skip to main content

Title: How Can We Engage in Inclusive, Culturally Responsive Computer Science?
In this BoF we discuss the tenets of culturally responsive computer science and how teachers, professors and providers of professional development can include culturally responsive perspectives in their classes. In contrast to other academic fields, which typically include rigid curricular tracks ostensibly based on academic performance, talent, or ability that pose structural barriers to access to rigorous academic instruction for underrepresented students, the field of computer science education is explicitly focused on broadening participation, as evidenced by the SIGCSE community's consistent emphasis on equitable representation. Culturally responsive computing (CRC) is founded on culturally responsive teaching (CRT) and on CRT's three tenets: asset building (in contrast to deficit approaches), reflection, and connectedness. CRC frames these tenets for the specifics of computing education. CRC's tenet that all students are capable of digital innovation should drive teachers' interactions and relationships with students. CRC also requires that teachers be continually reflective about their privilege and constraints and how those are connected with our worldviews. This topic is significant because teachers must be connected to their students in non-traditional ways that prize diversity as an asset to innovation. The participants are expected to include professors, lecturers, high school teachers and industry experts who are interested in employing culturally responsive computing approaches in their own teaching and professional development activities. A major goal of the BoF is to establish connections among the participants to promote the sharing of resources and best practices.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Proceedings of the 50th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, {SIGCSE}
Page Range / eLocation ID:
1251 to 1251
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. In this proposal, we will share some initial findings about how teacher and student engagement in cogenerative dialogues influenced the development of the Culturally Relevant Pedagogical Guidelines for Computational Thinking and Computer Science (CRPG-CSCT). The CRPG-CSCT’s purpose is to provide computer science teachers with tools to enhance their instruction by accurately reflecting students’ diverse cultural resources in the classroom. Additionally, the CRPG-CSCT will provide guidance to non-computer science teachers on how to facilitate the integration of computational thinking skills to a broad spectrum of classes in the arts, humanities, sciences, social sciences, and mathematics. Our initial findings shared here are part of a larger NSF-funded research project (Award No. 2122367) which aims to better understand the barriers to entry and challenges for success faced by underrepresented secondary school students in computer science, through direct engagement with the students themselves. Throughout the 2022-23 academic year, the researchers have been working with a small team of secondary school teachers, students, and instructional designers, as well as university faculty in computer science, secondary education, and sociology to develop the CRPG-CSCT. The CRPG-CSCT is rooted in the tenets of culturally relevant pedagogy (Ladson-Billings, 1995) and borrows from Muhammad’s (2020) work in Cultivating Genius: An Equity Framework for Culturally and Historically Responsive Literacy. The CRPG-CCT is being developed over six day-long workshops held throughout the academic year. At the time of this submission, five of the six workshops had been completed. Each workshop utilized cogenerative dialogues (cogens) as the primary tool for organizing and sustaining participants’ engagement. Through cogens, participants more deeply learn about students’ cultural capital and the value of utilizing that capital within the classroom (Roth, Lawless, & Tobin, 2000). The success of cogens relies on following specific protocols (Emdin, 2016), such as listening attentively, ensuring there are equal opportunities for all participants to share, and affirming the experiences of other participants. The goal of a cogen is to reach a collective decision, based on the dialogue, that will positively impact students by explicitly addressing barriers to their engagement in the classroom. During each workshop, one member of the research team and one undergraduate research assistant observed the interactions among cogen participants and documented these in the form of ethnographic field notes. Another undergraduate research assistant took detailed notes during the workshop to record the content of small and large group discussions, presentations, and questions/responses throughout the workshops. A grounded theory approach was used to analyze the field notes. Additionally, at the conclusion of each workshop, participants completed a Cogen Feedback Survey (CFS) to gather additional information. The CFS were analyzed through open thematic coding, memos, and code frequencies. Our preliminary results demonstrate high levels of engagement from teacher and student participants during the workshops. Students identified that the cogen structure allowed them to participate comfortably, openly, and honestly. Further, students described feeling valued and heard. Students’ ideas and experiences were frequently affirmed, which served as an important step toward dismantling traditional teacher-student boundaries that might otherwise prevent them from sharing freely. Another result from the use of cogens was the shared experience of participants comprehending views from the other group’s perspective in the classroom. Students appreciated the opportunity to learn from teachers about their struggles in keeping students engaged. Teachers appreciated the opportunity to better understand students’ schooling experiences and how these may affirm or deny aspects of their identity. Finally, all participants shared meaningful suggestions and strategies for future workshops and for the collective betterment of the group. Initial findings shared here are important for several reasons. First, our findings suggest that cogens are an effective approach for fostering participants’ commitment to creating the conditions for students’ success in the classroom. Within the context of the workshops, cogens provided teachers, students, and faculty with opportunities to engage in authentic conversations for addressing the recruitment and retention problems in computer science for underrepresented students. These conversations often resulted in the development of tangible pedagogical approaches, examples, metaphors, and other strategies to directly address the recruitment and retention of underrepresented students in computer science. Finally, while we are still developing the CRPG-CSCT, cogens provided us with the opportunity to ensure the voices of teachers and students are well represented in and central to the document. 
    more » « less
  2. null (Ed.)
