What Does Exploring Computer Science (ECS) Teaching Pedagogy Look Like in the Classroom?
For the past several years we have conducted intensive mixed-methods research to understand which teaching practices exist in ECS classrooms. We are looking for practices that prior educational research has identified as being equitable and effective for rigorous and active learning for all students (Darling-Hammond, 2008; National Research Council, 2000). In 2011-12, we conducted 219 weekly observations in nine Los Angeles Unified School District ECS classrooms. Through this ethnographic field research, along with several years of pre- and post-student surveys, teacher surveys, and student/teacher interviews as data sources, we have identified three strands of computer science pedagogy critical for supporting broadening participation in computing. The three strands are:
- Computer Science Content
- Inquiry Practices
- Equity Practices
It is important to note that these strands are interwoven and inseparable, and that no strand can exist alone. The actual classroom integration of these disciplinary practices relies on the pedagogical braiding of content, inquiry, and equity-based teaching practices.
This online report offers a brief summary of key findings from our research. A fuller description of these findings—including observation vignettes, survey, and interview quotes—will appear in future publications that are currently in progress. When these articles are finalized for publication, they will appear on our Research & Publications page.
Click on the questions to read the findings.
What computer science content is being taught in ECS classrooms?
What does inquiry-based teaching look like in ECS classrooms?
What does equity-based teaching look like in ECS classrooms?
What were the most common teacher practices observed in ECS classrooms?
What were the least common teacher practices observed in ECS classrooms?
In what critical ways did teachers’ practices vary across classrooms?
What did ECS teachers report to be supportive of their inquiry- and equity-based teaching practices?
Discussion Points & Implications
Anderson, L.W. & Krathwohl, D.R. (Eds.). 2001. A Taxonomy for Learning, Teaching, and Assessing: A Revision of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon, Pearson Education Group
Bloom, B.S. & Krathwohl, D.R. (1956). Taxonomy of Educational Objectives: The Classification of Educational Goals, by a committee of college and university examiners. Handbook I: Cognitive Domain. NY: Longmans, Green.
Darling-Hammond, L . (2008). Powerful Learning: What we know about teaching for understanding. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Margolis, J., Estrella, R., Goode, J., Holme, J., & Nao, K. (2008). Stuck in the Shallow End: Education, Race, and Computing. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
National Research Council. (2000). Inquiry and the National Science Education Standards: A guide for teaching and learning. Washington, DC.: National Academies Press.
Seago, N. (2007). Fidelity and adaptation of professional development materials: Can they co-exist? NCSM Journal, 9(2), 16-25.
SUGGESTED CITATION FOR THIS STUDY:
Ryoo, J.J., Margolis, J., Goode, J., Lee, C., Moreno Sandoval, C.D. (2014). ECS Teacher Practices Research Findings—In Brief. Los Angeles, CA: Exploring Computer Science Project, University of California, Los Angeles Center X with University of Oregon, Eugene. Retrieved [DATE], from http://www.exploringcs.org/ecs-teacher-practices-research.
We are grateful for the important contributions of Gail Chapman, David Bernier, and Kevin Binning to this research project. We also want to thank John Landa, Solomon Russell, and Suzanne Schaefer for their work with the ECS coaching program. Finally, we want to express great gratitude for all of the ECS teachers and students for their tireless effort, openness to change, hunger to learn, and dedication to broadening participation in computing.
March 4, 2014