OPINIONS OF COMPUTER SCIENCE TEACHERS IN GYMNASIUMS IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC ABOUT THE CONTENT OF THE COMPUTER SCIENCE CURRICULUM AND THEIR WEAK AND STRONG PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCES

M. Chráska1, J. Basler2

1Palacký University Olomouc (CZECH REPUBLIC)
2Palacký University Olomouc, Faculty of Education (CZECH REPUBLIC)
The paper describes the results of a research study conducted in 2021 among computer science teachers in 385 gymnasiums in 14 regions of the Czech Republic. The aim of the study was to identify the opinions of computer science teachers about their subject-specific professional competences as well as their weaknesses and strengths. All of this in the context of the planned reform of the computer science curriculum in gymnasiums in the Czech Republic. The research method was the Q-methodology and questionnaire. In the research, all gymnasiums in the Czech Republic were addressed but “only” 82 computer science teachers participated in the research. Prior to the research, the validity and reliability (0.98) of the research tools was verified. The anticipated types of teachers were evaluated by means of the generalized cluster analysis.

Two groups (clusters) of teachers were identified according to the perception of the importance of the determined Q-types. The main difference between the groups was that the respondents in cluster 1 showed greater preference for some theoretically focused areas. In contrast, the respondents in cluster 2 preferred some practically focused areas. In overall terms, however, both clusters formed a relatively homogeneous group which differed in the perception of the importance of Q-types only in 7 Q-types out of 60. This is a very positive finding concerning the new areas of the forthcoming revision of the computer science curriculum in Czech gymnasiums. The assumption that there would be a difference between the group who refuse the new revision and the group who accept the revision was not confirmed. We consider this conclusion as very positive. In the other cluster analysis aimed at the identification of groups based on their strengths and weaknesses we observed that our research sample was divided into two groups (clusters) with very significant gender differences (cluster 1 – mostly women, cluster 2 – only men). This time it was not a homogeneous group because one of the groups (cluster 1) felt stronger in theoretical areas while the other group (cluster 2) felt stronger in practical areas.

A very positive conclusion of the research is that in the area of new themes associated with the planned revision of the curriculum in Czech gymnasiums, teachers reported the second highest ranking of all four thematic areas in which the different Q-types were categorized (Ø 5.63 of 10). It can therefore be concluded that Czech computer science teachers in gymnasiums consider the new thematic areas of the curriculum as important, which is a positive finding.
The paper was supported by the project IGA_PdF_2021_031 “Online educational resources and assessment of their accessibility”.