A case study of the Introduction of Computer Science in NZ schools
For many years computing in New Zealand schools was focused on teaching students how to use computers, and there was little opportunity for students to learn about programming and computer science as formal subjects. In this paper we review a series of initiatives that occurred from 2007 to 2009 that led to programming and computer science being made available formally as part of the National Certificate in Educational Achievement (NCEA), the main school-leaving assessment, in 2011. The changes were phased in from 2011 to 2013, and we review this process using the Darmstadt model, including describing the context of the school system, the socio-cultural factors in play before, during and after the changes, the nature of the new standards, the reactions and roles of the various stakeholders, and the teaching materials and methods that developed. The changes occurred very quickly, and we discuss the advantages and disadvantages of having such a rapid process. In all these changes, teachers have emerged as having a central role, as they have been key in instigating and implementing change.