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Bugs in the System:
Computer Science Teacher Certification in the U.S.

It has been said that we teach our young people what we value, but the importance of Computer Science in our daily lives hasn't translated to a respectable presence in classrooms. Nor is it represented in the confused, disparate and sometimes absurd teacher certification processes that those who want to teach Computer Science find themselves navigating. Computer Science teacher certification across the nation is typified by confounding processes and illogical procedures--bugs in the system that keep it from functioning as intended. Bugs in the System reports on an 18-month research project to determine the nature of Computer Science teacher certification in the U.S. and details the results for each state and the District of Columbia. As these state "report cards" clearly show, each state has its own process, its own definition of Computer Science, and its own ideas about where it fits in a young person's educational program (if at all). Click here to download Bugs in the System.

Click here to access the roll-over map and view or download individual state reports from the Bugs in the System: Computer Science Teacher Certification in the U.S. report.

Ensuring Exemplary Teaching in an Essential Discipline: Addressing the Crisis in Computer Science Teacher Certification

For computer science teachers, the challenge of becoming and remaining exemplary educators is hampered by systems of pre-service education and teacher certification that are profoundly disconnected from the discipline of computer science and the needs of teachers and students. This white paper addresses a number of aspects of the crisis in high school computer science teacher certification. It includes a comprehensive description of the issues relating to certification, a review of the relevant research literature, a selection of examples of current teacher certification models, and a set of recommendations for a multi-level model that will provide detailed requirements for educators from multiple pathways, including new teachers, teachers from other disciplines with computer science experience, teachers with no computer science experience, and people transitioning to teaching from business and industry. Click here to download the white paper.

Teacher Participation

Reading List

While the current body of research is not extensive, there are a significant number of key studies and papers that provide valuable insight into and information regarding methods courses for pre-service computer science teachers. This list of readings has been compiled to support further discussion on this issue. Click here to download the methods course reading list.

Methods Course Syllabus

This methodology course was developed as part of the MOBILIZE project to assist pre-service mathematics and science teachers to build the pedagogical knowledge and equitable teaching practices needed to teach secondary computer science concepts. Click here to download the methods course syllabus.


CSTA works at many levels to support computing education.

Elementary and Middle school
(problem solving &
computational thinking)

High school
(computing &
computer science)

(enrollment &

(engagement &