The Equitable Computer
Science Curriculum Initiative

The Kapor Center's initiative focuses on improving equity in CS education through culturally relevant and responsive K-12 CS curriculum. To learn more join our ongoing webinar series.

The Problem

  • Computing jobs are among the fastest-growing and highest-paying occupations….yet Black, Latinx, Native American students and girls often lack access to the computer science courses to prepare them for a range of future careers.
  • In 2019, only 45% of high schools in the country offered computer science courses, and just 26% of the students enrolling in AP CS courses are Black, Latinx, or Native American/Alaskan Native and just 29% are girls.

The Solution

  • Research indicates that curriculum and pedagogy that leverage equity-focused, culturally relevant and responsive pedagogy, can improve outcomes of students across subject areas.

  • In computer science education, curriculum must draw upon students’ cultural knowledge, counteract stereotypes, build identity, and make meaningful connections to lived experiences and interests. This is especially important for students who have been traditionally underrepresented in computer science education–including students of color and girls.

  • To increase equity in K-12 computer science education, the field must ensure that all students, when provided access to courses, have the opportunity to engage meaningfully in rigorous AND relevant CS curriculum, moving them beyond exposure and towards engagement, achievement, and persistence.

The Equitable CS Curriculum Initiative

  • This is a collaborative effort across educators, students, theorists, researchers, and curriculum providers to examine and improve  computer science K-12 curriculum and resources to increase engagement in CS for all students.
  • With the guidance of an Advisory Board of experts, this project will:
      • Conduct A Survey of teachers, students, and curriculum providers on the landscape of culturally relevant CS curriculum.
      • Develop a Framework for best practices and strategies for implementing culturally relevant CS curriculum across grades K-12.
      • Convene the community of curriculum providers, educators, culturally relevant pedagogy theorists and researchers to identify opportunities to leverage the framework to improve K-12 CS curriculum.
      • Fund projects to integrate and improve culturally relevant CS curriculum across grade bands. 

Together, these activities aim to improve the relevance of computer science curriculum taught in schools across the country, to ultimately increase interest, engagement, and success in K-12 computer science for traditionally underrepresented students.

Join Us

 

FAQ

  • As a neutral party interested in improving CS equity, the Kapor Center’s role is to act as the convener of experts across the CS and education communities. An Advisory Board of experts across content areas will provide guidance to the project, advise on the RFP content and process, and provide approval of the grant awards.
  • This initiative is supported by Code with Google and a  $3M Google.org grant.
  • While many excellent CS curricular resources already exist, a   recurring need we have heard from educators and students alike is for additional ways to ensure computer science course content is engaging, relevant and inclusive for all students.
  • It is our hope that this initiative builds upon the myriad resources that have already been developed, while incorporating feedback and best practices from students, teachers, and researchers, into revised, improved, and expanded CS curriculum resources. 
  • The request for proposals will be launched in the fall of 2020,. We will be incorporating feedback from the Advisory Board, the surveys, and the convening into the RFP process to ensure that we are funding high priority projects that address gaps in the ecosystem. A formal announcement of the RFP will be made.
  • $1.5M in grant awards will be made to expand culturally relevant CS curriculum. The exact number of awards will be determined in consultation with the Advisory Board and the funder.

This work is supported through Code with Google and a $3M Google.org grant