Learners’ views of computer science in Scottish schools

Judy Robertson, Lewis Binnie, Amy Boyle, Kaare Christiansen, Alan Kong, Christina Mcmellon, Clara O'Callaghan, Reuben Phoenix-Hill, Logan Reed, Daniel Spencer, George Turnball, Rory Turnball, Laura Wright

Research output: Book/ReportOther report

Abstract

This report presents the findings of a survey about secondary-school learners’ views of how computer science (CS) is taught in Scotland. The survey was designed, implemented, analysed and presented by young people in the Computer Science Young People’s Advisory Group with assistance from staff and students at the University of Edinburgh.
An important finding of the survey is that young people highly rate the quality of the teaching they receive (7 out of 10, the equivalent of an ‘A’ grade). Their ratings for enjoyment, engagement and interactivity of computing classes range between 6.5 and 7 out of 10 or a high ‘B’ grade). Learners who chose not to pursue their study of computing in the senior phase gave lower ratings, and young women gave lower ratings for enjoyment. The young people also commented on why people might choose to study computing or not, and what schools could do to encourage more learners to study computing qualifications.
The report concludes with a reflection on the project and a set of recommendations developed by the team in response to the findings. The recommendations include giving learners access to the specialist computing equipment they need, making CS classes more engaging and relevant, informing young people about CS careers pathways earlier, improving the gender balance in CS and including children and young people in future consultations.
We hope that our contribution to the national debate about computer science education is constructive and that it is only the first stage of an ongoing dialogue between policymakers and learners.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationEdinburgh
PublisherThe Centre for Research in Digital Education
Number of pages20
Volume1
Edition1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jun 2022

Keywords

  • Computer science education

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