Collaborative Research: AccessCSforAll: Including Students with Disabilities in High School Computer Science:
The University of Washington, in collaboration with the University of Nevada Las Vegas, proposes AccessCSforAll, a project to develop strategies, tools, and curricula needed to bring an accessible version of Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science Principles (CSP) to students, including those with disabilities. Approximately 7.5 million K-12 students are identified as having a disability under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. These students should have access to quality computer science education, but there are often significant barriers, including inaccessible tools (for example, programming languages, integrated development environments not accessible to screen readers), or curricula that include exclusively visual program output. Civil rights legislation requires that curriculum be offered in a format that is accessible to students with disabilities.
AccessCSforAll will create a researcher practitioner partnership (RPP) that includes practitioners at schools that serve students who are deaf, blind, or learning disabled, as well as schools that serve mainstream students. Building on previous work with more than 30 CS10K projects, AccessforAll will provide professional development for CS teachers that includes strategies for supporting students with disabilities. It will partner with The College Board to ensure that they are ready to properly evaluate students with disabilities, and it will partner with developers of accessible tools and curricula. The project will develop and maintain resources for computer science teachers to help them better include students with disabilities in their classes, and to showcase solutions for universal design in tools, curriculum, and pedagogy that appeal both to general education students as well as students with disabilities. The project will build a community that is focused on accessible K-12 computer science education.
Adapt, Implement and Research at Nebraska: A Statewide Implementation Study of a Researcher-Practitioner Partnership for K-8 Computer Science Education:
This project extends a successful researcher-practitioner partnership (RPP) between the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the Lincoln Public Schools to other school districts in Nebraska. The primary goal is to study how a computer science (CS) curriculum for K-8 students is adopted by school districts with different strengths and challenges to broaden participation in computing. The project will also develop instructional capacity for K-8 CS education with diverse learners. The specific aims are to support new, partner districts by 1) adapting and implementing the existing CS curriculum, learning progression models, and assessment metrics for their needs; 2) customize the current professional development model to their educators; (3) create a teacher virtual network support model for ongoing logistical and content support; and 4) adapt, develop, and validate instruments to measure CS knowledge and self-efficacy.
The project will be conducted as part of a research-focused networked improvement community (NIC) grounded in design-based research. During the project’s iterations, the researchers will study 1) how the K-8 curriculum/resources implemented in diverse partner districts, and 2) how useful are the curricula and resources in supporting teacher and students CS knowledge, attitudes, and practices. The studies will pay particular attention to the similarities and differences that occur between various subgroups (i.e., underrepresented minorities, male/female). The project will result in case studies of rural, highly underrepresented, and Native American schools that guide other states and districts seeking to infuse computer science into K-8 education.
AWSM in CS
AWSM in CS
Accelerating Women’s Success and Mastery in CS (AWSM in CS):
The University of Texas Austin proposes a project – AWSM in CS (Accelerating Women’s Success and Mastery in Computer Science, pronounced “Awesome in CS”) – that develops a Networked Improvement Community (NIC) to improve the recruitment, retention and success of females in high school computer science (CS) courses. There is a growing consensus on the importance of K-12 CS education as the CSforAll movement gains traction across the country, and this has resulted in increased access for many students. In Texas, overall student enrollment in K-12 CS has increased substantially over the past five years (124% increase), as has the participation for students of color (154% increase) and for low-income students (156% increase). Similar gains, however, have not been seen for female enrollment (104% increase). AWSM in CS aims to change that.
AWSM in CS researchers and practitioners will engage in a root cause analysis to examine the primary drivers for the underrepresentation of women through the context of recruitment, instruction, and school/community culture/policy. It will then implement and test a holistic, research-based approach to tackling female underrepresentation with three years of PDSA (Plan-Do-Study-Act) cycles to iterate on interventions to build their effectiveness. NIC practitioners will be supported through virtual and in-person professional development and network building experiences. Outcomes including female enrollment and completion of CS courses, Advanced Placement (AP) test taking and performance, and subsequent CS course enrollment will be measured. The role of the NIC in addressing teacher and student needs will be researched qualitatively.
Bootstrap Hybrid: Collaborative Research: Hybrid Professional Development to Enhance Teachers’ Use of Bootstrap:
Integrating computing and mathematics appeals to various stakeholders for a variety of reasons. For the mathematics education community, computing offers an application of mathematics concepts that may strengthen teachers’ and students’ mathematical understanding; for the computer science (CS) education community, integration enables equitable access to computing education for all students; for state boards and districts, integration accommodates staffing and curricular constraints while targeting core learning objectives in multiple disciplines. Bootstrap is a nationally-deployed curriculum that integrates computer science and algebra. Bootstrap’s current professional development (PD) program for math teachers is a 3-day in-person event which assumes that teachers are somewhat facile with algebraic functions. Both Bootstrap and the National Council for Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) have observed that some teachers have a weak command of functions. School districts would prefer a shorter in-person PD to reduce staffing costs and increase flexibility. This project will use a hybrid PD model to address both needs. Simultaneously, the project will research ways to tailor the online content to be effective for teachers who differ in their understanding of functions, goals for pursuing PD, and interest in mathematics, computing, math/CS integration, and student thinking. This Researcher-Practitioner Partnership team includes Bootstrap; NCTM (specifically its Math Forum team, which has expertise in on-line training); Brown University; Swarthmore College; the Oklahoma State Division of Secondary Mathematics and Computing Education and school districts in Texas. A total of 270 middle-school math teachers—a majority from rural areas or serving Native American or Hispanic students in our partnering regions—will participate in Bootstrap PD under this project. Assuming typical adoption rates, these teachers should reach 6,000 students within the project period alone. Building Bootstrap content into the Math Forum will expose thousands of NCTM’s teachers to the potential of integrated math/CS curricula.
The team will use design-based research to develop and deploy a hybrid PD model and online support community for Bootstrap teachers, augment Bootstrap PD to reinforce teachers’ understanding of algebraic functions, and conduct quasi-experimental studies to inform the design of different pathways through the PD. This project will study how to develop teachers’ understanding of CS while also strengthening their math proficiency. In particular, the project will explore the possibilities for CS to improve teachers’ understanding of algebraic functions. The project also will study ways in which teachers’ interest can be made visible and useful in improving engagement and learning in integrated CS and mathematics PD. The results should apply to integrative programs beyond Bootstrap, suggesting strategies to tailor PD to serve more teachers.
Broaden Participation in Middle School CS
Broaden Participation in Middle School CS
Developing a Systemic, Scalable Model to Broaden Participation in Middle School Computer Science:
African-American, Latinx and students from low socio-economic households too often do not have opportunities to learn computer science and computational thinking (CS/CT), concepts that are crucial for participation in the 21st century workforce and citizenry. These limited opportunities are often the result of systemic practices in schools that impact a wide range of connected parts of the school including leadership, access to CS/CT resources for students and teachers, CS/CT learning opportunities for students and teachers, and prior experiences and encouragement to participate in CS/CT. This project will build on a long-standing Research-Practice Partnership (RPP) between NC State University’s Friday Institute for Educational Innovation and a middle school in Wake County Public School System to deepen the RPP to further develop conceptual, theoretical, and applied frameworks for CS/CT. Additionally, the project will scale this RPP work to another newly-forming CS/CT focused magnet through a developing partnership with UNC Charlotte and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools to replicate the RPP for a new “Computer science and coding” magnet program. Since mathematics and science classes are taken by all middle school students, the project will use this academic context as the focus of the project’s work. This proposal specifically targets middle schools in both Charlotte and Raleigh with relatively high African-American and Latinx populations, and free and reduced lunch percentages, to scale the existing RPP. The project goals are to provide equitable access to underrepresented students in computing; to prepare middle school students for computing curriculum in high school; to develop and test effective CS/CT modules that integrate in existing math and science curriculum; to investigate CS/CT-focused systemic barriers and supports; and to propagate RPP findings to other schools and districts.
The STEM ecosystems framework is an emerging model for framing the barriers and support structures students have in STEM learning, including CS/CT that recognizes that effective CS/CT learning is the product of the entire connected academic enterprise–with elements including school leadership, teacher and student CS/CT resources, and available CS/CT learning opportunities, along with prior experiences, encouragement, and training in CS/CT. The project will adapt the STEM ecosystem model as a scalable, generalizable approach for systematic, school-wide integration of CS/CT into required math and science courses. Within the context of two magnet middle schools seeking to integrate CS/CT across their curricula, this work will be guided by the following overarching research questions: 1. What are the barriers to developing a STEM ecosystem that supports CS/CT for every student through integration into middle school science and math courses? 2. What factors or interventions are needed to support the development of a CS/CT focused STEM ecosystem that supports everyone in a school? 3. What are the indicators of success for a CS/CT focused STEM ecosystem in a school? 4. How does the ecosystem prepare and engage all students, especially those from underrepresented student groups, for CS/CT work in high school? To address the first two research questions, data will include meeting notes for thematic analyses from RPP leadership teams, interviews with teachers and school leaders, observational and self-report survey data from teachers and school leadership. Additionally, professional development workshop data will be included to triangulate responses from interviews and surveys. To address the third research question, data will include student demographic data, participation in STEM activities, classroom observations, student engagement as measured by demographics exposed to CS/CT within and external to the curriculum, activity observations of engagement levels, self-report data of attitudes, learning and future interest in CS/CT, teacher observations of learning and engagement, activity/module ratings from students, teachers, observers, class artifacts (portfolios or projects), and End of Grades science and math performance. For Question 4, members of the project and RPP teams, with input from the Advisory Board will perform an annual review of NC high school CS course syllabi against emerging K12 CS standards. Lesson plans and artifacts of student work from Reedy Creek and Northside will be sampled and compared against current high school expectations for CS academic work.
Building Student Retention through Individuated Guided Cohort Training in Computer Science Research-Practitioner Partnership:
There is a severe underrepresentation of black women in computing, explained by educational barriers that black girls face in the K-12 education system even before reaching postsecondary education. Middle grades are a critical transition point for students, where achievement gaps and interest in STEM-CS widen over time. This project, a Researcher-Practitioner Partnership (RPP), is a two-year project that will engage teachers, school leaders, guidance counselors, and researchers to identify barriers and future work in the areas of structural, instructional, and curricular improvements in middle schools to promote more black girls to gain interest and experience in computer science. Some of the core members of the team are developing a computer science learning ecosystem for middle school black girls, called BRIGHT-CS, that includes summer and school based programming. This project is an extension of the BRIGHT-CS project to engage teachers in an RPP to create an inclusive environment to promote CS interest and learning among black girls in their schools. While the core team has had implicit support from schools in the community, there is an exigent need to explicitly engage teachers, guidance counselors, and school leaders to further support an inclusive environment where black girls can thrive at school. The project rests on the foundation that issues of diversity and inclusivity, and broadening participation in computer science specifically, must be systematic, persistent, and ongoing work within the teaching community. Further, the RPP addresses issues around identifying and rectifying barriers in the school that will promote an inclusive school environment that will benefit all students including other marginalized students.
Through the RPP, the project will establish professional learning communities (PLCs) in three middle schools that includes researchers, guidance counselors, teachers and school leaders. The RPP will support the initial steps in addressing why there are so few black girls interested and pursuing computer science in the middle grades. Rather than speaking in general terms, or looking at national trends, the RPP will look specifically at the three schools and classroom data to conduct an equity audit on the structural, instructional, and curricular barriers that black girls face in their school. The result will be a PLC logic model and a research agenda for future RPP proposals.
