Coaching for Equity in Computer Science

Access to computer science in K12 education is critical for our society, where we rely on computing in our day-to-day lives. It is detrimental to have only 51% of all high schools in the United States offering computer science courses on a regular basis and less than 5% of all students learning CS.

Rural schools, urban schools, and schools with high percentages of economically disadvantaged students have a much harder time working CS into their offerings due to a lack of resources, including teachers who are comfortable teaching it. This program will work to coach high school teachers to support them in increasing the access and success of students in CS learning.

To continue to support the scaling of the CSforAll movement and implement critical systems change, the CS education community needs to turn attention to how best to support and scale coaching within schools as a means of ongoing support for CS teachers.

Two organizations, The National Center for Computer Science Education (NCCSE) and Code Savvy will be working in a joint effort to conduct these research and professional development sessions for educators across the country. Both organizations are pooling their expertise and networks into developing CS coach professional development and two coaching programs -- one for Minnesota High School teachers and schools, and one for AP CS teachers from across the country.

Both programs will use an instructional coaching model that includes summer professional development for coaches who will then mentor teachers over the academic year, using multiple coaching cycles to support and improve CS teaching. The coaching model is designed around the CSTA Standards for CS Teachers and focuses specifically on equitable teaching practices. These practices are woven throughout and will be central to the coaching process as coaches and teachers work to identify and meet the needs of historically marginalized students in CS courses.

“We’ve seen more and more schools offering CS courses, however, teachers often have only a week of summer professional development and limited support after the first year to learn an entirely new subject. Coaching is critical to help teachers improve their understanding of CS and how to teach it to reach all students.”

~Jennifer Rosato, National Center for Computer Science Education