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The Crisis in Computing Education: What are the Real Issues?
Presenters • Andrew McGettrick • introduction and origin • Boots Cassel • importance, myths, negative images • Mark Guzdial • curricular concerns • Eric Roberts • the rest, including more on initiatives
Why is it a crisis? • Enrollments falling to around 50% of 2001 levels in US • Staff reductions are happening or are threatened • The number of jobs needing high quality graduates is increasing • The gap between what is needed by industry and what is being produced is widening
Extent of the crisis • The crisis is not confined to the US • It exists in many countries in Europe, for example; there are some exceptions • In the UK, for instance, the numbers have fallen by a similar amount and the problem over jobs also exists • Reaction in UK: Grand Challenges in Computing Education 2004 and 2006
Understanding the issues • The problem is very complex - there are many factors that need to be addressed and aired • We need to try to understand the issues • We need to be open to the possibility there are good reasons for the crisis • There are important economic considerations related to the competitiveness of a country
Deep down … • Do we believe computing is really important, is really fundamental? • What do we believe about education for the 21st century and the pervasiveness of the computing metaphor? • Can we articulate this clearly to a wide audience? • What does this say about computing education?
Additional Quote (about UK) … there are today more computer science students in the UK than in all of the more traditional sciences - physics, chemistry and biology - put together. Even so, few would argue that basic physical science is dying, or losing out to industrial research, just because it is sometimes hard to recruit undergraduates from our school system. Yorick Wilkes et al, UK Times Higher Education Supplement, 23rd February, 2007
Aims of this session … • To assess the reasons behind the decline in popularity of computing and to come to a better understanding of the many dimensions of this problem • To look at what steps we can take to address the underlying causes, so leading to a healthier and more positive view of the discipline