Computer science education in Bavaria: reacting to the challenges of digitization
When: October 19th, 2021 from 17:00 - 18:00
Where: HS BE01, Steyrergasse 30, Ground Floor // Webex
The unstoppable digitization of all areas of life is changing our society sustainably and dramatically. School education must respond to this appropriately, i.e., on a broad front. This requires a carefully planned, long-term, evidence-based overall strategy designed for sustainability, which must touch (almost) all areas of school activity. In line with this universality of demands, an enormous diversity of terms used for informatics education is evident worldwide. We have identified over 40 relevant terms for this purpose. Equally diverse are the teaching contents offered in this area. The identification of competencies to be learned by students poses particular difficulties. There is very little preliminary research on this to date.
To master digital systems, our students need solid knowledge of their technical functioning and logical structure as well as competencies suitable for everyday use to apply digital tools effectively and efficiently. This foundation can only be learned in a dedicated subject of computer science. But all other school subjects must also respond to the challenges of digitization by adapting their learning objectives, learning methods and the media used accordingly. However, it is not easy to make such changes to an existing school system while it is still in operation. The greatest challenge here is the restructuring of pre- and in-service teacher education, both in computer science and in the didactics of all other subjects.
The German State of Bavaria already reacted to this challenge in 2000 with the introduction of a compulsory subject in computer science at its Gymnasien and Realschulen, which was significantly developed designed and supported by the author, i.a. in teacher education, curriculum work, and by writing textbooks. This was followed in 2019 by another major offensive by the state government, in which the existing compulsory subject of computer science was further expanded as well as newly introduced at main schools.
In this presentation, the basic concept of this subject will be presented, as well as some supporting activities such as teacher training. However, in the course of these activities, some persistent obstacles have also emerged that are very difficult to remove, Above all, the low enrollments in teacher training programs for computer science, as can be observed in almost all concerned countries. One possible reason for this could be found in the contradictory personal requirements of a teaching degree on the one hand and a computer science degree on the other.