prof. Maciej M. Syslo

A new informatics curriculum for all students in Poland Pozvaná prednáška

The new informatics (here informatics stands for computer science, computing) curriculum benefits from our experience in teaching informatics in schools in Poland for almost 30 years – the first curriculum of informatics as an elective subject in high schools was approved by the ministry of education in 1985 and this subject has never been removed from the high school curricula. It happened 20 years after the first regular classes on informatics were held in two high schools in Wrocław and in Warsaw in 1965. Today, informatics is a compulsory subject in middle (7-9 grades) and in high (10-12 grades) schools and it will replace computer lessons (mainly on ICT) in elementary schools (1-6 grades). The new informatics curriculum is also addressed to vocational high schools.

The new unified informatics curriculum is addressed to ALL students in K-12 and its main goal is to motivate students to use computational thinking and to engage in solving problems in various school subjects. Moreover its aim is also to encourage and prepare students from early school years to consider computing and related fields as disciplines of their future study and professional career. To this end, the curriculum allows teachers and schools to personalize learning and teaching according to students’ interests, abilities, and needs.

The new curriculum is built by describing concepts, activities and personal goals in five areas: (1) Understanding and analysis of problems based on logical and abstract thinking, algorithmic thinking, and information representations; (2) Programing and problem solving by using computers and other digital devices – designing algorithms and programs; organizing, searching and sharing information; using computer applications; (3) Using computers, digital devices, and computer networks – principles of functioning of computers, digital devices, and computer networks; performing calculations and executing programs; (4) Developing social competences – communication and cooperation, in particular in virtual environments; project based learning; taking various roles in group projects. (5) Observing law and security principles and regulations – respecting privacy of personal information, intellectual property, data security, netiquette, and social norms; positive and negative impact of technology on culture, social live and security. In each of these areas, learning objectives are defined that identify the specific informatics concepts and skills students should achieve in a spiral fashion through the four levels (primary 1-3 and 4-6, middle 7-9, and high 10-12).

Preparation standards for informatics teachers at each school level, teacher evaluation criteria and certificates, teaching and learning materials for students and for teachers accompany the new curriculum. Moreover, all topics in the curricula for other school subject, appropriate for including and using informatics concepts and skills, have been annotated with comments how to apply computational thinking to enhance knowledge and skills in the other subjects.

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