MassCAN Curriculum Task Force

Purpose of the Curriculum Task Force

The Curriculum Task force is charged with the responsibility for collaborating with the Mass Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and Department of Higher Education (DHE) to assure Massachusetts has a Computer Science curriculum for grades 1-12 that aligns with the state standards by the start of the 2015/2016 school year. The curriculum offerings should support all students in developing basic Computer Science knowledge necessary to effectively function in an increasingly technological world, as well as support students preparing to be computer science majors at two and four year post-secondary levels.

Goals of the Curriculum Task Force

  1. Conduct research to gather and catalogue existing and emerging CS curricula that have been developed for grades 1-12 as well as existing reports on CS Curriculum (e.g. CSTA Report).  Review curricula developed through NSF funding, as well as curricula developed by universities and colleges, and curricula being used by leading states and school systems.
    1. Review synthesis of relevant research and reports (esp. those that informed CSTA work)
      1. In particular for pre-K5, looking at research about what is developmentally appropriate for this age-group and related issues in terms of teacher preparation and background knowledge in STEM
    2. Review identified curriculum frameworks, sources may include:
      1. CSTA
      2. Others, e.g., College Board, MediaLab, etc.
    3. Review identified curricula (for specific tracks) and any evaluation data.  Sources of curricula may include:
      1. NSF-funded and others (e.g., ECS and AMSA’s changes for 6-8)
      2. Developed by IHEs
      3. Promoted by professional orgs like ACM/CSTA (e.g., ECS)
      4. Currently used by key states 
  2. Evaluate identified curricula in the context of a sequential grade 1-12 curriculum that aligns with the state standards.
    1. Review curricula using EDC-developed rubric (based on models developed by EDC). Assess ways in which identified curricula provide multiple tiers/tracks for CS and what those are (options)
    2. Determine courses eligible for college credit (part/related to standards work?) 
  3. Develop a model 1-12 CS curriculum and determine if there are holes in the proposed model (and work with MassCAN to contract for the development of curricula necessary to fill said holes).
    1. Refine outline of model
    2. Identify gaps in curriculum
    3. Choose curriculum development partner to address gaps from identified organizations
    4. Develop process for review and finalization of curriculum 
  4. Finalize a state model for grade 1-12 CS Curriculum.
    1. What is EC involvement at this point? Who else participates in reviews? 
  5. Collaborate with the Mass DESE to certify courses necessary for prospective teachers to take for licensure of grade 1-12 Mathematics and Science teachers and with Mass DHE to certify courses offered at the state’s teacher training colleges and universities in fulfillment of licensure requirements.
    1. Review the DESE process course certification, state licensure
    2. Review of NCATE work/connections to them? 
  6. Collaborate with teacher training colleges and universities and leading providers of professional development in the state to certify graduate level comparable courses so that all in-service teachers comply with licensure requirement within four school years.