This month King's College London is launching CERC, an interdisciplinary Computing Education Research Centre, which will connect expertise in education, computing, robotics and digital humanities. Computing Education research is a new and emerging field, with a small but growing body of research – however the research potential is huge and the future very exciting!
- Launch event: 26 Feb 2018, 6-8pm Bush House, London [Eventbrite tickets]
- Follow the team on Twitter @cerc_kcl
- Keep an eye out for CERC's one-day conference in June.
Members of the team, which includes Dr Sue Sentance, will work on one or more of the following three research strands:
Strand 1: Programming & Robotics
This strand concerns the concepts, tools, techniques and pedagogical approaches in the area of programming, digital making, physical computing and robotics. This strand will cover research in school, higher education and in informal learning contexts, and will seek to develop our theoretical understanding of concepts and pedagogy, while making a key contribution to developing methodological frameworks and tools for research in this area.
Strand 2: Digital equity
This strand concerns making computing accessible to all regardless of difference, including with regard to gender, disability and social class. The recent US curriculum K-12 framework for Computer Science launched in the USA states that “Computer science for all students requires that equity be at the forefront of any reform effort”. This extends to all age groups, not just school children.
Strand 3: Data and education
This strand concerns the need for work that develops an understanding of big data and data science in education. An understanding of data is increasingly becoming a key competence for all students both as a core component of socio-technically aware citizenship and in employment.
Professor Paul Curzon (QMUL)
Dr William Marsh (QMUL)
Simon Humphreys (Computing At School)
Computing is now integral to all sectors of the economy and society, to
all aspects of public and private life, and has become a core subject in
the curriculum in England from age 5 -16. As yet minimal research
exists on how and what to teach in school and studies of effective
pedagogies in university computing courses have only recently began to
emerge. There is an urgent need for high-quality research which can
contribute to the development of new theoretical frameworks to inform
our understanding of computing education across all age groups and
sectors. This can span several disciplines and needs to involve
educators of students of all ages in order to have real impact in the
This development is very timely. The IT skills shortage is well documented, and in order to attract young people to such careers, research needs to underpin and drive effective education. Globally, its inclusion of computing in school from age 5 upwards puts England ahead of the rest of the world and in an ideal position to conduct pioneering research. Furthermore there is a pressing need to increase research capacity in the UK in computing education, as reported in the Royal Society report After the Reboot published in November 2017.
Our plans for the Centre are initially to work in interdisciplinary teams to develop at least one substantial research project in each strand. We are also planning to hold a one-day conference in June 2018 relating to computing education across disciplines.