Bronzeville Fusion Network
Bronzeville Fusion Network
Using hyperlocal and networked strategies to support computer science education for middle grade students in Chicago:
For youth to put in the amount of time and energy to develop sustained interest in activities that develop computer science (CS)/computational thinking (CT) literacies, those activities need to be accessible (cost, location, and warm environment), relevant, and viewed as a valuable form of social capital. The project will expand an existing research practice partnership (RPP) focused on increasing computational making (i.e. the integration of design, coding, and making to create interactive artifacts) learning opportunities for middle grade youth living in the Chicago Bronzeville community. By adding a school-day component, the project will focus on curating, developing, and implementing instructional materials that integrate computational making learning activities into middle grade (6-8) classrooms. Grounded in the prior work of the Digital Youth Network (DYN), the project approach will create an ecosystem to support student development of digital media literacies. By creating a learning ecosystem that creates a context where CS/CT literacies are accessible, relevant, and valued, the project will create the motivation for students to seek opportunities to deepen and showcase their developing CS/CT skills within a supportive community of peers, mentors, teachers, and families. The project will address national and local conversations by providing a living example of how to bring together a cohort of schools, informal learning providers, and academics to create and implement an intro to computational making middle school strategy. This strategy will blend together learning activities designed to develop core computational making skills, with content-focused projects (e.g. math, science, social studies, literacy and art), and community showcases designed to support and grow student and family understanding and engagement in the diversity of ways to use computer science and computational thinking to create, develop, and control interactive artifacts that have meaning in everyday life.
The Bronzeville Fusion Network RPP team will work to address two shared questions: (1) How can we foster a community learning environment, anchored within schools, that recognizes, supports, and promotes computational literacies as a desirable and accessible form of social capital by educators, youth, and families? (2) How do these community level connections impact youth CS/CT learning opportunities, participation, social networks, knowledge, and understanding? To address these questions the RPP team will leverage existing quality CS/CT resources (e.g. tools, programs, curriculum, especially those that are free and research-based), existing local infrastructure and policies (e.g. online learning platforms, professional development models), and programmable interactive electronics (e.g. sensors, arduinos, makey makey) to create culturally meaningful computational making learning opportunities that connect middle school learners to quality opportunities in ways that work and that are sustainable. To accomplish this goal, the project will systematically engage in hyperlocal work in Bronzeville, a Chicago community on the southside of Chicago, representing approximately 119,000 residents. The project will work with schools, educators and leaders from local community organizations to collaboratively explore, curate, and organize existing national CS/CT learning resources into culturally meaningful blended learning activities and modules intentionally designed to engage Bronzeville youth in exploring and discovering the essential role of CS/CT literacies in making the interactive objects students use daily. We will also use a networked strategy in Bronzeville, capitalizing on a citywide online learning platform that brings together face-to-face and online learning resources to support students, families, and teachers in finding and participating in formal and informal activities designed to increase student engagement in academics and enrichment activities, allowing youth to develop portfolios of work and participation and to see and comment on the interactive artifacts created by peers. While this work will focus within the Bronzeville community, all of the curricular and learning resources developed through this RPP will be deployed at a broader city level through this online platform.
Building a Pathway for CS Principles Teachers
Building a Pathway for CS Principles Teachers
Building a Pathway for CS Principles Teachers: A Two-course Sequence for Secondary Education Mathematics Pre-service Teachers:
The University of Alabama Tuscaloosa proposes to develop a new model for preparing preservice teachers to realize the CSforAll goal of scaling computer science (CS) education to tens of thousands of schools. The project will expand an existing research-practitioner partnership (RPP) to support preservice Secondary Mathematics (SEMA) students with coursework that will prepare them to offer AP Computer Science Principles (CSP) at their future school. Many current Professional Development (PD) efforts for CS education focus on existing in-service teachers, but the future growth will also need to consider the preparation of preservice Education majors who will develop content and pedagogical CS knowledge through exposure to CSP topics.The proposed work advances a course sequence and associated activities that form a pathway for preservice educators who do not have deep pre-existing CS content knowledge. The sequence includes an existing CSP course currently taken by all SEMA students, and a new, second course for those students with an interest in teaching CSP in addition to mathematics. This second course will introduce students to topics related to equity in CS education, overview various K-12 CS standards (including the newly developed Alabama K-12 CS standards), explore connections to mathematics with computational thinking practices and CS content knowledge, consider various nuances of Advanced Placement (AP) CSP curricula endorsed by the College Board, and establish a deeper understanding of the AP CSP Big Ideas and Learning Objectives. Students will also participate in a teaching practicum and serve as student teachers at the local high schools of RPP members. They will also have the opportunity to attend a College Board CSP AP Summer Institute and a conference focused on CS education. The courses will be externally evaluated. In addition, the researchers and practitioners within the RPP will develop and explore a set of research questions related to the interest and self-efficacy of SEMA students as they prepare to become CSP teachers. These new teachers will be the catalyst for broadening the participation of computing at high schools that heretofore have not established a CS course.
CAFECS: Collaborative Research: Chicago Alliance For Equity in Computer Science:
DePaul University, in collaboration with The Learning Partnership, Loyola University of Chicago, Chicago Public Schools (CPS), and the University of Illinois at Chicago, proposes a researcher practitioner partnership - the Chicago Alliance For Equity in Computer Science (CAFECS)- with the aim of ensuring that all CPS students have access to inclusive, high-quality, introductory computer science education in high school. CPS, the third largest school district in the nation, requires all students starting high school in Fall 2017 or later to complete a computer science (CS) course. CAFECS will ensure that CPS provides sufficient support to teachers and holds all schools accountable for offering high-quality CS across the entire district. CAFECS will empower at least 25,000 Chicago teens with the foundational practices of computer science.
CAFECS stems from a well-established partnership between university CS and educational research faculty, along with CPS teachers and administrators. The partnership began forming in Chicago a decade ago around the common goal of providing all CPS high school students access to meaningful and engaging computer science instruction. CAFECS is currently reaching a large and diverse population through the extensively-tested Exploring Computer Science (ECS) curriculum and professional development program, with its guided-inquiry approach and a focus on engaging students through multiple modes of learning and culturally sensitive content. Over 200 teachers have completed ECS professional development delivered by CAFECS. In the 2016-2017 school year, approximately 7,000 students have completed ECS in 63 high schools (of the 106 district-run high schools). The student population in these ECS courses spans the largest population categories long underrepresented in computing includes 44% females, 38% African-American, and 47% Hispanic, which is consistent with the district-wide demographics. Building on this initial success, CPS must continue to develop mechanisms for providing professional development for teachers and principals at scale in order to ensure that all schools offer a high quality CS course to all CPS students. The project seeks to build upon established relationships between the university partners and CPS so that they will continue to serve the community beyond the scope of the project.
CAPS: Hybrid Instruction for Equity in Computing:
This project is an effort to address computing equity in Atlanta Public Schools. The current national effort to deploy computing education in the K-12 space across the United States is focused on in-service teacher professional development. It is an effort to transform teachers who are not otherwise computer science teachers into subject matter experts to teach high school computer science courses. The Constellations Center for Equity in Computing believes that there simply are not enough teachers in production or in-service that can be trained to be effective computer science teachers, especially in schools that are already distressed serving students of color and poor students of all kinds. Expanding the number of course offerings to include quality high school computer science courses, requires a hybrid instructional model where the specialized subject content is delivered on-line and teacher expertise as facilitator and student guide is maximized. This project will use this strategy to provide highly effective hybrid Advanced Placement Computer Science instruction across the traditional high schools in Atlanta Public Schools.
Constellation Fellows, expert computer science teachers who have experience teaching in high school, will implement Advanced Placement Computer Science courses in the target high schools. Each high school will designate a teacher who will assist with facilitation in the classroom. The courses will be delivered online. Additional courses will be added in subsequent years. The resident teachers will observe and collaborate with the Fellows to acquire the knowledge and skills to teach the courses in future years. They will also be provided with opportunities for professional development and continued Fellow support so that they can become exemplary high school computer science teachers. Constellation’s hybrid instructional model is an effort to not only transform the infrastructure of computer science education, but to directly address the reality of inequity that disproportionately limits access for students of color and poor students whoever they may be.
Personalized Computational Thinking for Grades 3-8:
CodePlay is a Research-Practitioner Partnership (RPP) between Braintree Public Schools (BPS) and EdGE at TERC. The shared purpose of this RPP is to build a strong foundation for the teaching and learning of Computational Thinking (CT) in upper elementary and middle schools throughout BPS, and in doing so, to inform a scalable and generalizable model of personalized CT education for a broad audience of diverse learners in grades 3-8. To meet this shared purpose, the RPP proposes to design and develop CodePlay -a suite of digital tools, activities, assessments, and professional development experiences that infuse CT into existing curriculum in grades 3-8. CodePlay tools include a Playlist Generator for teachers to build individualized playlists of activities that guide learners through a CT learning progression, layered with opportunities for interest-driven and customized learning. CodePlay activities are immersed within science, math, and other existing disciplinary content; and prepare learners for project-based learning using coding tools such as Scratch and BlocksCAD (for 3D printing).
Computer Science for Oregon
Computer Science for Oregon
Portland State University, in partnership with the University of Oregon and Tigard Tualatin School District, proposes a project–Computer Science (CS) for Oregon–that aims to reboot high school CS education in Oregon with a statewide initiative to provide more equitable access and participation in high school computer science courses. The project will target schools with significant populations of students under-served by Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education in urban, suburban, and rural environments. It will engage counselors, administrators, and teachers in a Research-Practitioner Partnership. CS for Oregon will identify and investigate the problems of practice that arise when introducing the Exploring Computer Science (ECS) curriculum statewide. Through this award, the proposers seek to shift the state strategy for computer science education from CS in every district to CS for every student.
The project team brings together the expertise of a computer science researcher and university administrator, an education researcher focused on inclusive computer science curriculum development, and a high school teacher who has been engaged statewide efforts to improve STEM education. This project builds on significant state investment in CS teacher professional development. It will prepare teachers with computer science conceptual knowledge, inquiry-based instructional skills, and culturally responsive pedagogy. It will institutionalize CS and Computational Thinking (CT) education by examining the key barriers and opportunities for CS education at the school, district, regional, and state levels. The project will also provide Counselors for Computing workshops to prepare counselors and administrators on strategies to recruit historically underrepresented students to ECS. In addition, the project will develop curriculum for teacher preparation programs at the University of Oregon and Portland State University that incorporates CT into existing education technology courses taken by pre-service teachers. Together these efforts can inform other states seeking to identify whole-school support strategies to broaden participation in computing.
CONECTAR: Collaborative Network of Educators for Computational Thinking for All Research:
The University of California Irvine (UCI) is partnering with the Orange County Department of Education (OCDE) and Santa Ana Unified School District (SAUSD) to form a collaborative network of university and K-12 researchers and practitioners with the aim of promoting computational thinking for students in grades three through five. The intention is to build connections to a broader curriculum as reflected in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), to the language and discourse needed to ensure academic success, and to the learners’ peers, community, families and culture needed to make learning relational and meaningful. The work will be situated in Santa Ana schools, where the majority of students are low-income, Hispanic, English language learners. It will use the principles of Design-Based Implementation Research (DBIR), designing interventions to implement, study and refine, alongside OCDE and SAUSD.
In the first academic year, the team will visit partner elementary schools to gather information about current teaching of computational thinking, conduct a district-wide survey of elementary school teachers, and gather examples of instructional materials developed nationally to determine those that could be adapted locally. During the first summer, researchers will work with a team of teachers to develop pilot materials and instructional units for the 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade levels. These materials–scaffolded for non-native English speakers–will integrate computational thinking with NGSS and CCSS. During the second year, teachers will implement the instructional materials in their classrooms with support from UCI and OCDE. Data will be gathered to study the implementation process, the challenges faced and how they are addressed, the extent to which the materials engage the learners on the emotional, behavioral, and cognitive levels, and the suitability of the materials for promoting computational thinking among the targeted learners. During the second summer, the team will further refine materials for broader implementation in Orange County.
