CS-CaVE Major Goals
“Computer Science: Creating a Village for Educators” (CS-CaVE) aims to support and understand school districts’ strategies as they establish, grow, and sustain computer science education programs. CS-CaVE partners share the goal to broaden participation in CS to include more girls and women, underrepresented minorities, and low-income students. High school courses Computer Science Principles (CSP) and AP CSP serve as important vehicles for this work.
The effort to strengthen our regional professional learning community involves work at multiple levels. CS-CaVE provides professional development and ongoing support to master teachers within each of the three participating school districts. Master teachers train cadres of district teachers to teach high school CSP/AP CSP. Our village of CS educators is also creating new classes in middle schools, building learning pathways that lead to high school and beyond. CS-CaVE team members evaluate teacher and student participation and outcomes within each district. CS-CaVE team members also carefully study system-wide implementation processes through district interviews and observations, to better understand what helps and what hinders implementation and scaling of CS education in schools at a district level.
In summary, CS-CaVE explores how to create sustainable reform in CS education. While our district partners articulate and execute goals, university partners study how districts do their work. While documenting how our multi-level educational system responds to the demand for CS education programs, we also study how teachers and students experience new opportunities to learn computer science. With this knowledge, CS-CaVE partners respond to needs and opportunities internal to our educational system and rapidly adapt CS educational content in response to changes in computing. CS-CaVE—district-driven and university-supported—combines research and development to increase and diversify participation in computer science.
CS-CaVE Partners — Year One Accomplishments (January–December, 2015)
- Built a network of CS champions, connecting partner school districts and UC San Diego.
- Created and supported within-district CS advocacy groups to articulate district-wide goals and educational pathways for students, to cultivate and mobilize human and material resources, to coordinate efforts, and to advocate on behalf of student learning.
- Selected and trained master teachers in three partner school districts.
- Trained 71 teachers to teach CS using the ComPASS-developed CSP Expeditions through Alice curriculum and other resources.
- Evaluated teacher training, finding that teachers are gaining confidence and competence to teach CS, deepening their understanding of “computational thinking.” Additionally, the CS teacher corps is becoming more diverse.
- Expanded course offerings to 27 CSP classes in 19 high schools, and 18 new classes in 12 middle schools across three districts.
- Explored long-term strategies to sustain CS programs.
- Secured course approval for CS Principles through University of CA Doorways (addressing UC eligibility and graduation requirements).
- Secured course approval through district channels; working with department chairs from high schools, curriculum committees, and/or district boards of education.
- Secured appropriate hardware for CSP courses.
- Defined the types of online resources needed for teaching, learning, sharing, and growing CS programs.
- Connected students and teachers with industry professionals.
- Conducted interviews with 33 education professionals in the CS-CaVE partnership (including classroom teachers, master teachers, school administrators and district administrators) to discover what helps and what hinders CS educational reform, and how the University can best contribute to the partnership.
- Disseminated findings through publications and presentations.
CS-CaVE Partners — Year Two Goals (January–December, 2016)
- Plan for and implement expanded CS programs to include more schools.
- Define strategies for sustaining CS programs.
- Continue to broaden participation with a diversity of teachers and students.
- Document strategies (and their effectiveness) for recruitment of diverse students for different CS learning opportunities.
- Continue to develop and improve CS curriculum, course pathways, and additional supports.
- Work with higher education to better prepare high school students to matriculate to college with a technical skill base.
- Conduct evaluation (of outcomes) and research (on processes) at multiple levels: classroom, school-wide, and district.
- Share findings through publications and presentations.
CS-CaVE partners include the San Diego Supercomputer Center at UC San Diego (SDSC), UC San Diego’s Center for Research on Educational Equity, Assessment and Teaching Excellence (CREATE), the UC San Diego Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) Department, the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD), the Sweetwater Union High School District (SUHSD), and the Vista Unified School District (VUSD).