What Features of the Exploring Computer Science Course Equitably Inspire Students to Pursue Further Computer Science Coursework?

(CS4All Validation)

October 2015

Researchers


Steven McGee

The Learning Partnership

Ronald I. Greenberg

Loyola University Chicago

Alan Mather

Chicago Public Schools

Brenda Wilkerson

Chicago Public Schools

This project identifies the factors of the Exploring Computer Science curriculum that affect students? future trajectory in computer science. Exploring Computer Science (ECS) is a curriculum and professional development program that was developed at UCLA, with NSF support, with the goal of broadening of participation of underrepresented groups in in computer science and establishing a national framework for public school computer science education. The ECS professional development program is designed to prepare teachers to implement the inquiry-based activities while guiding teachers to build a classroom culture that is inclusive of all students. This project investigates the extent to which the ECS curriculum and professional development program is achieving its basic outcome goal. This project addresses two research questions: (1) Does the quality of ECS implementation influence the probability that female and minority students will pursue and succeed in further computer science coursework in high school?; and (2) How do the components of ECS work together to contribute towards the probability that female and minority students will pursue and succeed in further computer science coursework in high school?

This project extends current research on the relationship between teaching practices, student perceptions of teaching practice, student aspirations, and actual course selection. It provides an empirical investigation of the underlying logic model of ECS. The research involves case studies in Chicago Public Schools that have participated in the ECS professional development program and are implementing ECS. The empirical evidence from this project will be used to make enhancements to the ECS curriculum and professional development program as well as provide validation of whether the ECS program is meeting its stated goal of contributing to broadening the participation of underrepresented groups in computer science. The NSF supported ECS curriculum is the largest national effort to establish secondary school level computer science education. This work contributes to a much larger national effort.

Citation

What Features of the Exploring Computer Science Course Equitably Inspire Students to Pursue Further Computer Science Coursework?. National Science Foundation, Oct 2015 – Sep 2018, $599,986. CNS-1543217 PI Steven McGee (The Learning Partnership); Co-PIs Ronald Greenberg (Loyola), Alan Mather (CPS), Former CPS Co-PI: Brenda Wilkerson.