Replicating `Exploring Computer Science’ (ECS)

March 2012


Gail Chapman

University of California

Dr. Dale F. Reed

University of Illinois Chicago

Don Yanek

Chicago Public Schools

Exploring Computer Science (ECS) is engaging, hands-on high school curriculum and associated professional development that is being implemented at a systemic level in the Los Angeles Unified School District and is now being replicated in Chicago Public Schools and elsewhere. Unlike many introductory CS courses that are mostly programming, the ECS curriculum paired with the required professional development (PD) equips teachers and school districts for successful guided inquiry experiences across the breadth of CS for every student. Over 85 teachers across the country experienced this PD during the summer of 2012. The key to success in Chicago has been establishing an active partnership. Connections to area public and private high school teachers were initiated through the 120-member Chicago CSTA. This active partnership connects Chicago and Los Angeles (UCLA), multiple Chicago universities (DePaul, UIC, Loyola) and Chicago Public Schools administrators. This model for replication is being explored in other states. This session is designed for high school teachers and university faculty currently partnering in implementing ECS, as well as those wanting to replicate ECS in their own cities. We’ll begin with a brief activity coupled with small group discussion to give a very brief taste of ECS. This will be followed by discussion of what is special about this guided-inquiry curriculum as well as strategies for replication. The ECS course is a natural precursor to the proposed new AP CS Principles course.

Suggested Citation

Gail Chapman, Dale Reed, and Don Yanek. Replicating `Exploring Computer Science' (ECS). 43rd SIGCSE Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education Birds-of-a-Feather session, March 2012. Denver, CO.