The rapid expansion of K-12 CS education has made it critical to support CS teachers, many of whom are new to teaching CS, with the necessary resources and training to strengthen their understanding of CS concepts and how to effectively teach CS. CS teachers are often tasked with teaching different curricula using different programming languages in different grades or during different school years, and tend to receive different professional development (PD) for each curriculum they are required to teach. This often leads to a lack of deep understanding of the underlying CS concepts and how different curricula address the same concepts in different ways. Empowering teachers to develop a deep understanding of CS standards, and use formative assessments to recognize common student challenges associated with the standards, will enable teachers to provide more effective CS instruction, irrespective of the curriculum and/or programming language they are tasked with using. This position paper advocates supporting CS teacher professional learning by supplementing existing curriculum-specific teacher PD with standards-aligned PD that focuses on teachers' conceptual understanding of CS standards and ability to adapt instruction based on student understanding of concepts underlying the CS standards. We share concrete examples of how to design standards-aligned educative resources and instructionally supportive tools that promote teachers' understanding of CS standards and common student challenges and develop teachers' formative assessment literacy, all essential components of CS pedagogical content knowledge.
Basu, S., Rutstein, D., Tate, C., Rachmatullah, A., & Yang, H. (2022). Standards-aligned instructional supports to promote computer science teachers' pedagogical content knowledge. Proceedings of the 53rd ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education V. 1 (pp. 404-410), Rhode Island, USA.