Standardizing Facilitator Development for Exploring Computer Science Professional Development

February 2019


Steven McGee

The Learning Partnership

John Wachen

The Learning Partnership

Lucia Dettori

Chicago Public Schools

Don Yanek

Chicago Public Schools

Faythe Brannon

Chicago Public Schools

Andrew M. Rasmussen

Chicago Public Schools

Dale F. Reed

University of Illinois at Chicago

Ronald I. Greenberg

Loyola University Chicago

A key strategy for broadening CS participation in the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) has been the enactment of a high school CS graduation requirement. The Exploring Computer Science (ECS) curriculum and professional development (PD) program serve as a core foundation for supporting enactment of this policy. The CAFECS researcher-practitioner partnership provides support for ECS implementation in CPS. An important part of the sustainability of the ECS PD model in CPS is the development of local workshop facilitators. Potential facilitators have generally been selected based on the CAFECS team’s personal familiarity with active ECS teachers. Once selected, teachers engage in a two-year apprenticeship program to become facilitators. However, in the three years since the enactment of the policy, the number of ECS teachers and students has grown significantly. This rapid expansion of the CS teaching force has strained the ability to confidently identify new facilitators from a large pool of teachers and ensure consistency of workshop implementation. As a result, CAFECS is exploring how to supplement the ECS Facilitator Development Model through a proactive recruitment model and explicit support for the mentoring process.

Suggested Citation

Steven McGee, John Wachen, Lucia Dettori, Don Yanek, Faythe Brannon, Andrew M. Rasmussen, Dale F. Reed, and Ronald I. Greenberg. Standardizing facilitator development for exploring computer science professional development. In 2019 Research on Equity and Sustained Participation in Engineering, Computing, and Technology (RESPECT), February 2019. Minneapolis, MN.