New CS Principles curriculum encourages more creativity, more advanced programming and focus on ethics

More creativity + collaboration in the classroom

We’ve taken teachers’ favorite elements from the original CS Principles curriculum — which created an engaging, collaborative classroom atmosphere — and made them even better in CS Principles 2020–21.

Foundational learning and AP exam preparation

Computer Science is foundational learning for all students, and CS Principles enables students to see how computer science is applicable in their everyday lives and the world they live in. At the same time, CS Principles 20–21 covers the content students need to be successful on the updated AP Computer Science Principles exam. To better support students and teachers, we have rearranged units so that students learn the content needed for the Create Performance Task well before the deadline for submitting the task.

Contemporary topics such as AI, machine learning, data, and ethics

There are deeper lessons on data analysis, artificial intelligence and machine learning, and the ethical issues surrounding those concepts. We’ve completely revamped the data unit — which now uses real world data — to help students better understand the connection between computer science and their daily lives, and to motivate them to continue studying the subject.

New pedagogy and approach to learning

For teachers, we’ve improved the curriculum format to make it easier to use and adapt. Our hope is that teachers will be able to more easily master the lesson format and framework, and then feel comfortable improvising and adapting the material to best fit the needs of their students. Even more than before, this new curriculum centers teachers as the experts of their own classroom.

A community effort

The new CS Principles 20–21 was years in the making, and it was only possible with the help of teachers, facilitators and administrators who gave us extensive feedback and, in some cases, piloted the course in their classrooms. In addition to pilots, we ran focus groups to gather teacher insights and validate our EIPM model.

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