieving a CS certification. With the blended model, even teachers with no background knowledge in CS were successful. Within our pre-service CS program, students first complete a two-course pathway that prepares them in AP CSP content and pedagogy experiences, including observations in local AP CSP classrooms [3]. After completing the two courses, our students participate in the blended version of the WeTeach_CS Praxis preparation course to achieve certification. The in-person support provided by the blended model contributed significantly to certification success in this project. With a cut-score of 149 for the Praxis exam, all 11 of our pre-service students who completed the course received a passing score (including one student with a perfect score of 200, and another student with a 195); the average score for our pre-service students was 175. An additional 11 in-service teachers, with diverse backgrounds in CS content knowledge, also participated in the blended Praxis preparation course, with an average score of 166. Incorporating an asynchronous online course that allows teachers with a wide range of prior experience in CS to learn at their own pace with in-person coursework and support appears to be a viable model for assisting non-CS major teacher candidates in achieving a CS certification. With the blended model, even teachers with no background knowledge in CS were successful. « less
Authors:
; ; ; ;
Award ID(s):
1738849
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10213108
Journal Name:
ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education (SIGSCE)
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
1298 to 1298
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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