To celebrate the launch of The Computer Science Education Fellowship, Flatiron School’s Director of K-12 Programs Lyel Resner discusses the lack of qualified computer science teachers and explains why we’ve partnered with Teach for America to help great teachers become great CS teachers.
We are thrilled to announce our partnership with Teach for America and the Computer Science Education Fellowship. Our instructors will train TFA corps members and alumni to teach Flatiron School’s curriculum in their schools—expanding access to computer science education for all students and helping to address the shortage of computer science education nationwide.
Although only one in ten U.S. schools offers computer science courses, educators are increasingly aware of the value this education brings to K-12 students—fluency in a relevant skill set that students can take with them to college and beyond. As pressure mounts to expand and improve their CS curricula, schools are faced with a serious lack of people to actually create and teach the material. There are virtually no teachers who have both the technical knowledge and the classroom ability to meet the skyrocketing demand for CS educators.
To help fill this gap, a few forward-looking organizations are experimenting with bringing engineers into the classroom on a volunteer basis. These organizations are doing important work—but there is so much more to do to bring programming expertise into the classroom.
Because demand for talented developers is insatiable in today’s job market, it is incredibly difficult to find people with industry-level knowledge who can commit to being in the classroom full-time. In addition, recruiting engineers as educators takes for granted that teaching is a craft that requires experience, practice, and a lot of passion. Great teachers can become great CS teachers if we invest the resources into training them. We are so excited to work with Teach for America to help new, passionate educators get the experience they need to give more students access to CS.
Our Summer 2015 Fellows will be talented teachers who are excited to promote and teach computer science within their schools long after their TFA commitments end. The Fellowship consists of three stages:
Teach For America partners with communities to expand educational opportunities for children facing the challenges of poverty. Founded in 1990, Teach For America recruits and trains a corps of outstanding college graduates and professionals to make an initial two-year commitment to teach in high-need schools and become lifelong leaders in the movement to end educational inequality. Today, 10,600 corps members are teaching in 50 urban and rural regions across the country while more than 37,000 alumni work across sectors to ensure that all children have access to an excellent education. Learn more about Teach for America.