Informatics Lecturer Dan Frost is helping to write the framework for the next generation of K-12 computer science (CS) education, thanks to funding from Code.org and the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).
Frost serves as one of 27 total writers for the K-12 framework, which aims to arm students nationwide with today’s essential skills in computer science. The multi-organization effort joins the ACM, Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA), Code.org, Cyber Innovation Center (CIC), and National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) with several large states and school districts, and more than 100 computing community advisors. The collaborators hope to “steer a process to develop conceptual guidelines for states and districts creating a K-12 pathway in computer science,” according to the framework’s website.
Frost is the only academic from a California university to serve as writer for the framework, which will help define a baseline literacy for K-12 computer science students. While the framework will help guide states and school districts in setting standards, designing curriculum and preparing teachers, it does not set out to strictly develop standards. Instead, the framework designers hope to broaden participation in “research-backed and research-forward” computer science for a wider, more diverse audience.
“The framework describes what all students should know and be able to do in CS and serves as a high-level guide for states/districts/orgs to create their own standards, curriculum or professional development,” Pat Yongpradit, Chief Academic Officer at Code.org, said in an email. “This type of document is seminal for the CS field, and the University of California Irvine should be proud to have Dr. Frost represent the institution as a writer, as it reflects well on the application of research to practice that exemplary colleges like UCI can provide.”
The framework vision includes four principles, all with the hopes of empowering students to:
- Be informed citizens who can critically engage in public discussion on CS-related topics;
- Develop as learners, users, and creators of CS knowledge and artifacts;
- Better understand the role of computing in the world around them; and
- Learn, perform, and express themselves in other subjects and interests.
The framework is slated for release this summer.