Understanding and Supporting District Systems Change Around Computer Science Education

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dc.contributor.author Burke, Quinn
dc.contributor.author Roschelle, Jeremy
dc.contributor.author Ruiz, Pati
dc.contributor.author Weisgrau, Josh
dc.date.accessioned 2021-09-24T17:25:49Z
dc.date.available 2021-09-24T17:25:49Z
dc.date.issued 2021-04
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12265/129
dc.description.abstract Forty states have undertaken recent initiatives to expand access to computer science, including the development of comprehensive K-12 computing standards (Code.org, 2019). Yet while standards represent a necessary scaffold for states to support implementation, ultimately the challenge of a tailored computing agenda (Burke et al., 2020; Coburn, Hill, & Spillane, 2016) falls to the individual districts themselves. Given the wider history of inequitable K-12 computing opportunities (Margolis, Goode, & Ryoo, 2015), districts are faced with the challenges of (i) ensuring equitable student access to high-quality CS content, (ii) developing integrated systems for teacher development and instructional feedback, and (iii) articulating coherent curricular learning progressions across grade levels. The “State of the States Landscape” report (Stanton et al., 2017) reveals that although the majority of U.S. states have CS standards, districts must promptly tackle these challenges to foster genuinely equitable programs. This study examines the development of equitable pathways in three unique school districts: Iowa City Community School District (IA), a college-town district serving 14,000 students which is rapidly becoming more urban and diverse and seeks to increase participation among English language learner students; Indian Prairie School District (IL) a suburban district west of Chicago, serving 28,000 students and committed to improve achievement for students from low income families; Talladega County Schools (AL), a rural school district of 7,500 students in the central part of the state, with a focus on increasing participation among females. This three-year study investigates the why, what, and how of developing a comprehensive K-12 computing pathway. First, in terms of why, to what extent has each district been able to identify and articulate a unified vision for CS education? To what extent does this vision correspond to existing district resources, as well as adhere to their stated commitment(s) to educational equity? Second, in terms of what, how does a district’s vision for K-12 computing help define what qualifies as computing and where it is to be integrated into schools? What are the computing competencies (i.e., using algorithms, computational modeling) each district identifies and to what degree have teachers been able to understand and value these competencies? Third and last, in terms of how, what is the process that each district adopts to translate these designated competencies into actual classroom practice? And how do they measure success in terms of student work, teacher feedback, and wider community engagement? At the close of our second year of research, participating districts have already addressed the first two elements of why? and what? They continue to address the third element of how? as they ramp up pilot coursework in select schools over year three, a challenge now compounded by the nationwide pandemic. Through teacher and administrative interviews and surveys, as well as wider feedback from district-specific chamber of commerce/ technology committees, this presentation will identify and compare the various rationales for equity-driven computing pathways, examine to what degree they help leadership teams articulate a district-wide framework, and how such a framework took hold within classrooms. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship NSF en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher AERA Annual Conference Proceedings en_US
dc.subject inclusive computing en_US
dc.subject district computing pathways en_US
dc.subject K-12 computing standards en_US
dc.subject systems change en_US
dc.title Understanding and Supporting District Systems Change Around Computer Science Education en_US
dc.type Presentation en_US


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