Significant disparities exist in enrollment in advanced STEM courses in the state of Texas for females, underrepresented minorities (URM), and economically disadvantaged students. This disparities are particularly acute and persistent in high school computer science courses. The Tapestry Institute will help educators to identify and address some of the root causes of these disparities with research-based professional development.
What is a Tapestry Workshop?
The goals of the workshop are to share strategies, research-based practices, and field-tested good ideas for teaching computer science in a way that reaches all students regardless of sex or ethnicity.
Workshop participants will
- Explore activities for gaining the interest of all students
- Interact with national experts on teaching and diversity practices
- Meet university faculty desiring to serve as ambassadors to their schools
- Form a network of like-minded people for ongoing discussion and development.
Teachers who attend Tapestry training see improvements in
- Attracting more and diverse students to high school Computer Science classes
- Influencing students, parents, colleagues, and administrators on the importance of your courses and the opportunities they provide
- Engaging students in the exciting and rewarding field of computing
What Makes Tapestry Workshop So Unique?
Tapestry workshops are different in a fundamental way from almost all other high school computing professional development efforts. Typically, high school computing workshops are computing centric. They focus on computing concepts, technologies, and tools, and sometimes, pedagogy. Few seek to change the way high school teachers interact with students to create a welcoming and comfortable environment for girls and underrepresented minority students, as the Tapestry Workshops do.
Tapestry workshops communicate strategies, research-based practices, and field-tested good ideas for influencing school administrations and parents to offer more computing, actively recruiting more and diverse students, and teaching computer science in a way that reaches all students regardless of sex or ethnicity.
Follow-up evaluations show the workshops improve diversity substantially. There is a clear link between teacher workshop participation and subsequent enrollment and diversity in their computing courses. Specifically, 85% of workshop attendees reported recruiting more students to their high school computer science classes; 86% reported recruiting more girls; and 81% reported recruited more underrepresented minority students.
Some comments received through anonymous post-workshop evaluations include:
“Had to request more computers in my classroom because there weren’t enough for all the students enrolled in computer science!”
“Success! My one section of CS is packed to capacity, and the students–including all the girls–have reported having a great time doing our first few programming projects.
“I went from having no computer science classes to a class of 38 with 40%of those being female and 90% being URM and five students on a waiting list. I am so excited!”
“Please continue to find a way to run these workshops. Not only did it help me recruit more CS students, but the strategies I learned help me to become a more effective teacher.”
- When – August 6-8, 2018 (Monday-Wednesday)
- Where – UT Center for STEM Education PD Lab, George I. Sanchez Building, SZB 352
- Cost – $300
- Registration Deadline – July 30, 2018
- CPE Credit – 21 hours