by Lauren Teeple
There is a large gap between the number of boys and girls and the number of minorities that take part in learning computer science. The author of this article states that getting them into the programs is easy, but convincing them to continue learning is difficult. As a minority or a female taking part in computer science classes, there aren’t enough others that look like you for you to be comfortable and confident enough to continue. They look at the group and feel that they aren’t welcome or that they don’t belong. If these students score poorly on a test or project, they take it as a personal offence and justification whereas the majority will often blame a “bad day” or “The teacher made it too hard”. Because of this issue, the article list out steps that teachers can take to help these students who are in the classroom.
The first step is “Create a warm climate that encourages a growth mindset”. This means that the teacher should let the students know that they are proud of their work and enjoy teaching their class. This also means de-stigmatizing failure. A part of computer science is troubleshooting incorrect coding; it shouldn’t be seen as failure.
Second, “Help students find meaning with the work”. As a teacher you need to let the students know that what they are doing is important. Help them understand that their work could have an impact on their lives or even their community in the future.
The third is“Examine bias and representation in class materials”. This means that the teacher needs to watch the pronouns they use and what type of graphics they use in the classroom. Find images that have girls and minorities in it, not just males.
The last step is to “Examine your own bias”. Let it show through your actions that computer science means more than what their DNA is. Watch what you say to make sure you are encouraging to everyone. Overall, just be mindful toward your students and encourage everyone to be the best that they can be.Because computer science and technology is being introduced at a younger age, the adults in the children’s lives need to be encouraging through their journey of learning.Spark their interest young and always believe they can do it. As teachers, we need to be mindful of our bias’ and make sure that we are not hindering any of our children’s interest, especially towards technology.
Today’s guest blogger is Lauren Teeple
“I am a Junior at Towson University and will be starting my teaching internship as an Early Childhood Education Major in Baltimore City starting Spring 2017.”
The poster above in downloadable pdf form: code-poster