CS For All: RPP: A Scalable RPP for Preparing and Supporting Teachers to Teach Culturally Responsive and Rigorous CS Courses in SC High Schools:
Clemson University is broadening participation in computing in South Carolina by preparing computer science (CS) teachers to effectively use culturally responsive, inclusive pedagogies. The South Carolina Department of Education (SCDE) has just launched K-8 Standards that aim to engage all students in computer science and computational thinking and create a pipeline for high school courses. These inaugural standards present a significant need for qualified teachers and the knowledge to prepare them. This proposal would develop an active community of high school CS teachers and researchers ahead of this demand.
The project leverages an existing Researcher-Practitioner Partnership (RPP), including computer science and education researchers, along with administrators and teacher practitioners from the Anderson Five Career Campus (which will offer computing courses to high school students in Anderson School Districts), Pickens County School District, and South Carolina’s Coalition for Mathematics and Science (an organization providing professional development to additional districts). Many of the participating schools have significant underrepresented and/or economically disadvantaged student populations. The project will investigate the effectiveness of different models of teacher support (including just-in-time, online only, versus a mixture of online and offline) on Pedagogical Content Knowledge for Computer Science, self-efficacy, and teacher understanding and implementation of culturally responsive computing, and teacher belief that all students are capable of digital innovation. There has been strong coordination between project activities and policy that is being adopted by the SCDE, which could serve as a model for partnerships in other states.
CS for CLE
CS for CLE
CS for CLE: CSforAll: RPP: Medium: Understanding Equity and Access in a CSforAll Implementation:
Cleveland State University (CSU) proposes to create a knowledge base, focused on equity and access for all students, that will guide implementation of CSforAll initiatives in schools and districts across the country. CSU has been assisting the Cleveland Municipal School District (CMSD) as it begins implementation of computer science (CS) for all students in district high schools starting in the 2017-18 academic year. CSU and CMSD are intentionally focusing on all students with the goal of creating a model that, not only includes, but is targeted towards students from groups that are traditionally underrepresented in CS–students from African American, Hispanic and low socio-economic status populations. The effort is built on an existing research practitioner partnership (RPP) that includes CSU, CMSD, the Cleveland Foundation, and the NEOSTEM Ecosystem.
The central aim of the research is to investigate whether the implementation proceeds in a manner that preserves equity across students. The expected outcomes include (1) the creation of a replicable model for a CSforAll implementation, in diverse and high-needs school districts, with equity as a primary design consideration, (2) an increased research base on mechanisms for addressing achievement gaps among students from groups typically underrepresented in CS, (3) a set of “adoption guides” for principals and administrators that clearly outline various issues that arise when implementing CSforAll in schools, and document best practices, including course coding, teacher credentialing, scheduling, advising, etc., and a pathway for CS teachers to receive highly qualified teacher status in Ohio.
CS Teacher Preparation
CS Teacher Preparation
The Development of a Statewide Network for Teacher Preparation in Computer Science The University of Northern Iowa Partnership for CS Teacher Preparation:
The University of Northern Iowa proposes a Planning Grant to develop a research-practitioner partnership (RPP) to facilitate computer science (CS) teacher professional development (PD) across Iowa. There has been substantial discipline-wide work done recently to develop curriculum and standards for high school CS. Knowledge exists regarding PD for in-service teachers, communities of practice, principles for broadening participation, and RPPs, but there are plenty of opportunities to expand experience and expertise in these areas in combination with each other. The proposed RPP for Iowa includes university personnel to supply content, curriculum design experts and researchers, Iowa Area Education Agencies (AEA) personnel for localization and ongoing support, and school districts with knowledge practitioners. It is an ideal partnership to design and test a network for providing computer science PD and ongoing support.
The partnership will start by piloting a PD network for high school CS teachers in one of nine AEAs in Iowa. Identified in-service teachers will complete three courses over two summers and the intervening school year: an introduction to programming, a CS methods course, and a big ideas course. Instruction will be designed using the Iowa Professional Development Model. During the PD, participants will become familiar with engagement practices and the culturally responsive computing practices through modelling and explicit instruction. Furthermore, district personnel in the participants’ school districts will attend a workshop on understanding biases and broadening participation in order to set a more positive school environment. Upon completion of the PD, participants will be well-prepared to teach a high-quality introduction to programming course or an AP CS Principles course. The proposers have already recruited four districts for inclusion in the partnership and expect to increase that number to 20 over the course of the award. Upon completion of the project, having gathered substantial assessment data, the proposers will be ready to expand this program to allow for participants from school districts and AEAs covering the entire state of Iowa.
CS Through Programming and the Arts
CS Through Programming and the Arts
Broadening Participation in Computer Science Through Programming and the Arts Across Learning Spaces:
This proposal builds on an existing researcher-practitioner partnership between Northwestern University and Evanston/Skokie School District 65 in Illinois to develop a shared platform and professional development framework that supports computational learning across a network of schools, community centers, libraries, and homes. The current proposal seeks to develop ways to curate and structure learning activities in and outside of schools in ways that engage youth in long-term projects, demonstrate both the personal and professional value of computer programming, and exemplify computation as a means to achieve creative and personally fulfilling goals. The project explores a model for broadening participation in computer science and related fields through a three-pronged approach involving programming, music, and dance. First, the researchers will provide learners with tools that engage them in computational projects that are personally, socially, and culturally meaningful. Second, the project will develop a continuum of music-themed computer science learning opportunities designed to work between and across school and out-of-school spaces. Finally, the project will create and study innovative ways for learners to document their emerging understandings of both computer programming and music by adopting the computational notebook paradigm that is increasingly popular in data science and computational science communities (e.g., Jupyter, Wolfram Notebooks).
One premise of the research is that music is a dominant cultural form of literacy with many direct parallels to computer science concepts. Emerging genres in the digital arts have the potential to provide a motivational context for youth from groups chronically underrepresented in computing fields. The researchers will introduce students to computational thinking through two programming environments developed at Georgia Institute of Technology. A set of activities and programs across a network of learning spaces will also be designed to immerse students in computer programming. The researchers will use a variety of methods, including interviews, surveys, and artifact analysis, to document student learning across contexts and over time. By engaging with multiple partners in the researcher-practitioner partnerships, the researchers will develop a rich understanding of youth engagement and the ways that learning can be supported and reinforced across contexts.
CS Visions RPP
CS Visions RPP
Building Multi-level Alignment in Local Computer Science for All Implementations for Sustainability:
The research, a descriptive study, will focus on documenting and understanding the process of visioning, aligned decision making, and implementation moves that can facilitate broader participation in K-8 computing education. Four project goals guide the Researcher Practitioner Partnership (RPP) work: Goal 1: Establish an RPP between the CSforAll Consortium, New York University, and two Boards of Cooperative Educational Services in rural and suburban New York to support CS for All efforts, with an eye toward long-term partnership and future, iterative work. Goal 2: Design and pilot visioning, decision-making, and implementation routines that can provide an integrated toolkit for facilitating K-8 school and district decision making around CS for All implementation. Goal 3: Develop a set of practical measures that can provide fast, formative metrics for districts and schools to evaluate the alignment and implementation of their CS for All initiatives over time. Goal 4: Conduct research on the guided decision-making and implementation processes that the partnership undertakes that will result in scholarly insights about enabling more nuanced and robust CS for All implementation decisions that can be scalable, sustainable, and reach broader populations of learners.
Read more about our project [here]().
Computer Science Colorado Learning and Identity Collaborative (CS-CLIC):
The Colorado Education Initiative (CEI), in collaboration with McREL International (McREL), proposes a project – the Computer Science Colorado Learning and Identity Collaborative (CS-CLIC) – to work with educators at eight high schools located throughout Colorado on understanding the importance of engaging a diverse audience of students in Advanced Placement Computer Science Principles (APCSP), understanding and using strategies to do so, and improving their use of evidence-based practices for effective student learning in the classroom. CS-CLIC’s professional development will dramatically increase equitable access to rigorous computer science (CS) coursework, increasing number and diversity of students who see CS as relevant, possible, and important to them, enroll in APCSP, and earn qualifying scores on the APCSP exam.
CS-CLIC will employ an iterative Networked Improvement Community (NIC) structure to co-design and refine professional development (PD) and targeted recruiting materials focused on the problem of practice: Students, and, particularly historically underrepresented students, do not perceive rigorous CS coursework as important, possible, or relevant to their lives. Working together with classroom teachers, CS-CLIC researchers will develop, implement, and test strategies to improve recruitment and retention based on the Identity-Based Motivation model, building on an existing Colorado Legacy School effort that attracts historically underrepresented students into AP courses in other STEM fields.
Collaborative Research: Broadening Participation and Building Pathways in Computer Science (CS) through Concurrent Enrollment:
This project studies the implementation and outcomes of Concurrent Enrollment (CE) programs as a vehicle for broadening participation in high school to college pathways in Computer Science (CS). The Mobile Computer Science Principles (Mobile CSP) project at the College of St. Scholastica, an established curriculum endorsed by the College Board for its alignment with the Advanced Placement (AP) CSP framework, has formed a Research-Practitioner Partnership (RPP) with CE programs at Capital Community College in Hartford, Connecticut and Southwest Minnesota State University in Minnesota and with partner school districts in each state.
The RPP project explores whether CS through CE can broaden the high school to college pathway in computing disciplines for those traditionally underrepresented in these fields–female, underrepresented minority, and low-SES students. While the AP CSP course has enrolled a more diverse group of students than previous AP CS courses, it is not as diverse as other AP courses. CE programs appear to have better penetration than AP among schools that predominantly serve underrepresented minorities and low-SES students, showing promise for broadening participation in other disciplines and encouraging college matriculation.
By implementing and studying CS through CE in two different contexts (rural and low-SES in Minnesota and urban, diverse, and low-SES in Connecticut), the project contributes to transforming the educational pathways in CS in a variety of contexts and to understanding the supports and barriers to implementing CSP as CE with a broadening-participation goal. This project provides professional development and support of 40 high school teachers to teach a CE version of the Mobile CSP course among partnering school districts over the course of 3 years. The goals of this RPP project are (1) to examine and address the supports and barriers to implementing and sustaining Mobile CSP as a concurrent enrollment course and (2) to study whether a CE implementation of the CSP course broadens participation in computing.
Addressing Issues of Equity and Engagement in Computer Science (CS) through a Research Practice Partnership: The CS Teaching and Learning Collaboratory:
Rutgers University proposes a research practice partnership (RPP) – the Computer Science Teaching and Learning Collaboratory (CS-TLC) – that brings together computer science (CS) educators, educational researchers, and industry partners to provide targeted, differentiated professional development (PD) and ongoing virtual support to high school CS teachers and schools.
Specifically, CS-TLC will (a) develop and deliver high-quality CS PD for teachers that enhances their ability to deliver instruction that is responsive to their students’ abilities, motivation, and cultural backgrounds; (b) invest in building the capacity of school and district leaders to plan, implement, manage, and evaluate programs and policies that can support rigor and equity in CS education; and © engage in research and community-building activities that can improve the performance, effectiveness, and sustainability of the RPP as well as expand the size and diversity of its membership. This proposal directly addresses the issue of equity in CS education as the collaborating school districts serve many students who have been traditionally underrepresented in CS including rural students, students living in poverty, and Hispanic and African American students. By working in collaboration with a network of teachers and administrators who serve these students, the team well tailor activities and pedagogy of content to addresses the different needs and experiences of students, providing them with opportunities for rigorous and engaging CS instruction.
