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|Michael Jones Candidate Statement|
I am a highly pro-active advocate of computer science education. As well as a classroom teacher, I collaborate with a range of bodies in the development of CS pedagogy. I work with existing teachers who are moving into teaching CS. To develop a broader view of the ways in which CS can be taught, in 2015 I undertook research in the USA. The results of this have been published in a national report. Ideas from the USA are being applied – in particular the engineering approach. To further develop approaches in this area I will be attending the University of Colorado/Sparkfun Microcontrollers for Educators programme in 2016. From this I will develop a professional development package for use in English schools further strengthening the link between hardware and software engineering using an American model.
In my role as an advocate of CS I am a Master Teacher with responsibility for delivering 6 hub meetings/professional development sessions a year. As an SLE (Specialist Leader of Education) I have a remit to spend 10 days a year with schools in support of their curriculum.
WHAT EXPERIENCES AND/OR INTERESTS IN K-12 COMPUTER SCIENCE/INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY EDUCATION QUALIFY YOU TO SERVE AS A LEADER FOR THE ORGANIZATION?
Throughout my career I have volunteered and have been asked to support schools locally and nationally. This has enabled me to build a comprehensive picture of good and poor practice and then to develop curriculum models across age groups. As one of the first teachers of CS under the new mandate in England, my experiences enable me to create a mature programme in my school. Outside my standard teacher responsibilities I am able to assist in the shaping of pre and in-service professional development thereby helping to secure the next generation of CS/IT teachers.
WHAT PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE DO YOU HAVE WITH CSTA?
Member of CSTA since 2012. I have contributed two articles to the CSTA Voice: Volume 9 “Bricklayers to Architects: Transition for CS in England” Volume 10 “Computer Science at the Start of a New Era”. In 2015 I released resources for the development of Python programming to CSTA members under the title “High School in a Box”. I attended the CSTA annual conference in 2014. The conference enabled me to create a relationship with the App Inventor team at MIT. This cross-Atlantic partnership is of great benefit to teachers in England delivering to students in the 14-17 age range.
WHAT LEADERSHIP SKILLS DO YOU HAVE THAT WOULD ENRICH THE BOARD AND THE ORGANIZATION?
As an advocate of CS and IT I work with a range of NGOs. These include universities and bodies, such as the CAS, the PiXL Club and NCTL. Within each of these I hold a mandate to provide direction of curricula. Working at a national level, I am a member of the National Executive for the PiXL Club to develop in-service programmes. At a regional level I work with CAS as a Master Teacher. This year has seen me take a regional lead on the use of blocks programming environments and the launch of the BBC micro:bit.
WHAT DO YOU THINK ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT ISSUES FOR K-12 COMPUTER SCIENCE EDUCATION?Provision of a relevant curriculum reflecting the needs of students as they mature into contributing members of society. This in turn requires that we are clear in what constitutes a relevant curriculum. Preparation for and delivery of this needs immediate attention to the preparedness of teachers, both pre and in-service educators. As technology evolves any teacher preparation model must be able to rapidly adapt. This requires that highly focused advocacy towards from NGOs to government organisations is a priority. Attention to these issues will overcome the issue of promoting qualified students who not only use but contribute to computer science.