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Changing Perceptions of Who Can Code: A Professional Development Program for Career and Technical Education Teachers

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Conference

2019 CoNECD - The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity

Location

Crystal City, Virginia

Publication Date

April 14, 2019

Start Date

April 14, 2019

End Date

April 22, 2019

Conference Session

Track: Special Topic - Computing & Technology Technical Session I

Tagged Topics

Diversity and Special Topic: Computing & Technology

Page Count

23

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/31748

Download Count

3

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Paper Authors

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Mihaela Sabin University of New Hampshire Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-1315-5151

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Mihaela Sabin is Associate Professor of Computer Science at UNH Manchester, University of New Hampshire. Her research interests are in computing education, open source software, and constraint satisfaction. Sabin's service to the computing education professional community includes: founding member and University liaison for the Computer Science Teacher Association NH Chapter; coordinator of the Aspirations in Computing ME-NH-VT regional affiliate; vice-chair for education of the Executive Committee of the ACM SIGITE; and chair of the ACM/IEEE-CS task group for the Curriculum Guidelines for Undergraduate IT Programs Report (IT2017).

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Wendy DuBow University of Colorado

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Dr. Wendy DuBow is director of evaluation at the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) and affiliate faculty member in Women and Gender Studies at the University of Colorado. She conducts mixed methods social science research, creates practical print and multimedia resources, and evaluates the effectiveness of the various programs and materials NCWIT produces. Her research has explored the role of male advocates for gender diversity in the technology industry, the mechanisms of organizational change, and the circumstances that support female and minority persistence in computing.

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Adrienne Ann Smith Cynosure Consulting

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Dr. Adrienne Smith is a social scientist by training and an evaluator in practice with over ten years of experience leading evaluations in the areas of STEM education, collective impact, and teacher preparation. Adrienne started her evaluation career at top evaluation and policy organizations in North Carolina (Horizon Research and the Education Policy Initiative at Carolina) before founding Cynosure Consulting. Adrienne’s commitment to high-quality evaluation is born out of a personal desire to broaden participation of women and other underrepresented students, including students in rural areas and those who learn differently, in STEM education from pre-K through graduate studies. Her current work focuses on supporting and evaluating the construction of collaborative communities and building evaluation capacity within organizations and large-scale programs. In all efforts Adrienne works to (a) truly understand the purpose and needs for the evaluation or research undertaking, (b) develop feedback cycles that support continuous program improvement, (c) make implementation and impact data available and interpretable for program implementers, and (d) select the most rigorous, yet feasible analytic designs that are tailored to the unique needs of each program context. She has published in scholarly and practitioner-focused journals on topics including evaluation design, instrument validation, and the effectiveness of policy change. After graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.S. in Psychology Adrienne completed a Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction at UNC Greensboro. She taught third grade before returning to UNC Chapel Hill to complete a PhD in Education. In addition to her evaluation work Adrienne has worked on multiple research projects, taught doctoral- level research methods and statistic courses, and mentored undergraduate and graduate students.

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Rosabel Deloge Educational Consultant-Independent

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Retired Career & Technical Director now working as an Educational Consultant on several National Science Foundation grant projects focused on Computer Science. Chair of CS4NH - Computer Science for New Hampshire - in collaboration with NH Tech Alliance (Technology Business Assn.)

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Abstract

This paper reports the results of evaluating a broadening participation in computing initiative aimed at Career and Technical Education (CTE) secondary teachers and students. The five-year project provided professional development (PD) for CTE teachers across the state of XX , many of whom were not computer science or engineering teachers, and in fact, were in fields such as hospitality and photography. The PD introduced both computational thinking and programming basics through project-based learning and the use of App Inventor visual programming platform. PD activities stressed teaching practices that engage and challenge students, in particular girls, underrepresented minorities in urban areas, and students in underserved rural regions in the State. The PD also focused on pedagogies that value the importance of broadening participation in computing. Data collection of the PD evaluation study included student pre-post surveys, classroom and PD observations, pre-post teacher interviews, and follow-up-post teacher interviews. While there were modest gains in student confidence in computing, with girls in one cohort increasing confidence significantly more than boys, the greatest achievements of the project lay in the impact on teachers. The teachers learned new computing skills, gained confidence in computing, learned new pedagogical practices that they implemented in the classroom, and most continue to integrate project-based app development in their courses. Significantly, two teachers shifted their careers to focus on equity issues in computing and increasing participation of girls and other underrepresented groups in K-12 education. Lessons learned by the project team include using formative data to improve PD development, creating relationships and building trust with CTE program directors, and being responsive to teacher needs. The teacher interview data suggest that influencing a few individuals greatly can have a larger ripple effect. The data also suggest that including non-computing teachers in computing education PD can change hearts and minds about who can learn, teach, and code.

Sabin, M., & DuBow, W., & Smith, A. A., & Deloge, R. (2019, April), Changing Perceptions of Who Can Code: A Professional Development Program for Career and Technical Education Teachers Paper presented at 2019 CoNECD - The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity , Crystal City, Virginia. https://peer.asee.org/31748

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