Teaching Secondary Education Computational Thinking Certificate

Computational Thinking Certificate

Teaching Secondary Education Computational Thinking Certificate

K-12 students need teachers

Employers have an ongoing need to hire employees to fill current and projected computer science-related career vacancies. And, more than half of all U.S. state legislatures are backing and even mandating computer science (CS) instruction in K-12 schools as a requirement for graduation.

This translates to a high demand for instructors with computational thinking (CT) teaching abilities – educators who can teach K-12 students about CT principles such as automation, loops, abstraction, pattern recognition and logic.

Teachers need certification

Purdue’s Teaching Secondary Education Computational Thinking certificate provides instructors with the skills to teach their students in grades 7-12 the principles of CT and CS.

The following courses are recommended to fulfill an existing plan of study or as electives to obtain the certificate. The courses proposed can vary, based on the student and their plan of study to best prepare in both the necessary pedagogy and content for teaching computational thinking.

Secondary Education Majors Engineering/Technology Teacher Education Majors Computer Science Majors* Other Campus Majors*
TLI 16100
TLI 26500
CS 10100
CS 17700
CS 10100
CS 17700
TLI 16100
TLI 26500
TLI 36100
TLI 16100
TLI 26500
TLI 36100
CS 10100
CS 17700

To obtain a teaching license the state-level alternative route to licensure requirements would also need to be met.

Engineering/Technology Teacher Education Courses

[Courses related to CT pedagogy and practice]

1.     TLI 16100 (3 cr) – Prototyping in Engineering/Technology Education

Course provides basic instruction on the proper and safe use of tools and equipment used to fabricate prototyping equipment and tools. Emphasis is on programming and using the CNC, laser and 3D printing for prototyping.

2.     TLI 26500 (3 cr) – Teaching the “T” and “E” of STEM

Course provides rationale and techniques for integrating engineering and technological literacy into the K-12 mathematics and science curriculum. Experiences focus on the engineering design process, mechanisms, robotics, strength of materials, electrical circuits and electronics.

3.     TLI 36100 (3 cr) – Engineering and Technology Education Instructional Planning and Evaluation

Course addresses selecting content, writing instructional objectives, planning lessons, preparing a unit of study and evaluating student progress. Emphasis is placed on evaluating instruction and student achievement to include developing valid, reliable testing instruments as they relate to measuring student achievement in the cognitive, affective and psychomotor domains.
Potential substitutes include EDPS 32700.

Computer Science Courses

[Courses related to foundational CT knowledge and skills]

1.     CS 10100 (3 cr) – Digital Literacy

Course is a survey of the digital world, including:

  • Computers as multi-purpose machines
  • Digital information
  • Definition of programming
  • The Internet of things
  • Computers that perform simultaneous computations
  • How apps work
  • Data storage and searching
  • Databases
  • Digital audio
  • Graphics
  • Video
  • Computer networks and the Internet, the World Wide Web and Internet sharing services
  • Network and Internet performance
  • Real-time services
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Cloud computing
  • Security and privacy

CS students may take course for elective credit only. 
Potential substitutes include CNIT 13600.

2.     CS 17700 (4 cr) – Programming with Multimedia Objects

Course is an introduction to computers and programming, including:

  • Number representations
  • primitive data types and operations
  • Basic control structures
  • Programming applets and applications using graphical user interfaces
  • Programming for detecting events, performing actions and processing multimedia objects, such as images and sounds

Examples are drawn from a variety of fields in the natural sciences.

Not open to CS majors with a grade of C or better in CS 18000. Not open to non-CS majors with a grade of C or better in any course in computer programming.
Potential substitutes include CNIT 17500 and CGT 21500.


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