CS4MS NIC: Growing Teacher Competency and Capacity:
Mississippi State University (MSU) proposes a research practitioner partnership structured as a network improvement community (NIC), called CS4MS NIC: Growing Teacher Competency and Capacity, which aims to build sustainable professional development (PD) to support the long-term success of secondary computer science education in Mississippi. The CS4MS NIC will identify, develop, and deliver additional PD for teachers who provide instruction in the Exploring Computer Science (ECS) course.
Mississippi has a goal of placing qualified computer science teachers in all K-12 schools by 2023-2024. Based on a needs assessment gathered from the 67 teachers currently teaching ECS as part of a Computer Science for Mississippi State pilot program, the project team has identified the need for additional computer science content training to augment the normal ECS PD. This training will provide teachers with an increased level of self-efficacy, enabling them to more confidently and proficiently teach the ECS course. In addition, the NIC will work with MSU’s College of Education, Department of Computer Science, and the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) to develop a licensure for a secondary education degree with a concentration in computer science. These educators will also work to establish an endorsement pathway for in-service teachers and an alternate route for industry professionals with a desire to teach at the secondary level.
CS4SF: A Scalable Model for Preparing High School Teachers to Provide Rigorous, Inclusive Computer Science Instruction:
San Francisco State University (SFSU) and the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) propose a Research Practitioner Partnership (RPP) to address the lack of qualified computer science (CS) teachers at the high school level and the lack of diversity among high school students in CS courses. The RPP will develop and implement CS4SF, an innovative and scalable program for the professional development (PD) and ongoing support of high school CS teachers, supplying them with the knowledge and skills they need to teach this in-demand subject in a more rigorous manner while engaging a broader swath of students.
CSforAll will implement a three-part program. Firstly, a one-week summer professional development course will immerse high school teachers in CS knowledge and evidence-based, inclusive pedagogical strategies. Secondly, a Community of Practice will meet monthly to provide teachers with their own inclusive learning community, offering support throughout the year and the opportunity to regularly interact with SFSU CS professors. Thirdly, teaching assistants, selected from the most talented CS undergraduates at SFSU, will assist teachers in the classroom for 4 to 5 hours a week, deepening their own CS knowledge as they collect student-generated ideas for culturally relevant classroom projects. For this work, SFSU and SFUSD have jointly developed an initial set of research questions: Does the CS4SF model improve high school teachers’ mastery of CS concepts and pedagogy, so that they can teach beyond the curriculum and truly engage their students? Does the CS4SF model improve the engagement of female and other students from other underrepresented groups in high school CS courses? What is the potential for sustainability and scalability of the CS4SF model?
The strategies identified will be of broad interest as the problems that SFUSD faces today are similar to those faced by many other school districts as they try to ramp up their CS offerings. Over the course of this grant, the RPP will reach 100 teachers, 72 teaching assistants, and 5,000+ high school students.
A Researcher-Practitioner Partnership to Design, Implement, Assess, and Scale Integrated Computer Science for All in K-5 Classrooms:
Computer Science for All (CS for All) initiatives are increasingly present in districts nationwide, however there is much to be learned from new approaches, particularly at the elementary level. The CS for All Springfield Researcher-Practitioner Partnership (RPP) proposes a four-year plan to integrate standards-based computer science and computation thinking (CS/CT) concepts, learning progressions, and practices in core curricula across all Springfield Massachusetts K-5 public schools. The Partnership’s primary intended long-term outcomes are (1) to prepare a diverse student population, including English learners, students with disabilities, underserved race and ethnicities, and students experiencing poverty, “to effectively use and create technology to solve complex problems” that they need post-high school for college and career, and (2) to grow the expertise for CS/CT teaching and learning within the District. Springfield has the second largest public-school district in Massachusetts and includes 33 elementary and other schools that serve almost 12,000 K-5 students, staffed by more than 1,000 teachers. Reaching 1,000 teachers and 12,000 students is a significant challenge. “Gateway” cities, such as Springfield are important incubators of innovation. By focusing on K-5, the partnership has an opportunity to design curricula that includes all students in CS/CT teaching and learning and, if successful, create a sustainable model that will influence other, diverse, medium-to-large urban districts. The Partnership will develop an innovative, collaborative instructional support network for teachers implementing the new curricula pilots and district-wide implementation and provide professional development for teachers and school leaders on the fundamental concepts, standards, curricula, tools and pedagogy for computer science and computational thinking, and on evidence-based collective inquiry and improvement of practice. CS for All Springfield will enable teachers to gain the skills and confidence to create an effective and equitable learning environment, which will reach Springfield’s large number of underrepresented and economically disadvantaged students and put them on a path that prepares them to use technology and computational thinking in middle school, high school, college and careers.
The established CS for All Springfield researcher-practitioner partnership of learning science, educational policy, social science and computer science researchers, experienced evaluators, teachers, school and district leaders, instructional and IT specialists, and curriculum coordinators will undertake an ambitious and innovative approach. The project will couple Design-Based Implementation Research; a series of agile, iterative and collaborative pilots and at-scale implementations informed by and informing research and evaluation; a strategy for using external and embedded professional development; and cross-school professional learning communities (PLC) linked with current school-based PLCs. The research questions will focus on the characteristics and challenges and opportunities in implementation of the dyadic PLC; changes in students’ learning, interest, and skills; and the barriers to and opportunities for a successful CS for All implementation.
CSforALL Teachers: Connect, Cultivate, and Challenge in Community:
The American Institutes for Research in the Behavioral Sciences (AIR) proposes to enrich and deepen its support for computer science (CS) preK-12 teachers with its CS for All Teachers virtual community of practice (vCoP) that provides assistance to 5,800+ members through a resource collection, discussion groups, webinars, and other supports.
With this funding, AIR will continue to maintain the vCoP, and develop its functionality around (i) Connecting novice computer science teachers with the resources and people they need to learn rudimentary CS knowledge and skills, (ii) Cultivating a deeper sense of learning for intermediate computer science teachers to improve their teaching practice, and (iii) Challenging veteran computer science teachers to enhance their leadership skills to support their colleagues and advocate for computer science education. In addition, the project will conduct social network analysis to improve our understanding of how best to support computer science teachers virtually and provide opportunities for research on online communities for CS teachers.
CSP4Hawaii: Deployment of Computer Science Principles Courses within Secondary Schools in Hawaii:
The University of Hawaii in collaboration with the Hawaii Department of Education (HIDoE), will conduct a 3-year study – Computer Science Principles (CSP) for All in Hawaii (#CSP4Hawaii) – aimed at improving state-level initiatives to address diversity in computer science education. The project, structured as research-practitioner partnership (RPP), will replicate and study curriculum and teacher professional development for a CSP course, based on previous work by UTeach. It will identify and remediate barriers to participation of underrepresented groups.
– 60 teachers across 30 HI DoE schools
– 3-Year study starting October 2017 – September 2020
– Researcher-Practitioner Partnership (RPP)
– AP CSP curriculum from UTeach
– Networked Improvement Communities (NIC)
Learn more about the project [here]().
CT4EDU: Broadening Pathways into Computing by Developing Computational Thinking Competencies in Elementary Classrooms:
Michigan State University, in partnership with the Oakland Intermediate School District and the American Institute for Research, proposes a project–CT4EDU–that will design, implement, and assess a high-quality, integrated curriculum, and professional development that supports elementary school teachers in embedding computational thinking (CT) into their classrooms. Currently exposure to CT is too often limited to students participating in an accelerated curriculum (i.e. gifted and talented) or in after school activities (i.e. coding clubs). This is a highly inequitable system in which only those students who have the resources and access can build on CT in their elementary years. By embedding CT into 3rd to 5th grade, in-school science and mathematics curriculum, this project aims to give all students early access to computing.
This proposal will establish a Research Practitioner Partnership (RPP) using a Network Improvement Community approach to identifying problems of practice and points of opportunity in curriculum/teaching practices where CT can intersect with science and mathematics at the elementary level. Teachers, curriculum directors, and researchers will co-design CT activities and lesson plans in the context of their elementary school classrooms. They will also collaborate in addressing equity issues around engaging historically underrepresented students in CT, focusing on student participation in classroom discourse during CT activities. Finally, the researchers will examine the impact of the CT curriculum on student thinking and teacher practices around computing.
A Coordinated, Cross-Institutional Career and Technical Education Cybersecurity Pathway:
Community colleges are an untapped resource for broadening participation in computing education and the tech workforce. They are the entry point for the majority of Latino/a college students in the United States, yet efforts to increase diversity in computing are focused on 4-year institutions, and assume students maintain a linear and forward-moving pathway, even though this is not typical for community college students. This project is a collaboration between Education, Training, Research, Pjaro Valley Unified School District, Digital NEST, and Cabrillo College; together they will build a cybersecurity-focused computer information systems pathway from high school to college in a majority-Latino district. Project activities center on: a) A Research-Practice Partnership that will design the pathway, build the capacity of educators to implement and support it, and create policies to institutionalize the pathway, b) high school activities designed to both engage student learning and serve as pathway on-ramps, c) high school/college dual enrollment classes, d) Services that support student pathway success and increase college readiness, and e) Data collection and analysis to: i) monitor student movement along the pathway and ii) guide continuous improvement.
Data will be collected from 140 students who will be tracked over time, and from faculty, teachers, counselors, and parents. The results will contribute to knowledge of how to recruit HS students from underrepresented groups into a computer information systems pathway, and the preparation and supports they need to enroll, persist, and complete a computationally intense dual enrollment class. It will also contribute to knowledge about what it takes to have culturally responsive and computationally prepared teachers. The project will produce tested strategies for building on the interests and strengths of girls, Latino/as, and English language learners. It will identify how to get low income students into dual enrollment classes, and what it takes to help them enroll in college and earn college credits in a timely manner. It will also identify multiple entry and exit points in the pathway, in order to produce a model that is more accurate than existing descriptions of linear and always forward-moving pathways. An external evaluator will monitor whether the project is meeting key milestones necessary to test its theory of change. Findings will be shared with a range of stakeholders, including researchers, computer science education practitioners, and administrators, both regionally and nationally.
EAGER: Developing an Equity-Driven, Collaborative, Inquiry-Based Online Computer Science Option for Credit Recovery and Incarcerated Youth in Urban Settings:
The Learning Partnership in collaboration with Education Development Center (EDC), the Chicago Public School District (CPS) and the Chicago Alliance for Equity in Computer Science (CAFECS), proposes to address a significant and urgent need for CPS to provide an online version of the Exploring Computer Science (ECS) program. ECS is designed to introduce students to the breadth of the field of computer science through an exploration of engaging and accessible topics. Its success in CPS led CPS to become the first major city to enact a high school computer science (CS) graduation requirement. An implication of that policy is that students who fail their CS class will need to make it up in order to graduate. This proposed work will use a Researcher Practitioner Partnership (RPP) approach to begin the development of an online version of ECS that can be used for credit recovery.
An analysis of student ECS course failure shows that the typical CPS student who will need to recover the CS credit is most likely to be a 10th, 11th or 12th grade Hispanic or African American male student with low academic performance and relatively high rates of absences. The very strong ECS focus on equitable and culturally relevant approaches to pedagogy, the strong partnership that already exists between the Learning Partnership, CPS, and CAFECS, the paucity of existing research on how to support online credit recovery, and the urgency of developing credit recovery options for current students, all combine to provide a unique opportunity to develop an online version of ECS that builds on our knowledge of how best to support for struggling, urban CS students.
