The Impact of Meaningful High School Computer Science Experiences in the Chicago Public Schools

August 2015


Lucia Dettori

DePaul University

Ronald I. Greenberg

Loyola University Chicago

Steven McGee

The Learning Partnership

Dale Reed

University of Illinois at Chicago

We report on initial outcomes of the Taste of Computing project, under which a meaningful computer science course has been initiated in many high schools of the Chicago Public Schools system. Surveys of students have shown that they attribute high value to the course and have experienced increases in their understanding and interest regarding the computing field. Data was also collected from teachers participating in professional development regarding their preparation and confidence in teaching the new course. We report on the strengths of various survey responses and their relationships, and we compare student responses by race and gender. The data provide a good basis for exploring the impact of meaningful computer science instruction on students from groups underrepresented in computing; of several hundred students surveyed, nearly half were female, and over half were Hispanic or African-American.

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Suggested Citation

Lucia Dettori, Ronald I. Greenberg, Steven McGee, and Dale Reed. The impact of meaningful high school computer science experiences in the Chicago Public Schools. In 2015 Research on Equity and Sustained Participation in Engineering, Computing, and Technology (RESPECT), August 2015. Charlotte, NC.