CAFÉCS computer science teaching assistant program.

May 2019


Mark Johnson

The Learning Partnership

Faythe Brannon

Chicago Public Schools

Dr. Lucia Dettori

DePaul University

Ronald I. Greenberg

Loyola University Chicago

Steven McGee

The Learning Partnership

Andrew M. Rasmussen

Chicago Public Schools

Don Yanek

Chicago Public Schools

The CS4All Teaching Assistant Program is a key strategy for supporting the enactment of Chicago Public Schools’ (CPS) high school computer science graduation requirement. The Exploring Computer Science (ECS) curriculum and professional development serve as a foundation for the implementation of this recent change in policy. The ECS professional development is designed to prepare teachers to implement the inquiry-based activities and guide them to build a classroom culture that is inclusive of all students. Given the rapid expansion of ECS within the district, a challenge has been finding enough teachers with a background in computer science. The Chicago Alliance for Equity in Computer Science (CAFECS) is a researcher-practitioner partnership that formalized in 2017 to support CPS in providing a high-quality computer science course to all students. Through CAFECS, the CS4All Teaching Assistant Program supplements the ECS professional development by providing additional classroom support for computer science teachers. Students from DePaul University and Loyola University, mostly computer science majors, learn about ECS and computer science education in CPS before serving as teaching assistants. The teaching assistants support CPS teachers in becoming familiar with computer science concepts, while also enriching CPS students’ experiences in the classroom.

Suggested Citation

Mark Johnson, Faythe Brannon, Lucia Dettori, Ronald Greenberg, Steven McGee, Andrew Rasmussen, and Don Yanek. CAFÉCS computer science teaching assistant program. 2019 STEM for All Video Showcase,, May 2019.