For nine years, I’ve been teaching computer courses to high school girls. Next year, I start Chemisty. Yes, the both start with C and involve “science,” but don’t otherwise have much in common. I have a science and technology background, but until the coming year, all of my classroom teaching has been in technology courses.
Computer Science makes it easy to use real world examples, problem solving, experimentation, hands on, and paired/group learning. You learn to write good code by writing code – sometimes writing bad code. You write, compile, and test. Then you do fix the problems and compile and test again. It’s fun to teach and students learn the language along with planning, problem solving, and patience.
Today, in a conversation about how computer science allows you to teach with 21st century skills in a very natural way, my inner thoughts turned to how I would be able to continue this mode of teaching in a new subject area. What are my goals?
- To provide and welcome opportunities for my students to discover information on their own and share it with each other.
- To find and share real world illustrations of the concepts we learn.
- To find ways to assess my students that go beyond traditional assessments.
In the meantime, I’d welcome ideas from those who have taught this subject longer than I have.