Research Spotlight


Cato College of Education faculty members Dr. Michelle Stephan (Department of Middle, Secondary and K12 Education), Dr. David Pugalee (Center for STEM Education), and Dr. Daniel Alston (Department of Reading and Elementary Education ), along with UNC Charlotte colleagues Dr. Kathy Asala (Department of Chemistry) and Dr. Marlon Mejias (Department of Software and Information Systems) were recently awarded a Noyce Grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for their project, entitled Ethical Reasoning in Computational Thinking. The project seeks to add 24 highly qualified mathematics and science teachers, who have a strong background in ethical computational thinking, to the teaching workforce in North Carolina. The need for STEM professionals, including computer scientists will continue to surge, with computer and information technology jobs predicted to increase 12% in the next 10 years. As educators, it is important to prepare students to compete and succeed in this workforce, and a solid foundation in computing is necessary. Unfortunately, teacher preparation programs do not include an emphasis on computational thinking, much less from an ethics perspective. The Ethical Reasoning in Computational Thinking grant is a 5-year, $1.2 million NSF Robert Noyce scholarship program that will prepare teachers to incorporate ethical computational thinking in their future instruction.

Dr. Michelle Stephan

Department of Middle, Secondary and K12 Education

Dr. David Pugalee

Center for STEM Education

Dr. Daniel Alston

Department of Reading and Elementary Education

Dr. Kathy Asala

Department of Chemistry

Dr. Marlon Mejias

Department of Software and Information Systems