WG2: Informatics in Secondary Education

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Working Group 2: Informatics in Secondary Education

Working Group Leaders

This Working Group is led by:

The full contact information for the Working Group leaders is included in the Working Group proposal attached below.

Brief Summary

The working group will collect, evaluate, integrate and present research findings about Informatics in secondary schools. As a result we expect a comparison of the effects of different organizational conditions, teaching approaches, curricula, teaching methods of Informatics courses in secondary schools in different countries. As a theoretical framework for the synopsis we propose the Berlin Model of Heimann, Otto and Schulz and the TPACK model of teacher knowledge.

In order to structure the work of the group, we propose to use the so-called Berlin model (by Heimann, Otto and Schulz, described by Uljens) as a theoretical framework. We use this model also in our teacher education courses. This well-structured and proven model distinguishes between the preconditions of learning, the decision areas and finally the consequences of learning measures. The preconditions as well as the consequences are categorized as anthropogenic or socio-cultural. In the decision areas the intentions (e.g. learning objectives), topics, teaching methods and media are considered.

Concerning the knowledge of the teachers we propose to apply the Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) model that differentiates knowledge about content, pedagogy, and technology.

There is a variety of very different approaches towards teaching informatics in secondary schools. They differ heavily concerning e.g. learning goals or topics, applied programming paradigms and languages respectively simulation software, organizational aspects (e.g. within a mandatory vs. an eligible subject) or teaching methods. We want to collect research findings from as many different countries as possible about the effects and outcomes of these approaches in different countries. The focus of the research will be on general education of students from 11 to 19 years.

We propose to compare these findings concerning the variables that arise from the Berlin model (as far as they are relevant in our context):

  • Anthropogenic preconditions: age and social level of students, gender aspects, prerequisite knowledge,
  • Socio-cultural preconditions: school system, legal preconditions, outcome definition by curricula or standards, ethnic and traditional aspects, technical and financial resources,
  • Decision area of intentions: Learning goals, objectives, outcomes, competencies, standards,
  • Decision area of topics (curricula): central topics, areas of subject domain knowledge that is covered by the Informatics education, e.g. algorithms, object-orientation, user skills of standard software, modeling vs. programming,
  • Decision area of teaching methods: teaching approaches, typical learning and teaching methods,
  • ecision area of media: programming languages and software types that are used,
  • Socio-cultural consequences: research findings about the large-scale changes that are caused by the subject, e.g. a changed attitude towards data protection or increased levels of user skills in the society, change in the choice of directions of study (e.g. more women in informatics),
  • Anthropogenic consequences: learning outcomes of the students: which competencies or skills have been acquired? We aim to compare these with the results of international competitions like the Informatics Olympiad or the Bebras Contest.

The work of the group is planned to start immediately after the working group membership application period closes. We have already installed a collaborative group in the Mahara portofolio system on our server that offers views, common access to files, forums etc. The final work on the draft will be done using DropBox.

We aim to develop a draft document before the conference that already contains the most important findings of the working group. The working group sessions at the ITiCSE will be used to discuss the draft in presence sessions, finish the work on the document, collect additional literature, best practice examples etc.

Please also see the full Working Group proposal that describes the activities to be done before and during the conference, attached below!

How to join this Working Group

This Working group is led by four Working Group leaders. To apply for membership - possible until April 2, 2011 -, please send an email to Peter Hubwieser no later than April 2, 2011. Early application is encouraged.

Your email message should include the following information:

  • Your name, email address, telephone number and postal address
  • Any special requirements you have, for example accessibility, mobility, dietary etc, which we need to know about before and/or during the conference
  • In a few sentences, state why you are interested in participating in the particular working group
  • In a few sentences, describe the specific expertise in the area you bring to the working group. This should include background and prior contributions to the topic of the group
  • If possible, include a short bibliography of your prior work in the area

The working group leaders will select, in consultation with the working group coordinators, group members based the perceived level of potential contribution they can make to the success of the working group.