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While the last two decades have seen an increased interest in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) in K-12 schools, few efforts have focused on the teachers and teaching practices necessary to support these interventions. Even fewer have considered the important work that teachers carry out not just inside classrooms but beyond the classroom walls to sustain such STEAM implementation efforts, from interacting with administrators to recruiting students and persuading parents about the importance of arts and computer science. In order to understand teachers’ needs and practices regarding STEAM implementation, in this paper, we focus on eight experienced computer science teachers’ reflections on implementing a STEAM unit using electronic textiles, which combine crafting, circuit design, and coding so as to make wearable artifacts. We use a broad lens to examine the practices high school teachers employed not only in their classrooms but also in their schools and communities to keep these equitable learning opportunities going, from communicating with other teachers and admins to building a computer science (CS) teacher community across district and state lines. We also analyzed these reflections to understand teachers’ own social and emotional needs—needs important to staying in the field of CS education—better, as they are relevant to engaging with learning new content, applying new pedagogical skills, and obtaining materials and endorsements from their organizations to bring STEAM into their classrooms. In the discussion, we contemplate what teachers’ reported practices and needs say about supporting and sustaining equitable STEAM in classrooms.more » « lessFree, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2024
In this paper we share the seemingly ordinary community-building digital technologies that helped facilitate nine days of virtual professional development (PD) on the Electronic Textiles (hereafter e-textiles) unit for Exploring Computer Science (ECS). The e-textiles unit challenges teachers to learn new content about computing by designing functional circuitry in hands-on, personalized crafts, in ways that stimulate inclusive pedagogy and asset-based perspectives of students. Finding the right combination of supportive technologies spanned two years, including planning and two rounds of implementation (2020-2022), with careful reflection for re-design. We decided on a few seemingly basic digital technologies that supported the following design goals: 1) transparency of in-progress crafts, 2) community-building, and 3) connection to teachers’ everyday classroom practice. Below we share three technology choices that orient our revised PD model with explanations for those choices rooted in theory and practice.more » « less
Amongst efforts to realize computer science (CS) for all, recent critiques of racially biased technologies have emerged (e.g., facial recognition software), revealing a need to critically examine the interaction between computing solutions and societal factors. Yet within efforts to introduce K-12 students to such topics, studies examining teachers' learning of critical computing are rare. To understand how teachers learn to integrate societal issues within computing education, we analyzed video of a teacher professional development (PD) session with experienced computing teachers. Highlighting three particular episodes of conversation during PD, our analysis revealed how personal and classroom experiences—from making a sensor-based project to drawing on family and teaching experiences—tethered teachers’ weaving of societal and technical aspects of CS and enabled reflections on their learning and pedagogy. We discuss the need for future PD efforts to build on teachers’ experiences, draw in diverse teacher voices, and develop politicized trust among teachers.more » « less