Assessing Professional Identity of Computer Science Teachers: Design and Validation of the CS Teacher Identity Survey

Authors: Lijun Ni, Tom Mcklin, Han Hao, Jake Baskin, Jason Bohrer, Alexis Martin


Motivation: Recent efforts to expand K-12 computer science edu-cation highlight the great need for well-prepared computer science(CS) teachers. Teacher identity theory offers a particular conceptuallens for us to understand computer science teacher preparation andprofessional development. The emerging literature suggests thatteacher identity is central to sustaining motivation, efficacy, jobsatisfaction, and commitment, and these attributes are crucial indetermining teacher retention. While the benets associated witha strong sense of teacher identity are great, teachers face uniquechallenges and tensions in developing their professional identityfor teaching computer science. Objectives: This exploratory study attempts to operationalizecomputer science teacher identity through discussing the poten-tial domains, proposing and testing a quantitative instrument forassessing computer science teachers’ professional identity. Method:We first discussed the potential domains of computerscience teacher identity based on recent teacher identity literatureand considerations on some unique challenges for computer scienceteachers. Then we proposed the computer science teacher identityscale, which was piloted through a national K-12 computer scienceteacher survey with 3,540 completed responses. The survey resultswere analyzed with a series of factor analyses to test the internalstructure of the computer science teacher identity scale.Results: Our analyses reveal a four-factor solution for the com-puter science teacher identity scale, which is composed of CS teach-ing commitment, CS pedagogical confidence, confidence to engagestudents, and sense of community/belonging. There were significant differences among the teachers with different computer scienceteaching experiences. In general, teachers with more computer sci-ence teaching experience had higher computer science teacheridentity scores on all four factors.

Ni, Lijun & Mcklin, Tom & Hao, Han & Baskin, Jake & Bohrer, Jason & Martin, Alexis. (2021). Assessing Professional Identity of Computer Science Teachers: Design and Validation of the CS Teacher Identity Survey. 1332-1332. 10.1145/3408877.3439566.

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