Lecturers’ Perceptions of the Leaving Certificate Computer Science Curriculum and its Influence on Higher Education in Ireland
Keywords:Lecturers’ perceptions, higher education, leaving certificate computer science, curriculum
A Computer Science (CS) subject is currently being rolled out nationally into upper second level education in Ireland since September 2018 on a phased basis. The first cohort of students from phase 1 of the subjects’ national rollout completed the first ever Computer Science Leaving Certificate examination in June 2020. This addition to computer science education (CSE) in Ireland now offers students an opportunity to attain a formal qualification in CS prior to entering tertiary education. Irish higher education (HE) institutions will now begin to see a change in student intake on their undergraduate CS programmes, where ‘LCCS students’ might enrol in first year alongside students who do not have the same level of prior knowledge in the discipline. This qualitative study explores CS lecturers’ perceptions of the Leaving Certificate Computer Science (LCCS) curriculum and its influence on teaching in HE through semi-structured interviews. Thematic analysis of the interview transcripts identified five key themes. The paper draws attention to aspects which may provide HE policy makers, heads of computer science departments and lecturers with greater insight into the realities of this addition of CS to the Leaving Certificate.
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