June 23, 2013
June 23, 2013
June 26, 2013
Computing & Information Technology
23.1132.1 - 23.1132.16
Tapestry Workshops: Helping High School CS Teachers Attract and Retain StudentsBackground: The National Science Foundation’s ongoing CS10K initiative aims to have 10,000teachers teaching computer science (CS) in 10,000 high schools by 2016. In 2011, the AdvancedPlacement Computer Science (AP-CS) exam was offered in 2677 high schools. Fewer than23,000 students took the AP CS-A exam in 2011 (compared with over 340,000 who took an APCalculus exam). Except for Physics-E&M, the AP-CS exam has the fewest number of takers ofany science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) AP exam. In addition, the AP-CS exam has the worst gender balance of any AP exam given by the College Board with womencomprising only 19% of the test takers. The College Board, National Science Foundation, andComputer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) are working together both to create a new AP-CS curriculum and exam, and to promote a new Exploring Computer Science curriculum. Bothof these initiatives are designed to help teachers present computing in a more accessible format.The Tapestry Workshop Project: The Tapestry Workshops were created as an effort to expandhigh school computer science by helping teachers inspire diverse students to learn computerscience. The Tapestry workshops are offered during the summer to high school computer scienceteachers and other educators (e.g., principals and math teachers) who want to initiate or expandcomputer science instruction in their schools. Built on a successful model developed at theUniversity of Virginia, Tapestry Workshops have been offered at seven additional universitiesover the past two summers. During Tapestry Workshops, teachers learn effective pedagogicalpractices for teaching computer science to all students. In addition to pedagogy, teachers areintroduced to recruiting strategies that encourage students, particularly women and minorities, totake computer science classes. Teachers are also presented with information that they can use toencourage their schools and school districts to offer high quality computer science at the AP andpre-AP levels.In this paper, we discuss how Tapestry workshops are organized; the materials that are presentedin the workshops; the partnership with CS departments at higher education institutions aroundthe country to offer Tapestry workshops; and results from our ongoing evaluation of the Tapestryworkshop projects. Our evaluation results have shown that teachers leave the workshop feelingenergized and excited about teaching computer science. Over 95% of attendees strongly agreethat they would recommend the workshops to a colleague in a post-workshop survey. Mostindicate that they will change their pedagogical practices to be more engaging and inclusive;follow-up surveys show that almost all attendees now actively recruit new students to theircomputer science classes.
Cohoon, J. P., & Cohoon, J. M., & Tychonievich, L. A., & Brawner, C. E. (2013, June), Tapestry Workshops: Helping High School Teachers Grow and Diversify Computing Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. https://peer.asee.org/22517
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