    Opportunities for training CS K-12 pre-service and in-service teachers, research in CS Education, and career pathways for PhDs/EdDs in CS education are happening, but often in an uncoordinated way. We advocate that now is the right time for CS and Education to collaborate on developing new joint degree programs in Computer Science Education and to explore joint faculty appointments. High undergraduate enrollment in computing programs and the increasing interest in CS courses from non-majors represent a unique opportunity for starting successful programs. As more of CS undergraduates are undergraduate TAs and see teaching and learning from a non-learner perspective, their interest in education has also increased. The growing interest in CS education, including the need for effecting CS teaching at both K-12 and the undergraduate level, provide interesting job opportunities for CS education researchers. As CS departments develop new undergraduate degree programs and scale class sizes, research on questions like How do we teach effectively computing to different audiences? How can we assess CS learning? What are culturally responsive pedagogies? is important. To answer many of these and related questions, CS departments should be actively engaged in CS Education research, from training graduate students in interdisciplinary programs to research programs. This BOF will provide a platform for the discussion on what such graduate programs – from certificate to a PhD – can and should look like, what challenges exist to creating them, and how students with different backgrounds should get trained in the relevant foundations of CS and Education. 
    more » « less
  3. Teacher professional development (PD) is a key factor in enabling teachers to develop mindsets and skills that positively impact students. It is also a key step in building capacity for computer science (CS) education in K-12 schools. Successful CS PD meets primary learning goals and enable teachers to grow their self-efficacy, asset and equity mindset, and interest in teaching CS. As part of a larger study, we conducted a secondary analysis of CS PD evaluation instruments (). We found that instruments across providers were highly dissimilar with limited data collected for measures related to teacher learning, which has implications for future K-12 CS education. Likewise, the instruments were limited in being connected to student learning and academic growth. As a way to enable PD providers to construct measures that align with known impacting factors, we offer recommendations for collecting demographic data and measuring program satisfaction, content knowledge, pedagogical content knowledge, growth and equity mindset, and self-efficacy. We also highlight questions for PD providers to consider when constructing their evaluation, including reflecting community values, the goals of the PD, and how the data collected will be used to continually improve CS programs. 
    more » « less
  4. Doyle, Maureen ; Stephenson, Ben. (Ed.)
    This study took place in the context of a researcher-practitioner partnership (RPP) between a research organization, the Wyoming Department of Education, and three school districts serving primarily Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho students on the Wind River Reservation. The goal of the RPP is to integrate instruction on the Indian Education for All Wyoming social studies standards with the Wyoming computer science standards in elementary school in ways that are culturally responsive [1]. The project team provided 12 hours of professional development across three sessions, three professional learning community sessions, lesson plans, and model projects. Teachers were expected to implement three coding projects across the school year. The study team collected data via teacher interviews, surveys, and observations of professional development and professional learning community sessions [2]. Three problems of practice that emerged from our preliminary qualitative analysis [3] include: (a) how to support student interest and engagement in computer science especially upon first introduction of a coding platform, (b) how to find time in the school day for computer science and to develop methods for integrating computer science with other subjects, and (c) how to build collaboration across classrooms and districts. The poster will discuss the adaptations teachers made to address the first two problems of practice and the RPP's strategy for addressing the third problem of practice in our next year of implementation. These findings will be of interest to researchers and practitioners working to implement culturally responsive computer science instruction in elementary schools in Indigenous communities. 
    more » « less
  5. Mathematical modeling (MM) - a cyclical process that involves using mathematics to make-sense of and analyze relevant, real-world situations - has the potential to advance equity and challenge spaces of marginalization in the elementary mathematics classroom. When informed by culturally responsive teaching practices, MM creates opportunities to center the knowledge and experiences that students from diverse racial, cultural, and linguistic backgrounds bring to the classroom as valuable resources to support learning and inform action. It can disrupt power and status hierarchies in the classroom that contribute to structural and ideological marginalization. This paper describes ways teachers connected their teaching of MM with key components of a culturally responsive mathematics teaching framework. Analysis synthesizes data from an innovative, research-based professional development for elementary teachers to support teacher learning of equity centered, culturally responsive MM instruction. Data sources include end of year teacher interviews, and professional development discussions from 19 teachers at four geographically, racially, and culturally diverse sites. Findings focus on how teachers connected their teaching of MM with key dimensions of culturally responsive mathematics teaching, and affordances and challenges related to resisting ideological and structural forms of marginalization. 
    more » « less