Although I largely focus on the principles of responsive design in this course, I also make time to explicitly name and discuss the factors that shape and impact one's CS identity. This is especially important to me in this class because it often contains students who are new to computer science. This means that the opportunity to shape identity for the better is much higher because there are fewer walls to deconstruct at this point in their educational career. I tend to use fishbowl discussions to facilitate the development of a positive CS identity, and have included a sample slide deck just in case you are curious about what these converations look and sound like.
Here is the outline for my Web Dev course:
I ask my students to reflect on the state of their computing identity every week throughout the year. As expected, we start to see a decline in positive computing identities around Unit 5. I'm hoping that more fishbowl discussions outside of Unit 1 can help combat this trend.
For me, teaching AP CSA well is the greatest thing I can do to help level the playing field for underrepresented groups in CS. Why? The material covered in this class is the content typically discussed within the first year of a CS degree program. This level of exposure prior to metriculation has shown to help students persist within CS degrees simply because that's what it takes to be ready to compete. For example, while at Berkeley completing my own degree, I met many people who had been programming since they were small children. These students were (falsely) labeled as "naturals" simply because they had the prior experience they needed to appear as if it were organic talent. Not in my opinion; they just had the competitive edge of starting early! Now imagine how this impacts one's CS identity (it's not pretty).
I think a lot of this can be curbed with quality exposure to programming in middle school and high school. And in hopes of contributing to these efforts, I have developed an AP CSA curriculum around the following units:
TBD: I am scheduled to teach this course for the first time this fall. I will update my thinking around this class after I have had a chance to actually teach a bit. More news soon!