Hundreds of organizations gathered in Salt Lake City, Utah, this month at the CSforALL Summit to pledge their commitments to improving and expanding computer science education across the United States.
At the summit, the Constellations Center for Equity in Computing at Georgia Tech (Constellations) detailed its 2019-2020 commitment of sustainable professional teacher development. A key part of Constellations programs includes its hybrid instructional model where Constellations Fellows serve as instructional coaches to teachers in Atlanta Public School (APS) high schools.
Constellations has chosen to place an emphasis on building teacher efficacy and providing quality professional development, both in-person and virtually. The center committed to hosting one summer workshop for Constellations teachers, classroom visits from the fellows once per week, and follow-up workshops throughout the fall and spring semesters. Teachers can also participate in webinars, an online teacher community, and regular coaching from the fellows. Together, the center believes that these touchpoints will create a sustainable support system for new and experienced teachers alike.
“Teachers need to feel supported as they tackle a subject that is often new to them. Constellations is committed to helping them not only learn the material, but feel fully equipped to teach lessons and inspire their students to solve problems using computing,” said Lien Diaz, Constellations director of educational innovation and leadership.
Previous commitments from the center have helped increase the number of schools in Atlanta offering a computer science course, tripling the number of students participating in an advanced placement computing course.
Held Oct. 21 – 23, the CSforALL Summit allowed researchers, educators, and students the opportunity to learn more about what efforts are taking place in the computer science education space to make it more rigorous, inclusive, and sustainable. Focusing on the theme “Systems Change”, the organizers challenged the community to think long term and move beyond individual efforts in order to to inspire students and prepare educators to transform the current educational systems in place.