How do we get people into computing science teaching?
Posted on 31st July 2018
Back in 2011, Eric Schmidt, the then Chairman of Google, visited Scotland and declared he was “flabbergasted to learn that computer science was not taught as standard” in schools.
In February 2017, insider.co.uk reported that least 11,000 more computing science graduates are required each year, but that there were only just over 3,000 graduates coming from our universities. Moreover, from 2004-2014, the number of students studying computer science at UK universities actually dropped by 29 per cent.
By September 2017, digit.fyi noted that several Scottish Councils were struggling to recruit STEM teachers and Glasgow University called for children to be taught computer studies from the age of five. Moreover, the number of computing science teachers had declined by 14% between 2014 and 2016. The Herald reported that one in eight secondary schools has no computing science specialist teacher.
Even allowing for the mainstream media’s desire, if not need, to make a good story out of bad news, it’s been evident for a very long time that we need more teachers – at both primary and secondary level – enthusing children about careers in tech. At Be-IT, we can’t do a lot about this in the short term (other than writing about it, as we had done consistently for years), but we have recently come across a story of one person who has taken the brave and conscientious decision to change her career in web design for one in teaching – and Primary teaching at that. Please check our blog pages over the next few days and learn about Linsey Miller’s journey from the early days of web development to a PGDE course at Strathclyde University and the prospects of a career in teaching – and be inspired!
Nikola Kelly, MD, Be-IT
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