MassCAN Professional Development Task Force

Purpose of the Professional Development Task Force

The effective implementation of computer science courses in every middle and high school in Massachusetts over a 5-7 period will be one of largest innovations ever tried on this scale in Massachusetts. This effort will require several highly innovative integrated approaches including: professional development for school district leaders to support teachers, students, parents and business partners in implementing the courses; professional development that prepares teachers to engage students, especially female and underrepresented minority students, through grade appropriate CS coursework, real world experiences/fieldtrips and out-of-school-time supplemental programs; and professional development that utilizes cutting edge scalable technologies from online peer-to-peer learning communities, exemplary pedagogy videos and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). 

Goals of the Professional Development Task Force

  1. Develop a working knowledge of the Computer Science standards, curriculum frameworks and assessments as well as the grade 1-12 CS curriculum sequence adopted by Mass Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).
  2. Develop a model for district-wide, or where appropriate, school-wide professional development and develop a training program for multiple providers to be able to deliver the training at scale.
  3. Develop a model and training program for multiple providers to be able to deliver two multi-session professional development programs at scale.  One program will focus on course content and pedagogy skills, including effective strategies for engaging and sustaining engagement of female and underrepresented students and, the other program will focus building teacher skills through real world experiences and business partnerships, learning about CS careers and employment opportunities in Mass and nationally, learning about an array of OST programs that can supplement student skills and interest.
  4. Develop strategies for advancing the use of online professional development as part of the initial teacher & district /school professional development programs and to sustain continuous learning by all key parties. Explore opportunity for MOOCs to play a role in this context as well.
  5. Develop financial model with projections to scale professional development programs for 50 school districts per year.