The lack of existing research on credit recovery represents a significant risk. However, if the project team is successful, this model has the potential for high reward: a high-quality option for students seeking credit recovery, as well as those who are incarcerated or homeless, or otherwise struggle to have an equitable experience to that of their peers.
This award reflects NSF’s statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation’s intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.
ECS Fellows 2.0
ECS Fellows 2.0
ECS Fellows 2.0: Broadening Participation of Teachers and Students in Computing:
Teach for America (TFA), in collaboration with the Exploring Computer Science (ECS) project team based at the University of Oregon, proposes to build on an existing collaboration – the ECS Fellowship 1.0 – that prepared in-service teachers from TFA’s network to both advocate for broadened access to Computer Science (CS) learning, and to teach an inquiry-based introductory CS course at high-need secondary schools. To date, the ECS Fellowship 1.0 project has prepared 46 TFA teachers from 11 urban and rural regions to teach the ECS course. That project also identified a number of barriers and obstacles that teachers face in advocating for CS instruction including principal de-prioritization of CS, and counselor bias. With the ECS Fellows 2.0 project, the team will shift its focus to understanding how best to recruit teachers of color to teach CS, support them in navigating the identified obstacles associated with advocating for CS in their schools, and help them to create equitable CS learning environments.
ECS Fellows 2.0 will develop a networked improvement community (NIC) that centers on the experiences of teachers of color and their students while interrogating issues teachers consider central to broadening participation efforts. The project’s goals are to: (1) establish a NIC made up of TFA staff, ECS staff, and teachers of color from TFA’s network that constantly evolves to address problems of practice related to broadening participation in computing for teachers and students; (2) develop and share strategies that lead to increases in the number of CS teachers that identify as people of color from TFA’s network; (3) identify necessary supports that help CS teachers introduce and expand CS learning opportunities for underrepresented students in high-need schools; and (4) identify strategies that CS teachers can use to create equitable CS learning environments.
ECS4PR: Exploring Computer Science for Puerto Rico (ECS4PR)
Building on the previous NSF community of practitioners CSMER project, the College of Education and the Department of Computer Science at the University of Puerto Rico at Rio Piedras proposes a project to establish the building blocks of a strong and well-integrated Research-Practitioner Partnership (RPP) that will foster the integration of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) into the public schools of Puerto Rico. Specifically, the project will build an RPP to foster the integration of the Exploring Computer Science (ECS) curriculum in Spanish in the public school system of Puerto Rico (PR), study a rapid-response support system for a cultural-linguistic equivalence of ECS curriculum in Spanish, and pilot the implementation of ECS curricula in at least two high schools in PR with a high population of Hispanic, female, and economically disadvantaged students.
The project–called ECS4PR–will use a Design Based Implementation Research (DBIR) approach to build on the ECS professional development model and create a scalable, cultural-linguistic equivalent implementation of ECS curriculum in Spanish. It will co-design a strong and well integrated RPP that promotes systemic educational change in Puerto Rico. Once established, that RPP will construct a curricular adaptation model of cultural-linguistic equivalence that can guide a scalable implementation of ECS for a predominantly Hispanic population, and serve as an example for other cultures and languages underrepresented in the field of computer science.
Encoding Geography: Building Capacity for Inclusive Geo-Computational Thinking with Geospatial Technologies:
This project will initiate the formation of a researcher-practitioner partnership (RPP) to articulate preK-14 pathways that will expand opportunities for all students to develop spatial and computational (i.e., geo-computational) thinking skills. This pilot RPP is composed of geographers, computer science educators, and geospatial technology specialists experienced in serving underrepresented minority students and communities. Under the coordination of the American Association of Geographers, this RPP will collaborate on exploratory research to inform educational standards and tested approaches to help institutions understand the capacity they need to modernize geography education and to broaden the participation of underrepresented minorities in geo-computational curriculum. Building capacity for inclusive pathways in computational geography will increase the potential of all students to contribute to the national innovative ecosystem. This pilot will provide other regions or states the foundational knowledge to design, develop, and implement a strategy to modernize their pathways to computationally-intensive jobs and college majors.
The value and intelligence gained from geospatial innovations such as mobile Global Positioning System (GPS) is such that the geospatial services industry creates approximately 4 million direct jobs and generates 400 billion U.S. dollars globally in revenue per year. The recent democratization of manufacturing geospatial hardware is a sign that this industry continues to innovate and grow. More importantly, it will generate enormous volumes of geospatial data, which will be generated at even higher rates than we are already facing. The value of these spatial data, however, hinges on a workforce that is equipped with both computational thinking and spatial thinking. In 2015 the Government Accountability Office raised concerns that “throughout the country, K-12 students may not be acquiring adequate skills in and exposure to geography, which are needed to meet workforce needs in geospatial and other geography-related industries”. Graduates with a combination of training in geography and computational thinking is in even shorter supply, so employers across the public and private sectors are limited and forced to choose between hiring a geographer with limited or no computational skills, or a computer science graduate with limited or no expertise in geographic information. Main questions driving this research are: (1) What are barriers experienced by schools or departments to offer courses that involve geo-computational thinking? (2) What are barriers experienced by students at different levels to enroll or succeed in courses that involve geo-computational thinking? (3) What new skills are necessary to be productive in today’s geospatial technology industry? (4) What needs to be done to expand access to high-quality geo-computational education in K-12 schools? This RPP will initiate the design of a long-term mixed-methods approach combining surveys with qualitative data collection to allow other regions or states to design, develop, and implement geo-computational curriculum at all educational levels.
Equitable CS in NYC Schools
Equitable CS in NYC Schools
Equitable Computer Science Implementation in All New York City (NYC) Schools:
The Education Development Center (EDC) and the New York City (NYC) Department of Education (NYCDOE) propose a research-practice partnership (RPP) to enhance and study the implementation of Advanced Placement® Computer Science Principles (AP CSP) courses in low-performing NYC high schools. This partnership will build on the prior Beauty and Joy of Computing in New York City project, a partnership in which EDC and the University of California Berkeley created, tested, and refined the Beauty and Joy of Computing (BJC) high school AP CSP course. In that project, NYCDOE partnered with EDC and UCB to recruit and train more than 100 BJC teachers from a demographically representative set of NYC high schools. This new project focuses more intentionally on assisting low-performing NYC schools in implementing and sustaining engaging AP CSP courses.
The project team of New York City public school administrators and classroom teachers will collaborate with researchers, curriculum developers, and professional learning and support specialists with the goal of improving Black and Latino/a student participation, learning, and engagement in computer science (CS). Methodologically, a Design-Based Implementation Research (DBIR) approach will be employed to address three overarching research questions:
1.What organizational conditions, processes, and supports are associated with improved participation by Black and Latino/a students in CS, as measured by the diversity of students enrolling in CS courses?
2. What kinds of project-based instructional strategies, materials, and interventions are associated with improved student learning in UTeach CS Principles among Black and Latino/a students, as measured by student scores on projects according to standard project rubrics and unit and AP exam scores?
3. What kinds of non-cognitive approaches (e.g., teacher messaging, classroom routines, recruitment strategies, etc.) are associated with improved engagement and motivation by Black and Latino/a students in UTeach CS Principles and retention in CS based on enrollment in following CS courses?
This project will advance what is known about effective organizational conditions, as well as instructional interventions to promote participation, engagement, and learning across diverse groups of students, among Black and Latino/a students in particular.
EPCS-SD: Expanding Pathways into Computer Science Across South Dakota:
Black Hills State University (BHSU) proposes a project–Expanding Pathways into Computer Science across South Dakota (EPCS-SD)–that builds on a current pilot project, extending its reach to profoundly rural regions and under-served students throughout the state. The project will test and refine the pilot project’s professional development program, focusing on the nationally disseminated high school curriculum Exploring Computer Science (ECS), in a statewide setting. The program will be modified to support a more geographically distributed group of teachers, the curriculum will be enhanced with additional local relevance and cultural connections important to American Indian communities, and new student recruitment and family engagement strategies will be implemented.
The project will develop a Research Practitioner Partnership with a number of partners: teachers and administrators from 20 South Dakota schools; faculty from BHSU and South Dakota School of Mines and Technology; South Dakota GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs), a joint effort of BHSU and South Dakota’s Office of Indian Education; and a nonprofit, Technology and Innovation in Education. The research questions will evolve based on the needs of the practitioners but are expected to focus on the extent to which the PD program succeeds in equipping teachers to teach ECS effectively: To what degree does the suite of PD components–together with the ECS curriculum itself–build teacher confidence and competence in teaching computer science? and To what degree does participation in the ECS course influence student beliefs and attitudes?
Integrating the Computer Science and Computational Thinking in Three Rural Eastern North Carolina School Districts:
Rural youth and urban youth must be comparably well prepared to take their places on the global stage at both the high school graduate and higher education graduate levels. A large proportion of children are educated in rural school districts, in which district administrators may be challenged both to recruit and retain high quality teachers and to provide appropriate professional development for teachers. The interest and motivation for this project emerged from the rural school districts themselves, enhancing their stake in the future of their students, as opposed to imposing outside solutions. The project builds on the trust and relationships engendered by an existing Research Practitioner Partnership (RPP) to enable middle school students to benefit from the integration of specific computer science and computational skills into specific classes (art and music). The RPP will have the following objectives: (a) prepare and academically equip principals to lead the project, (b) prepare and academically equip teachers to integrate computer science and computational thinking into their subject content, © engage students in understanding the salience of computer science and computational thinking to their lives and careers, and (d) engage parents and caregivers in validating and sustaining the project. In order to attain these objectives, (a) principals will engage, on an approximately monthly basis, with ongoing professional development throughout the three years of the project that includes education, supervised practice, peer mentoring, and yearly 360-degree feedback on their learning-centered leadership, (b) teachers will similarly engage with ongoing professional development (both face-to-face and through completion of a massively open online course) and on-demand/continual instructional coaching throughout the school year, in addition to participating in approximately monthly ongoing guided peer review processes, © students’ understanding of computer science and computational thinking will be solicited and reviewed on a regular ongoing basis, and (d) parents and caregivers will be empowered through Community Learning Exchanges to share with teachers and students the ways in which they utilize computer science and computational thinking on an ongoing basis.
The project will advance knowledge of how to introduce an educational innovation in rural school districts. Through a combination of ongoing education of principals, teachers, and parents, the project team will research and develop an approach to enhancing students’ understanding of the salience of computer science and computational thinking to their lives and careers. The project will explore the overarching research question: To what extent can Computational Thinking (CT) and Computer Science (CS) principles be integrated by teachers and learned by students in non-core subject areas such as art and music? The project will assess students’ understanding of CT/CS, conduct instructional rounds and tuning protocols with teachers to assess the teachers’ implementation and effectiveness, assess principals’ learning-centered leadership, and assess the perceptions of all students, teachers, principals, and parents/caregivers on the efficacy of the program using Q-methodology.
Inclusive K-12 Computing Pathways
Inclusive K-12 Computing Pathways
Developing Inclusive K-12 Computing Pathways for the League of Innovative Schools:
Digital Promise Global will join with the League of Innovative Schools to design, investigate and improve inclusive computing pathways for K-12 students. Most states have enacted computer science mandates and many districts have started to integrate computer science and computational thinking into their curriculum. But districts face obstacles that result in low participation of underrepresented students. Building on its ongoing, long-term relationships with the 93 districts in 33 states serving more than 3 million students, the League of Innovative Schools has launched a Researcher-Practitioner Partnership to design coherent curricular progressions for computer science and computational thinking with an intentional emphasis on access and equity. Researchers join with three Core districts in the League of Innovative Schools to focus on districts’ Hispanic and African American students, Title 1 schools and, more generally, their girls and low-income students. These students need intentionally designed pathways and supports to increase their participation in computational thinking and computer science.
