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How to Teach Computer Science: Parable, practice and pedagogy

How to Teach Computer Science: Parable, practice and pedagogy

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How to Teach Computer Science is for new or aspiring computer science teachers wishing to improve their subject knowledge and gain confidence in the classroom. And it’s for experienced computer science teachers who wish to hone their practice.  Alan Harrison illuminates the virtue of explicit instruction, ways to tackle misconceptions and explores the teaching practices -- the pedagogy -- that have been shown to work.

You will read some of the backstory to our subject that makes it come alive and places it in historical context. These stories will help you to enrich your lessons, cement core knowledge, develop cultural capital, and excite a life-long love for Computer Science. We will go beyond the mark scheme to explore the subject knowledge behind the answers, giving you the confidence to discuss the field in greater depth, enabling you to use explicit instruction methods: presenting skills and concepts clearly and directly enabling student mastery.

We will explore misconceptions that arise when teaching our subject, so you can “head them off at the pass.” And we will look at teaching ideas – the pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) – for exploring the helpful analogies, questions and activities that work for each topic. These practices can be lifted and dropped straight into the classroom to immediately enhance your teaching.

Early-career teachers will find this book invaluable, experienced teachers will find it inspiring, and all will benefit from a fresh look at the history of teaching computer science and approaches to pedagogy that makes computer science such a fascinating subject to teach. 

About the Author 

Alan Harrison is head of computing at a school in Manchester. He is a Computing at School master teacher and community leader, a National Centre for Computing Education training facilitator and a Raspberry Pi Foundation content author. 

Follow him on Twitter @mraharrisoncs