This glossary includes definitions of terms used in the CSTA K-12 Computer Science Standards (2017), CSTA Standards for Computer Science Teachers (2020), and K-12 Computer Science Framework (2016). It also includes other terms relevant from the fields of education and computer science. This is a work in progress.


Some definitions came directly from these sources, while others were excerpted or adapted for clarity, brevity, and relevancy. Those terms without sources were crafted by members of the writing team and working groups of the CSTA Standards for CS Teachers.

ACM A Model Curriculum for K-12 Computer Science
Tucker, A., McCowan, D., Deek, F., Stephenson, C., Jones, J., & Verno, A. (2006). A model curriculum for K-12 computer science: Report of the ACM K-12 task force curriculum committee (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Association for Computing Machinery.
Aho Computation and Computational Thinking
Aho, A.V. (2011). Computation and Computational Thinking. ACM Ubiquity, 1, 1-8.
Bandura Self-efficacy
Bandura, A. (1994). Self-efficacy. In V. S. Ramachaudran (Ed.), Encyclopedia of human behavior (Vol. 4, pp. 71-81). New York: Academic Press. (Reprinted in H. Friedman [Ed.], Encyclopedia of mental health. San Diego: Academic Press, 1998).
Brittanica Encyclopedia Britannica
CAS Computing At School’s Computing in the National Curriculum: A Guide for Primary Teachers
Computing At School. (2013). Computing in the national curriculum: A guide for primary teachers. Belford, UK: Newnorth Print.
CB College Board Advanced Placement Computer Science Principles
College Board. (2016). AP Computer Science Principles course and exam description. New York, NY: College Board.
CH Computer Hope
Code Micro-credentials Advocacy Coalition. (2019). Micro-credentials: A Pathway for Certification and Professional Learning.
ContPD Continuing Professional Development
CSE Common Sense Education Digital Citizenship
CSinSF Computer Science in San Francisco
CSWiki Computer Science Wiki
Cuny Demystifying Computational Thinking for Non-Computer Scientists
Cuny, J., Snyder, L., & Wing, J.M. (2010). Demystifying computational thinking for non-computer scientists. Unpublished manuscript.
DG Unconscious Bias in the Classroom
Dee, T., & Gershenson, S. (2017). Unconscious Bias in the Classroom: Evidence and Opportunities. Mountain View, CA: Google Inc.”
EdGlossary The Glossary of Education Reform
Great Schools Partnership. (2014). The Glossary of Education Reform for Journalists, Parents, and Community Members.
ej4 What is a Learning Ecosystem?
Eudy, R. (2018). What is a Learning Ecosystem? And How Does it Support Corporate Strategy? ej4 Training and Development.
FOLDOC Free On-Line Dictionary of Computing
FreeDict The Free Dictionary
Garcia The Translanguaging Classroom
García, O., Ibarra Johnson, S., & Seltzer, K. (2016). The Translanguaging Classroom: Leveraging Student Bilingualism for Learning. Philadelphia, PA: Caslon.
GloCog Cultural Norms: Do they Matter?
Sieck, W. (2020). Cultural Norms: Do they Matter? Global Cognition.
GW García, O., & Li Wei. (2014). Translanguaging: Language, bilingualism and education. Palgrave Macmillan.
Hammond Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain
Hammond, Z. (2015). Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.
IDEA Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain
Hammond, Z. (2015). Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.
IGI IGI Global
K12CS The K-12 Computer Science Framework
Association for Computing Machinery,, Computer Science Teachers Association, Cyber Innovation Center, and National Math and Science Initiative. (2016). K-12 Computer Science Framework.
Kamb Key Factors in Creating a Positive Classroom Climate
Kamb, R. (2012). Key Factors in Creating a Positive Classroom Climate. Committee for Children Blog.
KB Connected Code: Why Children Need to Learn Programming
Kafai, Y., & Burke, Q. (2014). Connected code: Why children need to learn programming. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Knowles Self-Directed Learning
Knowles, M. (1975) Self-directed learning: A guide for learners and teachers, New York: Cambridge Books.
Lee Reclaiming the Roots of CT
Lee, I. (2016). Reclaiming the roots of CT. CSTA Voice: The Voice of K-12 Computer Science Education and Its Educators, 12(1), 3-4.
Lexico Lexico
M-W Merriam-Webster Dictionary
McG-Hill What is TPACK Theory and How Can It Be Used in the Classroom?
McGraw-Hill Education. What is TPACK Theory and How Can It Be Used in the Classroom?
MDESE Massachusetts Digital Literacy and Computer Science (DL&CS) Standards
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. (2019). 2016 Massachusetts digital literacy and computer science (DLCS) curriculum framework. Malden, MA.
MSFT Microsoft Guide to Inclusive CS Education
Microsoft. (2019). Guide to inclusive computer science education: How educators can encourage and engage all students in computer science.
NCSS College, Career & Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards
National Council for the Social Studies. (2013). The college, career, and civic life (C3) framework for social studies state standards: Guidance for enhancing the rigor of K-12 civics, economics, geography, and history. Silver Spring, MD.
NCWIT Institutional Barriers & Their Effects
Ashcraft, C. Institutional Barriers & Their Effects: How can I talk to colleagues about these issues? The National Center for Women & Information Technology.
NIST National Institute of Science and Technology Dictionary of Algorithms and Data Structures
Pieterse, V., & Black, P. E. (Eds.). Dictionary of algorithms and data structures.
NYSED Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Education Framework
New York State Education Department. (2020). Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Education Framework. Albany, NY.
OWEO Inside the Double Bind
Ong, M., Wright, C., & Espinosa, L. (2011). Inside the Double Bind: A Synthesis of Empirical Research on Undergraduate and Graduate Women of Color in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Harvard Educational Review, 81(2), Summer 2011.
PCMag Encyclopedia
Pearson Alignment in Educational Assessment
Case, B., Jorgensen, M., & Zucker, S. (2004). Alignment in Educational Assessment. San Antonio, TX: Pearson.
PfL Possibilities for Learning: Open-Endedness
PtPEd Positive Classroom Culture Strategies
Point to Point Education. Positive Classroom Culture Strategies.
Ross What Is Automation
Ross, B. (2016, May 10). What is automation and how can it improve customer service? Information Age.
Schulman Those Who Understand: Knowledge Growth in Teaching
Shulman, L. (1986). Those Who Understand: Knowledge Growth in Teaching. Educational Researcher, 15(2), 4-14.
STF Software Testing Fundamentals
Techopedia Techopedia Technology Dictionary
TechTarget TechTarget Network
TechTerms Tech Terms Computer Dictionary
TP Tutorials Point
UN United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
United Nations General Assembly. (2006). Eighth Session of the Ad Hoc Committee on a Comprehensive and Integral International Convention on Protection and Promotion of the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Utah University of Utah
De St. Germain, J. Structures. Jim’s Computer Science Topics Area.
UTasmania University of Tasmania Constructive Feedback Principles
University of Tasmania. Academic Quality and Standards: Constructive feedback principles.
Vanderbilt Unconscious Bias
Vanderbilt University. Unconscious Bias.
Webopedia Webopedia
Wikipedia Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia
Wing Computational Thinking: What and Why
Wing, J.M. (2010). Computational Thinking: What and Why?

The K-12 Computer Science Framework, led by the Association for Computing Machinery,, Computer Science Teachers Association, Cyber Innovation Center, and National Math and Science Initiative in partnership with states and districts, informed the development of this work. 


License & Attribution

Creative Commons License

These Standards are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0).

Suggested citation: Computer Science Teachers Association (2021). K-12 CS Education Glossary. Retrieved from