Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Introduce Teaching as a Specialization for Computer Professionals

This is to propose recognizing teaching as an area of specialization for computer professionals. I suggest that computer professionals who teach should be recognized as playing a key role in teaching in schools, vocational education institutions, universities and, most importantly in the workplace. I suggest that computer professionals with teaching skills will be a valuable resource with computers having an increasing role in formal and informal learning. However, to make best use of computer professionals who teach, their specialist skills need to be formally recognized by the computing profession.

The Australian Computer Society (ACS) accredits higher education programs using the the ACS Core Body of Knowledge for ICT Professionals (CBOK). About the only recognition of education as a role for computer professionals in the CBOK is Appendix B "ICT Occupations Contained within ANZSCO" (page 15), which lists "ICT Trainer" (223211), as an occupation. The role of computer professionals teaching in industry, in schools, vocational an university education is not recognized. This is at odds with the importance placed on computer education by the ACS, in schools, vocational education and universities.

The ACS Accreditation Application Guidelines (2016, page 5), state that education qualifications and teaching experience will be considered:
"In gauging the capabilities of staff, the Panel will look at qualifications (both in ICT and education), research and practical ICT activities, teaching experience, and contributions to the advancement of ICT knowledge, practice and education. Involvement in professional societies and effective participation in ongoing professional development are also relevant indicators of suitable capability."
Similarly, Australian higher education does not recognize teaching as a computing specialization. Some universities offer double qualifications, where a computer science qualification can be completed alongside a teaching one (typically for school teaching). However, I have been unable to find any Australian university computer degrees which offer teaching as a specialization of the degree.

As I noted in my presentation to the Computing Education Conventicle 2016, there are twelve education and training related skills defined in the Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA), as used by ACS. These would form a suitable basis for a teaching specialization.

1 comment:

  1. The general model for specialist teacher education in Australia (mainly applicable to secondary teaching as that's where specialisation tends to be dominant) is that people do a degree in a specialist field (English, History, Music, Computing) and then do a post-grad course in education (MEd or similar).
    So " I have been unable to find any Australian university computer degrees which offer teaching as a specialization of the degree" probably applies to many areas other than computing.