The project will address three research questions, each with a deliberate focus on access and equity. Due to the rapid expansion of computer science initiatives across states and districts, the outputs of this project – including (a) each district’s completed pathway and resources (addressing both the “why” and “how” for access and equity), (b) the research instruments and processes used to collect and analyze equity data in rapid cycles, and © case studies and recommendations on how to build computing pathways that address challenges of access and equity – are expected to be broadly useful. The project will directly serve 3 Core districts with 50,000 students (29% low income, 26% Black or Latinx). To increase broader impacts, this project will involve an additional 9 Knowledge Sharing districts (91,000 students 53% low income, 41% Black or Latinx). Results will be disseminated widely by engaging Digital Promise Global’s established practices and channels including short videos, social media, webinars, and workshops, with an established reach of over 4000 schools and 10,000 educators.
Integrate to Innovate
Integrate to Innovate
Integrate to Innovate: A Research-Practice Partnership to Integrate Computer Science into Maine Schools:
This project will co-design a researcher practitioner partnership (RPP) in the state of Maine consisting of academic and non-profit educational researchers, three rural school districts, and business partners. The RPP will focus on developing a vision for the types of professional development that will enable the effective integration of computer science education in rural, K-8 classrooms. By building on the needs and unique characteristics of rural communities, the RPP will form the foundation for a reform initiative that exposes K-8 students to relevant experiential and real-world applications of computer science. The researchers hope to empower students to see how computing is used in their communities and provide opportunities for them to recognize potential career opportunities available to them in rural America.
The primary research question asks how to support the integration of computer science into rural K-8 math and science instruction. To answer this, the RPP will work to do the following: 1) identify when and where computer science can be integrated with existing math and science standards; 2) identify professional development structures for scalable computer science learning; 3) develop models for rural states to establish RPPs that create professional development for computer science teaching, and; 4) leverage prior work to build a framework that provides equitable learning opportunities in computer science for rural students. An iterative, design-based research methodology will be used to study these questions and the development and growth of the RPP. In particular, interviews and surveys will be used to understand the progression of stakeholder’s thinking and actions as the RPP develops.
Next Door to Silicon Valley
Next Door to Silicon Valley
Next Door to Silicon Valley: A Researcher-Practitioner Partnership to Address Disparities in Access and Expectations for Computer Science Education:
This project is a collaboration between ETR, Santa Cruz City Schools, and the Santa Cruz Education Foundation. It will build a research-practitioner partnership to address the question: How do we reduce the disparity in students’ access to quality opportunities to learn computer science (CS) and computational thinking (CT) and ongoing support to persist in computer science?
The activities will include a teacher-lead CS Committee that will design a 3rd-8th grade CS progression, teacher professional development, a system to leverage parent and community resources and support to sustain CS education, and data collection and analysis to monitor learning progressions and systems change.
This work is part of a larger national movement to use research-practitioner partnerships as a model to foster the research and development needed to bring CS and CT to all students.
Read more about the project here.
Integrating Computing in STEM
Integrating Computing in STEM
Integrating computing in STEM: Designing, developing, and investigating a team-based professional development model for middle- and high-school teachers:
This project will explore how PD contexts (e.g., individual or team) and cultures (discipline, state) impact the quality and implementation of STEM curricula integrated with computing. The PD will be implemented and studied in three phases, with a particular focus on teacher outcomes, utilizing data obtained through administration of extant instrumentation, interviews, focus groups, video and audio recordings of classroom interactions, and analyses of artifacts. Members of the project team will design new integrated STEM+C curricula; develop standards crosswalks; map the curricula to standards; develop, test, and refine tools (including Snap! programming modules that will help students integrate complex computing and STEM content into creative projects); build and support a community of teachers integrating computing in STEM; and conduct a rigorous comparison study across two states (North Carolina and South Carolina), and PD types (individual and team). Standards crosswalks and project research will make explicit connections across state and national STEM standards, computing standards school curricula, and classroom contexts. An independent evaluator will assess: implementation; teachers’ reactions to professional learning; changes in teacher content knowledge as a result of professional learning, and implications for classroom instruction; and teachers’ attitudes and behaviors, and the extent to which teachers are adopting new computing pedagogies and activities. Learn more about PI Jennifer Albert here.
Participating in Literacies and CS
Participating in Literacies and CS
Participating in Literacies and Computer Science: A research-practice partnership to explore new computational literacies:
This project focuses on computational thinking and computer science education for emergent bilingual learners. The research will examine how emergent bilinguals and others participate in language and literacy use in and outside of school and use that knowledge to inform the development of computer science curricula. One component of the project extends existing curriculum development and learning research as emergent bilinguals learn computational thinking in courses designed to leverage their language use. The second component engages New York City educators, community groups, and adults in understanding how computing can be integrated into larger multilingual education initiatives in and outside of schools.
The research builds on a theory of social language use, known as translanguaging, to frame the design of curriculum and professional development materials. The central research question asks how translanguaging pedagogy can be used to integrate the literacy practices of multiple human languages, computer code, and school disciplines (e.g., science, language arts) in meaningful ways. Iterations of the curriculum and professional development design will study the ways that students use language to talk about computing in and outside of schools and how teachers learn with the professional development materials. Case studies of students and teachers working in and out of schools will be collected to illustrate the instructional units, how they involve computational thinking, and how language use unfolds as students work. The research will result in new models for 1) how translanguaging approaches can support emergent bilinguals and other students to learn computational literacies, 2) how computational literacy use outside of school can be connected to school-based practices, and 3) how professional development can be designed for teachers to infuse computational literacies into middle school curricula that support students with diverse language backgrounds.
Participation Barriers to CS
Participation Barriers to CS
Collaborative Research: Identifying Participation Barriers to Computer Science Education in Rural Mississippi:
The primary goal of the small strand, K-14 project “Collaborative Research: Identifying Participation Barriers to Computer Science Education in Rural Mississippi” is to develop a researcher-practitioner partnership (RPP) to identify barriers to participation in computer science education in high poverty, rural areas of Mississippi. In the past two years, a collaborative effort between the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) and Mississippi State University’s (MSU’s) Research and Curriculum Unit (RCU) implemented a statewide computer science pilot offered free of charge to K-12 schools. Entering the third year of the pilot, 74 of 148 school districts in the state are now offering computer science courses; however, it has been observed that districts situated in the most rural, highest poverty, and lowest income areas in the state (primarily the Delta region) are not participating in the opportunity to provide their teachers free computer science professional development and thereby offer students access to courses that would begin preparing them for jobs in a very high-demand, high-salary career. Through a RPP, issues and perceptions will be investigated to determine why these districts are not taking advantage of this opportunity to offer computer science education in the classrooms.
This collaborative project between MSU and Mississippi Valley State University (MVSU), a four-year institution of higher learning located in the Delta, will form a partnership with teachers, administrators, and counselors from six districts in the area surrounding MVSU, as well as the local community college, business owners, community leaders, and parents, to identify issues acting as barriers or constraints to computer science education opportunities. Identifying and addressing the root causes of the lack of participation in these types of demographic and geographic areas will give a voice to those who are most directly involved, while also transforming perceptions of computer science and broadening participation in the field based on contributions from more diverse groups, primarily African American teachers and students.
PiLaCS: Participating in Literacies and CS
PiLaCS: Participating in Literacies and CS
Leveraging Multilingualism to Support Computer Science Education through Translanguaging Pedagogies:
Expertise in technology is critical to our national economy and security, and is knowledge that all citizens need to meaningfully participate in our digital age. However, computer science education has failed to make progress at including women, minorities, people with disabilities, and people of low income in computing fields. In response, many states and federal agencies have joined an effort called CS for All to ensure all K-12 students have a chance to learn computer science concepts. In New York City, the city’s Department of Education (DOE) has committed to rolling out computer science learning opportunities to all schools. One barrier the district faces is how best to teach computer science to students who are learning English. Using an approach called translanguaging, this project is a partnership between city educators, researchers in computer science education, and researchers in language and literacy. Translanguaging is an approach that allows teachers to tailor their teaching to whatever language skills children bring to the table. There are reasons to suspect that some of the skills multilingual kids use to learn multiple languages may also be useful in helping them learn to program computers. This project will explore whether that is the case, and will develop and test approaches for bilingual educators to incorporate computer science concepts in their teaching.
This project begins a research-practice partnership between New York University, the City University of New York, and three NYC public middle schools serving predominantly low-income Latino/a students, many of whom are becoming bilingual. The project is structured around a design-based implementation research approach, which emphasizes shared problem definition, co-design between educators and researchers, field-based scaling friendly testing of interventions, and increasing capacity for partners to create sustainable change. The intellectual merit includes addressing three research questions: How, when and why do students translanguage as they learn computational thinking? How can teachers support and leverage students’ translanguaging in computer science education through curricular design and adaptation approaches based on translanguaging pedagogy and literate programming practices? And, are students’ translanguaging practices linked to learning processes or outcomes in computational thinking? The research methodology is a three iteration, design-based research study involving students in Science and English and Language Arts courses using primarily qualitative data sources including analysis of design narratives, classroom observation, and interviews and focus groups. The broader impacts of the project include linking research in literacy education and computer science education, which have not intersected much before; capacity building within the NYC DOE which will help guide New York City’s rollout of CS for All; and creating ways to support emergent bilinguals that do not rely on fixed curricula for speakers of particular languages, but rather on professional development that helps teachers create and adapt curricula to support students whatever their language backgrounds. The project will develop a draft toolkit for teacher professional development which leverages translanguaging pedagogy for integration of computational thinking topics in the middle grades. This toolkit will be available both in NYC and nationwide.
Professional Development for Accessibility
Professional Development for Accessibility
Preparing K-5 Teachers to Integrate the Computer Science Standards of Learning in Inclusive Classrooms to Support Students with High Incidence Disabilities:
Although there has been an increase in efforts to introduce computer science and computational thinking (CS/CT) into secondary schools, most initiatives have not been designed to develop related knowledge and skills necessary for elementary in-service teachers. This issue is particularly important as states begin to adopt CS standards for K-12 with little to no support for implementation of the standards. At the same time, students with the most common disabilities need to have opportunities to learn the content and practices outlined those CS standards. The project will address this problem by generating, working in partnership with a local school division, Norfolk City Public Schools, a usable, comprehensive, effective, and appealing model of professional development (PD) to support CS integration in elementary instruction for all learners, with an emphasis on supporting students with high-incidence disabilities. In developing PD for integration of CS standards in elementary grades and creating resources to support teachers in this integration, this project will work with more than 75 elementary teachers in the partner district. Of the nearly 10,000 current K-5th grade students in NCPS in any given year, these teachers will, conservatively, teach 1,500 students or 15% of the student population yearly. The PD model will also be extended into other school divisions in Virginia through its relationship with CodeVA. Finally, PD and research-partnership strategies will be disseminated through online resources (i.e., video library, online training modules), presentations at local and national conferences, and peer reviewed manuscripts.
