CEC Theses and Dissertations

Title

Cooperative Science in a Computer-Mediated Communications Environment Effects on Developing the Integrated Science Process Skills of Secondary Students In Pennsylvania

Date of Award

1992

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Computer Education

Department

Center for Computer and Information Sciences

Advisor

John Kingsburry

Committee Member

Thomas W. MacFarland

Committee Member

Laurie Dringus

Abstract

This study investigated the possible correlation between Advanced Placement Computer Science Examination scores and secondary teacher certification in computer science, prompted by the low scores for South Carolina students and the lack of such certification in South Carolina.

A survey was sent to the chief education official in each of the United States of America, the District of Columbia, U.S. territories, the Department of Defense Dependent Schools, and selected technically oriented foreign countries, to determine the current status of the recognition of computer science as a certification area.

Scores for the 1990 Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science Examinations were secured from the College Board for statistical analysis. Of the agencies sent surveys, 52 had AP computer science test scores and became the agencies used for statistical analysis. These agencies included the 50 United States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

Both the average test score and the percentage of students passing each of the two AP Computer Science Examinations were arranged into descending order. The number of certifying agencies were counted in each quartile. The number of expected and observed certifying agencies were analyzed using a chi square test for two-way classification to determine if the recognition of computer science as a certification field correlated with student success, as measured by average score and percent passing .

The results of the survey showed that the number of agencies offering computer science certification had markedly increased since previous studies were undertaken in 1983 and 1986. Beginning in 1991, 24 of the 50 states will offer such certification, while only five offered computer science certification in 1983 and 11 offered such in 1985. In addition, the District of Columbia, Department of Defense Dependent Schools, and Guam have some type of computer science certification. Results for foreign agencies replies are presented for information, since few participate in the Advanced Placement Program. The chi-square analysis failed to establish a correlation between the adoption of computer science certification and student success on either of the Advanced Placement Computer Science Examinations. While no correlation was found between teacher certification and student success, an apparent trend of more and more states recognizing computer science as an area of teacher certification was verified. Further investigation into student success on the Advanced Placement examinations should be continued, as should the continuation of the investigation of computer science certification.

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