In the last three years, integration of both computational thinking (CT) and computer science (CS) into K-12 instruction has become a focus of many schools throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia and the United States. With this new widespread demand, educational leaders and educators are focusing efforts on understanding the core concepts and practices of CT and CS, looking for logical connections for integrating across curriculum, and seeking strategies for implementing a wide variety of educational technology tools (apps and devices). This phenomenological research study was designed to gather depth information from 14 K-16 educators through both semi-structured interviews and two focus groups. Participants were asked open-ended questions about their self-efficacy, confidence, and prior experiences with teaching and learning CS. Moreover, each educator described his or her most significant concern for seeking appropriate professional development for building their CT/CS teaching and learning competencies in meaningful and relevant ways. Overall, nine themes emerged from the data: attitudes about CT/CS, access to industry experts, understanding CT/CS concepts, understanding CT/CS practices, use of relevant technology tools, alignment of CT/CS to current standards, teacher confidence, time to develop their own mastery for CT/CS, and access to appropriate professional development (PD) as the main connector.
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Valenzuela, J. (2019). Attitudes Towards Teaching Computational Thinking and Computer Science: Insights from Educator Interviews and Focus Groups. Journal of Computer Science Integration, 2 (2). https://doi.org/10.26716/jcsi.2019.02.2.2