alice in summerland

learning and teaching math in alice

A Model Curriculum for K-12 Computer Science: Final Report of the ACM Task Force Curriculum Committee

pdf Association for Computing Machinery, 2005.

K-8 students, according to the paper, need to learn to use computers effectively and “incorporate the idea of algorithmic thinking into their daily problem-solving vocabulary.” Walking to school, tying shoes, brushing teeth, and so many other routine activities can be expressed using basic algorithms. Algorithmic approaches to solving these problems would include unusual circumstances (conditional or “if” statements) and repetitions (loops or “while” statements”). Currently, algorithms are really only touched on in math curriculum during lessons about arithmetic and a few other math concepts.

Goals for middle schoolers included: solving basic hardware and software problems; knowledge of changes in information technologies and social implications; legal and ethical behavior during use; content-specific tools for learning; productivity and media tools for personal productivity; collaboration via telecommunication tools; concepts underlying hardware, software, algorithms, and their practical applications; graphs; and logic.

Implementation challenges prevent us from reaching these goals–teacher preparation, state-level content standards, and curriculum materials development need to be improved, according to the paper. We must work on improving these three problems because “computer science is a mainstream discipline that can no longer be ignored by public schools in the 21st century.”

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