What's in school? – topic maps for secondary school computer science

Ansgar Fehnker*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Computer science education in secondary schools has transformed in the last decade, both in content and status. Whereas, initially the subject focused mostly on digital skills – if it was taught at all – different institutions and countries have adopted teaching and examination plans that introduce computer science as a science.

Even before the adoption of computer science as a regular subject in schools, individual researchers and academics created content to be used in schools. One such example is the model checking unit developed by Vaandrager et al. in the 2000s. While these activities are not aimed to give a complete view of computer science, they can serve as a proxy to determine which topics researchers consider important and suitable for secondary school.

This paper will focus on secondary school computer science in the UK, the Netherlands, and the state North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany. It will map the content of examination or teaching plans to a common classification by the scientific community – the ACM subject classification. The comparison reveals choices made by the different countries. We furthermore compare it to one of the first model checking units for secondary school, developed by Vaandrager et al., which is still being used today.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationA journey from process algebra via timed automata to model learning
Subtitle of host publicationessays dedicated to Frits Vaandrager on the occasion of his 60th birthday
EditorsNils Jansen, Mariëlle Stoelinga, Petra van den Bos
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherSpringer, Springer Nature
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9783031156298
ISBN (Print)9783031156281
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


  • Computer science education
  • Computing education programs
  • Model curricula


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