Teaching programming in the computer science strand of the 2014 National Curriculum for computing at key stage 4: challenges, difficulties and prospects
AffiliationSchool of Engineering, Computing and Mathematical Sciences, Faculty of Science and Engineering
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractA national curriculum for the study of computing became compulsory in English secondary schools in September 2014, replacing the study of information and communications technology with computer science (CS). This posed difficulties for teachers and students who did not have knowledge or experience of programming. Teachers faced a variety of challenges, including lack of subject knowledge and confidence. For many students, programming is among the most demanding aspects of CS. This study was designed to investigate and gain a critical understanding of the teaching of computer programming (CP) at Key Stage 4 (KS4; year 10 - 11) of the CS curriculum, including assessing the impact of learning CP and students' perceptions of CS and their overall performance in the subject. The study also explored how teachers managed the teaching of CP and the challenges they faced in implementing the national curriculum for computing. Furthermore, the study investigated the measures to improve the teaching of CP and the factors that have an impact on the effective teaching of the CP curriculum. The study sample comprised 400 teachers and students. The findings indicate that the main challenges for teachers in implementing the programming curriculum include time, financial and moral support, and being able to keep up to date with emerging developments in the field. In addition, the study found that the issues faced by students learning programming include a lack of time, the perceptions that it is a ‘difficult’ subject and students’ insufficient understanding of programming. The findings also suggest that schools have made efforts to overcome these challenges and are willing to adopt programming as a subject and to help, encourage, develop and improve students’ ability to learn programming; however, the results indicate that it is essential that schools address the shortage of teaching staff with specialised knowledge of CP. This study revealed that six factors can help to overcome the challenges and difficulties where three factors are for students (perceptions towards learning and teaching programming, benefits, and support) and the other three factors are for teachers (effect of supportive attributes on the teaching of programming, benefits of teaching programming in school and Implementation of the programming curriculum). The findings of this study will be useful for both teachers who are teaching programming and students who are learning programming in secondary schools.
CitationAlmdahem, A. (2023) Teaching programming in the computer science strand of the 2014 National Curriculum for computing at key stage 4: challenges, difficulties and prospects. University of Wolverhampton. http://hdl.handle.net/2436/625189
PublisherUniversity of Wolverhampton
TypeThesis or dissertation
DescriptionA thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the University of Wolverhampton for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
The following licence applies to the copyright and re-use of this item:
- Creative Commons
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International