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Collaboration as a Means to Building Capacity: K-12 Cybersecurity Pathway
Wednesday, September 18, 2:50-3:45pm - Presentation

Many K-12 cybersecurity education programs, both formal and informal, are starting to surface to address the workforce need for cybersecurity professionals. Discussion has also surfaced stressing the critical need for K-12 cybersecurity content standards. But is there a real need, or are current STEM standards already in place sufficient? This discussion will cover a brief overview of results from two national studies. One study identifies, develops, and arrives at consensus on the critical cybersecurity related competencies that should be acquired by first year/ initially certified secondary technology teachers to enable them to include selected cybersecurity content in their classrooms in alignment with ITEA Standard 17 (ITEA, 2000). The second study investigates what competencies related to cybersecurity do faculty indicate should be developed by high school students in a K-12 technology education class, and if these identified cybersecurity-related competencies are already included in existing K-12 standards for science, technology, and/or mathematics? STEM, an acronym for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, has risen to prominence in both secondary and higher education. Of these four disciplines, only three are components of the nation’s core secondary educational system, science, technology, and mathematics. More schools are attempting to infuse engineering into their K-12 curricula, and engineering is seeing more prominence through efforts such as Project Lead the Way and Engineering is Elementary, but many consider it to be only a post-secondary discipline. Cybersecurity content is traversing a similar path. Many programs, both formal and informal, are starting to surface to fill the “need.” Discussion has also surfaced stressing the critical need for K-12 cybersecurity content standards. But is there a real need, or are current STEM standards already sufficient? As secondary education disciplines, science, technology, and mathematics have K-12 learning standards developed and published by their respective professional societies. These standards include: The National Science Education Standards, Principles and Standards for School Mathematics, ITEA Standards for Technological Literacy (STL) and the National Educational Technology Standards (NETS). The Standards for Technological Literacy established both standards and benchmarks for core areas of K-12 technology education. Several standards for technology education are directly linked to Cybersecurity to include: Standards 4-7 which address the cultural, social, economic and political effects between technology and the US and global society, Standards 8-10 which address attributes of development and design, troubleshooting, research and development, invention and innovation and problem solving, and Standards 11-13 which address application of design process, maintenance of products and systems and impact assessment. In addition, STL Standard 17 indicated that “students will develop an understanding of and be able to select and use information and communication technologies.” Since it appears that Cybersecurity content could be a component of K-12 technology education, are the competencies indicated in the STL the same competencies that the post-secondary Cybersecurity/IA profession desires developed in its entering students? Or has the focus on STEM exposed a void in the current K-12 learning standards? What is the consensus from multiple stakeholders on the recognized and validated K-12 educational cybersecurity competencies?







































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