Faculty from George Mason University and Old Dominion University created a Researcher Practitioner Partnership with personnel from Norfolk City Public Schools (NCPS) that will use a Design Based Implementation Research (DBIR) process to refine an effective PD model to support elementary teachers in inclusive classrooms in integrating recently-mandated CS standards into math, science, and literacy instruction in ways accessible to students with high-incidence disabilities (e.g. learning disabilities, emotional or behavioral disorders, mild intellectual disability, high functioning autism, and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder). Theoretically and conceptually, the research will contribute to pedagogical strategies and approaches for integrating computer science and understanding how elementary teachers understand CS standards and approach CS integration. The Universal Design for Learning instructional framework will guide the implementation team and partner educators to design instruction to meet the needs of all learners, including those with disabilities, by addressing barriers to learning. The research will examine CS sequencing through grade-appropriate progressions by drawing on the expert insights of elementary classroom teachers. The project will also develop disciplinary literacy through CS as students use various strategies to read, write, and communicate their understanding within and among various disciplines. Combined, these efforts will help answer the overarching question: How do multiple stakeholders collaboratively refine and develop effective and sustainable PD on the integration of computer science in K-5 inclusive classrooms to support students with high incidence disabilities? The project will collect data via interviews with teachers, field notes from observations, teacher assessment & survey results, verbal protocol data, teacher lesson plans, video data, and student work samples across 6-week iterative cycles as part of the DBIR process. Analysis of interviews, observations, lesson plans, and verbal protocol think-alouds in each cycle will rely on the constant-comparative qualitative method. Analysis of data from pre-post measures will include descriptive statistics and paired-sample t-test to measure the growth of teachers through the PD.
Programming for Problem Solving Visibility
Programming for Problem Solving Visibility
Programming as a Context for Making Problem Solving Visible: An Equity Focused K-5 Research Practice Partnership:
STEM domains have long provided productive contexts for problem solving research, a central learning objective in education for the 21st century. Problem solving and related constructs, such as critical thinking and computational thinking, are increasingly holding organizing power in the design and implementation of K-12 curriculum across educational domains. The Computer Science for All: Researcher-Practitioner Partnership (RPP) program is supporting this project, with an RPP team comprised of teachers, principals, researchers, professional development leaders, curriculum developers, and software engineers stretched across several institutions in Los Angeles, including three elementary public and charter schools, the University of California, Los Angeles, and a non-profit community learning center that develops CS curriculum and software. This project focuses on how to effectively teach problem solving practices in 3rd - 4th grade computer science classes, namely on how to build students’ capacities to articulate their problem-solving process, understand how different strategies advance problem solving, and develop and enact new strategies for problem solving. The RPP will seed this problem solving process with 3rd and 4th graders traditionally marginalized in urban environments by designing CS lessons that promote sustained, rigorous, and collaborative reflection on problem-solving processes. This work will generate lesson templates and research findings valuable to educators interested in the intersection of problem solving and computer programming, and set the stage for larger scale research-practice partnership initiatives.
The RPP’s approach will address a critical research need to understand how young students think about and pursue problem solving with code in the context of whole- and small-group classroom discourse, focused around facets of problem solving synthesized from the wider research literature: problem exploration, goal setting, implementation, monitoring, and reflection. The project team of curriculum designers, researchers, and practitioners will be informed by multiple data sources: observations of classroom practice, teacher interviews, designer interviews, school leader interviews, and bi-monthly student surveys. They will use a blend of design methodologies, agile development and design-research conjecture mapping, to iteratively and pragmatically aim to foster rich classroom discourse on CS problem solving processes.
LTEC: Learning Trajectories for Integrating K-5 Computer Science and Mathematics:
The STEM+Computing Partnership (STEM+C) program seeks to advance multidisciplinary integration of computing in STEM teaching and learning through applied research and development across one or more domains. The goal of this project is to define the concepts and skills needed for computer science education. The project integrates the knowledge and skills for computer science with mathematics learning goals. This project presents a unique opportunity to integrate such practices with an existing, well-supported and well-designed elementary mathematics curriculum. This addresses the practical needs of schools and teachers in terms of time constraints. The concepts will be organized into a learning trajectory for K-5 computer science and mathematics that examines areas of overlap such as abstract thinking. This project will synthesize prior work in the field and use assessments of students’ work with computational thinking and mathematics activities in targeted concepts to develop a framework for understanding students’ learning. The project also includes piloting activities connected to the learning trajectory to integrate mathematics and computational thinking practices and concepts.
The research plan begins with a literature review to understand the major goals of existing computer science materials and findings from research on teaching and learning in the early elementary grades. The review will identify points of compatibility for mathematics and computer science in elementary settings and build possible learning trajectories with accompanying learning materials. Learning module design includes participation from elementary teachers at the school sites. Selected learning trajectories will then be tested in classrooms with integrated mathematics and computational thinking activities and lessons. Classroom observations, teacher interviews, measures of students’ knowledge, and surveys of attitudes about computer science will be used to support the learning trajectory design and analysis.
Researching Equity, Access, & Learning in CS Education (REAL-CS): Scaling and Sustainability in High School Computer Science:
The University of California Los Angeles, in collaboration with the University of Oregon, is working to assure that equity remains central to the growing Exploring Computer Science (ECS) program and larger CSforAll movement. Over the last five years, broadening participation in computing efforts have ignited a national movement to bring computer science (CS) education to schools across the U.S. As school districts and entire states rush to get CS teachers and curricula in place, it is critically important to retain the focus on equity.
This project – Researching Equity, Access, & Learning in CS Education (REAL-CS) – has three principal strands of work, each guided by an overarching research agenda that focuses on the experiences and perspectives of students, teachers, and grassroots and policy makers across varied settings. The three strands are:
(1) ECS Program Support, Outreach, and Research Nationwide which will continue to scale the ECS program, increasing the number and capacity of inquiry and equity-based ECS teachers, and deepening the learning and collaboration between ECS projects in varied settings.
(2) Sustaining and Building Capacity for Computer Science Education Through Public Engagement which will support active public engagement from the grassroots, such as parent organizations, to policy and governing bodies that have jurisdiction over issues of issues of equity and CS education.
(3) CS Educational Equity Research which will do qualitative research (interviews, classroom observations, focus groups) across a set of different educational contexts (e.g., urban vs. rural classrooms) and CSforAll professional development opportunities in order to document the impacts of recent CS reform efforts on broadening participation. The engagement, learning, and sense of belonging (or not) of students of color and females – groups traditionally marginalized by the CS field – will be given special emphasis.
Using an RPP approach to developing a shared evaluation and research agenda for CS for All RPP:
Using a Research-Practitioner Partnership approach to developing a shared evaluation and research agenda for CSforALL: RPPforCS is a National Science Foundation funded project to create a connected community of practice to explore computer science education.
Read more here.
SCALE-CA Supporting Computing Access, Leadership, and Equity in California:
The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) proposes a project, called Supporting Computing Access, Leadership, and Equity in California (SCALE-CS), that will create a Networked Improvement Community (NIC) to scale teacher professional development, build the capacity of education leaders for local implementation, and contribute to the research base on expanding equity-minded computer science (CS) teaching and learning opportunities across the state. California is the sixth largest economy in the world and a “majority minority” state with over 60% of its six million public school students identifying as students of color. The state’s size and diversity require a systemic approach to increasing CS opportunities for low-income students, LatinX, African American and Native American students, English language learners, and students with special needs. The focus of this project is to build leadership capacity to ensure that equity is kept at the core of CS education expansion efforts and those efforts involve interventions that are scalable and sustainable.
SCALE-CA will use a three-pronged strategy that includes interlocking interventions at the classroom, district and state levels. The NIC will collect data that supports continuous improvement of the following resources and activities:
1) Offer a prototype CSPDWeek for teachers, counselors, and administrators including equity-minded curricula and PD from Exploring Computer Science, Computer Science Principles, and Counselors4Computing that can be replicated and customized at the regional level.
2) Design and develop a state-wide district implementation toolkit and accompanying workshop for administrators to consider the equity implications of district-wide CS education implementation. This will include the co-design of equity indicators for implementation of CS education.
3) Collect evidence from the field that can be used to inform policy makers regarding statewide expansion that responds to the challenges of scalability, equity and long-term sustainability.
The NIC founding partners include 5 local education agencies (LEAs) representing the demographics, geography and size of California’s diverse school system – Sacramento, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Riverside, and Compton – along with the Alliance for California Computing Education for Students and Schools (ACCESS, which serves as the backbone organization for CSforCA), UCLA researchers and American Institutes for Research (AIR). The NIC will expand to include 5 additional districts relatively new to CS education who will be mentored by the founding 5 districts, potentially reaching a total of 650,000 high school students. The LEAs will engage with SCALE-CA over a four year period learning and sharing data-driven practices while collaboratively addressing challenges of broadening participation in computing such as teacher preparation and support, credentialing, developing college and career pathways, and funding.
Schoolwide: Collaborative Research: Using a School-Based Sensing Platform and Targeted Teacher Professional Development to Support Computational Thinking Integration and Student Learning:
The collaborative effort will follow three high-level theoretically principled conjectures that will guide the research and development process: (1) Learning experiences that utilize the sensing platform to investigate phenomena relevant to students’ lives will engage diverse learners in CT; (2) Learning experiences that deeply integrate CT practices and science and engineering practices will support students to develop robust CT skills, competencies, and dispositions as well as deepen their understanding of STEM subjects; and (3) An adapted version of the Problem-Solving Cycle can support teachers to productively integrate CT into their STEM instructional planning and classroom implementation. The four sets of research questions of the project are: (1) In what ways, and for which student populations, do the SchoolWide Labs learning experiences deepen interest and engagement in CT?; (2) Which learning experiences are most effective at deepening students’ disciplinary science knowledge?; (3) To what degree and in what ways do teachers’ planned and enacted sensor-based lessons change over time? Are there differences across teachers and science content areas?; and (4) What professional learning processes and tools support teachers to productively integrate CT using a sensing platform into their disciplinary STEM instruction? The pursued research and development activity will study the full trajectory of teachers’ CT integration processes, from lesson planning to lesson enactment. Consistent with the principles of Design-Based Implementation Research, the project will aim to understand implementation variation across disciplines of STEM, with the intention of developing understanding of how best to make the innovation work across a range of carefully sampled contexts. Denver Public Schools will recruit 12 middle school science and integrated STEM teachers (life, Earth, and physical science), organized into 3-4 school-based teams, reaching 2,400 diverse and predominantly low-socioeconomic status middle school learners over the project performance period. Data will be collected from students (surveys, interviews, clickstreams, assessments, and project artifacts); classroom lessons (written plans and videotaped observations); teachers (interviews); and professional development workshops. For analysis of student learning and also for teacher change over time, the project will employ appropriate multilevel models, including two-level hierarchical linear modeling due to the nested nature of the data. A power analysis (using a power level of .80 and an alpha-level of .05) was conducted to determine how many students are needed to detect an educationally meaningful effect of the program (minimum detectable effect size of approximately 0.20). The results of the power analyses showed the study is adequately powered to detect this minimum effect on student-level outcomes. Utah State University will lead the evaluation component of this effort, including formative, iterative, and summative perspectives. It will center on both processes and products. The evaluation questions are: (1) To what extent is the Research-Practice Partnership (RPP) producing research results to foster educational improvement?; How effective are the implementation strategies in terms of addressing a concrete educational need?; (2) To what extent are Design-Based Implementation Research processes involving key participants?; What are impacts of the design processes on beliefs and practices of participants?; Are all participants in the RPP assuming their defined roles effectively?; (3) What are the consequences, intended or not, resulting from the dynamics of the partnership?; (4) Are products being iteratively refined by taking into account feedback from all participants?; and (5) To what extent are the project’s products disseminated in ways that help practitioners? The project will generate two toolkits as products to support teacher professional development and classroom instruction. The research will advance theory and knowledge on productive integration processes by studying the types of support STEM teachers need to effectively integrate CT into learning activities that: (a) support equitable engagement of diverse students; and (b) use CT as a vehicle to deepen their students’ science knowledge. Further, it will build on and extend research-based principles of three dimensional science learning described in the recently published science education framework (NRC, 2012) as a strategy for productive integration, and contribute to theoretical literature on pedagogical design capacity, curriculum adaptation, and teacher professional learning.
