Ed.D. Dissertations

Date of Award

5-2019

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

College

College of Education

Department

Education

Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.

Faculty Chair

Edward Kim, Ph.D.

Content Specialist

Tom Cavanagh, Ph.D.

Content Reader

Heather Miller, Ph D.

Keywords

computer science, elementary teachers, barriers, strategies

Abstract

Computer science is an academic discipline that provides a new foundational skill for all students. The discipline helps students develop critical thinking skills and teaches students how to move beyond merely using technology to becoming creators. The importance of computer science has been recognized across the country as states are working to train staff, adopt standards, and create implementation plans. As the demand for computer science learning opportunities increase, elementary teachers need the necessary supports to help ensure equitable access for all students. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to gain an understanding elementary teachers’ experiences teaching computer science. Two research questions guided this study: What barriers do elementary teachers experience in teaching computer science to students? What strategies do elementary teachers develop in their experience teaching computer science to students? The data collection instruments were primary semistructured interviews, secondary semistructured interviews, and documents. The inductive analysis model was used to analyze the collected data from the semistructured interviews. The typological analysis model was used to analyze the documents. The key findings of this study revealed that elementary teachers experience internal and external barriers in teaching computer science. Participants understood the importance of teaching computer science to their students, prompting them to persevere and develop new strategies in their pedagogical approaches. Interviewees also developed strategies to limit the impact of the barriers they experienced teaching elementary computer science.

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