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Title: Co-Designing Elementary-Level Computer Science and Mathematics Lessons: An Expansive Framing Approach
This study examines how a rural-serving school district aimed to provide elementary level computer science (CS) by offering instruction during students’ computer lab time. As part of a research-practice partnership, cross-context mathematics and CS lessons were co-designed to expansively frame and highlight connections across – as opposed to integration within – the two subjects. Findings indicated that most students who engaged with the lessons across the lab and classroom contexts reported finding the lessons interesting, seeing connections to their mathematics classes, and understanding the programming. In contrast, a three-level logistic regression model showed that students who only learned about mathematics connections within the CS lessons (thus not in a cross-context way) reported statistically significant lower levels of interest, connections, and understanding  more » « less
Award ID(s):
2031382
NSF-PAR ID:
10437643
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Proceedings of the International Conference of the Learning Sciences
Volume:
1
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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  2. Abstract  
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  3. Background/Context:

    Computer programming is rarely accessible to K–12 students, especially for those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Middle school age is a transitioning time when adolescents are more likely to make long-term decisions regarding their academic choices and interests. Having access to productive and positive knowledge and experiences in computer programming can grant them opportunities to realize their abilities and potential in this field.

    Purpose/Focus of Study:

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    Setting:

    An after-school program, Advancing Out-of-School Learning in Mathematics and Engineering (AOLME), was held at two middle schools located in rural and urban areas in the Southwest. It was designed to support an inclusive cultural environment that nurtured students’ opportunities to learn CPM practices through the inclusion of languages (Spanish and English), tasks, and participants congruent to students in the program. Students learned how to represent, design, and program digital images and videos using a sequence of 2D arrays of hexadecimal numbers with Python on a Raspberry Pi computer. The six bilingual cofacilitators attended Levels 1 and 2 as students and were offered the opportunity to participate as cofacilitators in the next implementation of Level 1.

    Research Design:

    This longitudinal case study focused on analyzing the experiences and shifts (if any) of students who participated as cofacilitators in AOLME. Their narratives were analyzed collectively, and our analysis describes the experiences of the cofacilitators as a single case study (with embedded units) of what it means to be a bilingual cofacilitator in AOLME. Data included individual exit interviews of the six cofacilitators and their focus groups (30–45 minutes each), an adapted 20-item CPM attitude 5-point Likert scale, and self-report from each of them. Results from attitude scales revealed cofacilitators’ greater initial and posterior connections to CPM practices. The self-reports on CPM included two number lines (0–10) for before and after AOLME for students to self-assess their liking and knowledge of CPM. The numbers were used as interview prompts to converse with students about experiences. The interview data were analyzed qualitatively and coded through a contrast-comparative process regarding students’ description of themselves, their experiences in the program, and their perception of and relationship toward CPM practices.

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