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Culturally Responsive Storytelling Across Content Areas Using American Indian Ledger Art and Physical ComputingIn July 2021, Computer Science (CS) standards were officially added as a subject area within the K-12 Montana content standards. However, due to a lack of professional development and pre-service preparation in CS, schools and teachers in Montana are underprepared to implement these standards. Montana is also a unique state, since American Indian education is mandated by the state constitution in what is known as the Indian Education for All Act. We are developing elementary and middle school units and teacher training materials that simultaneously address CS, Indian Education, and other Montana content standards. In this paper, we present a unit for fourth through sixth grades using a participatory design approach. Through physical computing, students create a visual narrative of their own stories inspired by ledger art, an American Indian art medium for recording lived experiences. We discuss the affordances and challenges of an integrated approach to CS teaching and learning in elementary and middle schools in Montana.
Computer Science (CS) education advocates have worked within states to change K-12 education policies in order to broaden participation in computing (BPC) and grow CS as a content discipline within K-12 classrooms. Statewide summits, which convene a variety of stakeholders across levels of education, are pivotal events that build momentum for change. Maryland has utilized annual summits to leverage statewide advocacy in order to continue CS K-12 education growth. Summit evaluations provided valuable data to strategically plan additional events and advocacy activities. Data from the past four annual summits are analyzed and discussed. State advocacy outcomes include: 1) increased statewide CS education awareness, 2) the establishment of the Maryland Center for Computing Education, 3) seven million dollars of state funds dedicated to K-12 CS education professional development and pre-service teacher preparation program reform, and 4) the enactment of Securing the Future: Computer Science for All law. This law requires all Maryland public high schools to offer CS, make efforts at the middle and elementary levels to include CS, and broaden participation in computing in K-12 classrooms. Valuable insights are provided for other states to consider as they build BPC advocacy efforts through statewide summits in their own states.
Teachers’ Engagement and Self-Efficacy in a PK–12 Computer Science Teacher Virtual Community of Practice
Prekindergarten to 12th-grade teachers of computer science (CS) face many challenges, including isolation, limited CS professional development resources, and low levels of CS teaching self-efficacy that could be mitigated through communities of practice (CoPs). This study used survey data from 420 PK–12 CS teacher members of a virtual CoP, CS for All Teachers, to examine the needs of these teachers and how CS teaching self-efficacy, community engagement, and sharing behaviors vary by teachers’ instructional experiences and school levels taught. Results show that CS teachers primarily join the CoP to gain high-quality pedagogical, assessment, and instructional resources. The study also found that teachers with more CS teaching experience have higher levels of self-efficacy and are more likely to share resources than teachers with less CS teaching experience. Moreover, teachers who instruct students at higher grade levels (middle and high school) have higher levels of CS teaching self-efficacy than do teachers who instruct lower grade levels (elementary school). These results suggest that CoPs can help CS teachers expand their professional networks, gain more professional development resources, and increase CS teaching self-efficacy by creating personalized experiences that consider teaching experience and grade levels taught when guiding teachers to relevant content. This study laysmore »
Research suggests that introducing students to computational concepts at a young age improves the likelihood that they will become interested in computer science later on in life (Super, 1953). As such, it is becoming increasingly important to develop lessons for K-12 students that include computational thinking (Barr, 2011). The storytelling project at Montana State University integrates computational thinking skills into the Indian Education for All (IEFA) curriculum for middle school students in Montana. 1. Identify an object not in Alice and needed for a lesson. 2. Develop rough draft and provide to the model developer. 3. Develop model in 3Ds max. 4. Add model to world, and add methods as needed. References Plateau Indian Beaded Bags 5. Gather feedback from students and instructors. Barr, V., & Stephenson, C. (2011). Bringing computational thinking to K-12: what is Involved and what is the role of the computer science education community? Acm Inroads, 2(1), 48-54. Cooper, J. (n.d.). Plateau beaded bag, ca. 1930 [Photograph found in Fred Mitchell, Montana Historical Society, Helena]. Retrieved from http://mhs.mt.gov/ Portals/11/education/ABeautifulTradition/tradition%20design%20color% 20brochure.pdf Super, D. E. (1953). A theory of vocational development. American Psychologist, 8(5), 185-190. We work to develop lesson plans, plan outreach events, and find relevant literaturemore »
The surge of interest in K-12 computer science (CS) over the past decade has led to a deep need for a corresponding expansion of trained teachers. The primary focus of most K-12 CS teacher professional development has been for current in-service teachers who have little background in CS. To raise the importance of CS within Colleges of Education, we believe that new pathways and experiences are needed for pre-service Education majors to learn more about authentic CS topics and pedagogy. This experience report summarizes our efforts over the past two years to prepare Secondary Math Education (SEMA) majors to teach AP CS Principles (AP CSP). Our approach consists of the following curricular activities: 1) a two-course sequence, with the first course mapping to the content topics of the AP CSP Curriculum Framework, and the second course consisting of a reflection of CS methods and pedagogy, including opportunities for SEMA students to develop and present their own AP CSP lesson plans; 2) opportunities for SEMA students to observe AP CSP classrooms in local high schools through our partnership with experienced AP CSP teachers; 3) summer participation in a College Board AP Summer Institute for AP CSP, and 4) a six-week ETSmore »