ScratchEncore: Equity via a Flexible, Culturally-Relevant Advanced Scratch Curriculum for Upper Elementary Diverse Students and Teachers:
The University of Chicago, in collaboration with the Chicago Public Schools (CPS), is providing an actionable and empirically-grounded answer to the question: Can we create create advanced 4th to 6th grade Computer Science (CS) instructional materials that give equal value to improving equity and student learning outcomes? While there are solid introductory CS curricula for grades 4-6, more advanced materials are either commercial offerings that are expensive, or free, ad-hoc activities that require experienced teachers. This disproportionately hurts learners in under-resourced schools that often serve underrepresented minority students. Instructional materials that advance equity cannot be designed for content and engagement alone, but instead must be vehicles through which solutions to practical barriers to equity can be mitigated. This research practitioner partnership is designing, developing, and evaluating advanced Scratch-based CS instructional materials for upper elementary students through a process that attends to practical barriers to equity.
The Researcher-Practitioner Partnership (RPP) uses a process that includes close collaboration between practitioners and researchers, studying existing introductory experiences, involving diverse stakeholders in content design, and providing a learning path for teachers with varying experience and professional development. It will result in instructional materials, increase teacher and student capacity in computing, and provide a blueprint for developing future equity-focused materials. More specifically, this project is: (1) Exploring the current state of computer science instruction in elementary school classrooms, including currently available classroom materials and teacher and student outcomes; (2) Developing a process to manage the complex tradeoffs involved in creating Scratch Encore, an equity-focused, customizable set of advanced elementary CS instructional materials designed to support students historically underrepresented in computing, their teachers, and their schools; and (3) Researching the outcomes of Scratch Encore with respect to equity goals, including student learning and affective outcomes, teacher learning and affective outcomes, and the growth of the researcher-practitioner collaboration. The outcomes of this project will include a validated set of advanced CS instructional materials designed to broaden participation in computing.
The Beauty and Joy Computing
The Beauty and Joy Computing
Pairing Atlanta High School Teachers with HBCU Computer Science Students to Train Them on AP Computer Science Principles:
Morehouse College proposes to explore outcomes of a novel teacher professional development (PD) program that prepares in-service high school teachers to teach the Advance Placement Computer Science Principles (AP CSP) course, the Beauty and Joy of Computing (BJC), with support from undergraduate computer science (CS) majors. The work leverages longstanding relationships between members of the Atlanta University Center Consortium (Morehouse College, Spelman College, and Clark Atlanta University), and the Atlanta Public Schools (APS). APS predominantly serves and employs African American and other minority students and teachers. Likewise, the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) of the Atlanta University Center primarily serve minority undergraduate students. Through this unique model, minority in-service, high school teachers will receive BJC professional development and support from minority undergraduate CS students in teaching their majority-minority AP CSP classes. The undergraduates will serve both as teaching assistants for the new CS teachers and as role models for the students. In turn, minority APS students will receive rigorous CS instruction made relevant and contextualized within their culture.
This project will study the effects of in-person undergraduate teaching assistants during PD for and implementation of the BJC curriculum within minority populations. It will examine the outcomes of these teaching assistant/teacher relationships, examining changes in teachers’ CS content knowledge, understanding of careers in computing, confidence in teaching CS, and success in recruiting and retaining students of color. Likewise, it will examine effects on the undergraduate student teaching assistants in terms of ability to provide instructional support, levels of civic engagement, CS content knowledge, and professional identity.
Developing board games and learning materials to support 5th grade students’ connected learning around computational thinking and coding:
The nation is seeking ways to engage more students, particularly girls, in computer science and computational thinking (CS/CT) in schools. Current models often focus primarily on students working with computers at earlier ages and teachers as the primary instructor. This project presents an alternative model that allows for schools and districts to implement CS/CT education for all students, particularly girls, by focusing on “unplugged” gameplay in school libraries as a foundation for CS/CT lessons with computers in classrooms. The objectives of this project are to iteratively codesign, develop, and pilot instructional materials and sequences that deeply integrate CS/CT using board games and coding into upper elementary school classrooms in ways that specifically broaden participation, especially from girls. A unique feature of the approach is that while the project will focus on 5th grade classrooms and practicing teachers, the team will also mobilize a critical but often under-appreciated resource within the district: the school library and its librarians. The partnership between Utah State University and Cache County School District will involve developing custom computer science board games. Students will play these games in the school library and have synthesis lessons when they return to class to build upon the computational ideas encountered. The tabletop games will be in the library for students to play before and after school as well as during recesses; they will also be available for checkout for students to take home. The project team will also build digital versions of the board games that students will then revise, remix, and share using block-based coding in Scratch. This will enable students to further collaboratively explore, build upon, and code CT ideas first foregrounded and experienced in the board game. This project will also yield design principles related to tabletop board games for computer science, classroom and school library collaborations, and how coding skills can be better developed through encounters with both unplugged and screen-based media. Results of the project will include a model of how a lower threshold form of computer science education can be successfully enacted at the elementary school level coupled with evidence on how it impacts student learning and interest. More generally, findings will contribute to a wide range of efforts intended to bring more girls into computer science. It raises awareness of the many design and collaboration activities that researchers can pursue with respect to a new model of unplugged computing with librarians who play key roles in their schools.
The project builds upon the field’s growing understanding of how gameplay experiences that go beyond the screen can be utilized in service of computer science education. The two years of design and research partnership to build tabletop board games, curriculum materials, and digital instantiations will advance knowledge about the effective design of resources for computer science education. It also utilizes school libraries and organic tabletop gameplay activities that are popular among youth in those spaces, thus drawing upon existing youth interests and the expertise and skill of educational professionals who are often overlooked in discussions about new curricula. The games will emphasize computational concepts such as algorithmic thinking, sequences, loops, decomposition, and iteration foundational aspects of computational thinking. Research questions that have been jointly developed and will be addressed throughout this project include examining how transitioning from tabletops to screens 1) can be effectively implemented by school librarians and classroom teachers in ways that support classroom activities around computational thinking and coding, and 2) can increase interest in and learning of coding and computer science for elementary students, especially girls. The project will collect data including: (1) transcripts and audio or video recordings of clinical interviews, interviews, focus groups, and game sessions; (2) surveys characterizing participant interest; and (3) observation notes of the game play. The project team will analyze the qualitative data using open and axial coding techniques to establish design scenarios and cases. The project will use regression models to understand changes in students’ interests, intrinsic and career, with gender as a potentially mediating covariate.
Urban Youth Participation in Computing
Urban Youth Participation in Computing
Increasing Urban Youth Participation in Computing through Mentorship and Coding Resources:
Engaging underrepresented and underserved students in computer science is an important goal for the development of the future workforce. The primary goal of this project is to create a sustainable ecosystem of young programmers (primarily middle school students), mentors, and teachers in the city of Newark, NJ. To achieve such an ecosystem, the project will: 1) Provide computing education to underrepresented and underserved middle school students; 2) Involve parents in and educate them about the importance of computational thinking and computing for their children’s education, career, and future life; 3) Develop and maintain mentor-mentee relationships in coding; 4) Teach practicing (and potential future) teachers introductory programming concepts and how to pass them on; and 5) Fully involve teachers in the research problem-solving cycle. To accomplish these tasks, the project will run 10-week Saturday programs for middle school students each semester at participating middle school campuses. Before the start of the program, the project will have a parents’ night at a local middle school to educate parents about the program, computing, and why their children should participate in the program. Each Saturday will consist of a 7-hour day, split into a morning session (building a website with HTML and CSS) and an afternoon session (learning text and block programming languages). Every other week, a guest speaker from the community will give a brief presentation of her/his career and how it was advanced by computing. Each class will have a minimum of one teacher from the middle school and a minimum of two university students who will co-teach the class and learn from each other. Once the students have finished their 10-week program, the project will invite them to join the Coding House of the Urban League of Essex County, a designated space in central Newark for local K-8 and university students to continue with their coding activities. Here, the students can learn from each other, work on projects, and develop mentor/mentee relationships. This research and development project has the potential to inform other communities about integrating computing education into their schools, involving parents, providing opportunities for practicing teachers to learn about computing topics, and giving university students practical teaching experience (who may also become interested in becoming alternate path K-8 teachers themselves). This project is supported by the Information Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers and Computer Science for All programs.
This research will contribute new insights into parental motivation/education, how to effectively train practicing teachers in computational thinking, how to facilitate the entry of university student co-teachers into the teaching profession (if they wish), and how to create an ecosystem to keep students engaged with programming through a community coding space. The project will address the following research questions: What are the specific needs of our community’s parents (or guardians), and how can the project assist them to help their children succeed? How can the project train practicing (and potential future) teachers in a non-invasive, safe environment? How can middle school teachers formulate pedagogical content knowledge targeted towards computing in the context of an equitable Research-Practice Partnership with the project team? How can the project provide and prepare accessible, relatable, and effective near-peer mentors and role-models who are knowledgable in computing to NJ middle school students? Data will primarily consist of: responses from questionnaires; written notes from Parents’ Night events, teacher interviews, and teacher observations; attendance records from Newark Kids Code’s participating middle schools; visitor logs from the Urban League (Parents’ Night events and Coding House participation); server logs from Gidget website and online repositories of Newark Kids Code Student Scratch and code.org projects. The project will use pre-post analysis and coding of qualitative data to describe the impacts of the interventions.
UTeach and NYC
UTeach and NYC
UTeach and NYC: A Design Research Partnership to Expand and Improve High School Computer Science Education for Underrepresented Urban Youth:
The University of Texas Austin (UT Austin) proposes a research-practitioner partnership (RPP) between and across six New York City public school districts to examine the degree to which co-design of curriculum, instructional practices, and teacher supports can build organizational capacity to support equitable computer science (CS) teaching and learning as called for by the CSforAll national movement. The project builds on the prior work of the UTeach Computer Science Program) which included creation of the UTeach CS Principle course and associated teacher professional development (PD). This work focuses on remaining questions about the organizational conditions and instructional practices that encourage broad student participation in CS, looking at underrepresented urban youth in particular.
The project team of New York City public school administrators and classroom teachers will collaborate with researchers, curriculum developers, and professional learning and support specialists with the goal of improving Black and Latino/a student participation, learning, and engagement in CS. Methodologically, a Design-Based Implementation Research (DBIR) approach will be employed to address three overarching research questions:
1. What organizational conditions, processes, and supports are associated with improved participation by Black and Latino/a students in CS, as measured by the diversity of students enrolling in CS courses?
2. What kinds of project-based instructional strategies, materials, and interventions are associated with improved student learning in UTeach CS Principles among Black and Latino/a students, as measured by student scores on projects according to standard project rubrics and unit and Advanced Placement (AP) exam scores?
3. What kinds of non-cognitive approaches (e.g., teacher messaging, classroom routines, recruitment strategies, etc.) are associated with improved engagement and motivation by Black and Latino/a students in UTeach CS Principles and retention in CS based on enrollment in following CS courses?
This project will advance will contribute to knowledge about effective organizational conditions, as well as instructional interventions to promote participation, engagement, and learning across diverse groups of students in AP CS Principles, the professional learning and support necessary to prepare teachers with diverse content backgrounds to teach CS, and the strategies employed to address problems of practice through collaborative, iterative design.