PhD Defense by Miranda Parker

Event Details
  • Date/Time:
    • Thursday October 10, 2019
      10:00 am - 12:00 pm
  • Location: 85 5th Street NE, Technology Square Research Building (TSRB), 2nd floor, Room 223
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Summaries

Summary Sentence: An Analysis of Supports and Barriers to Offering Computer Science in Georgia Public High Schools

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Title: An Analysis of Supports and Barriers to Offering Computer Science in Georgia Public High Schools

 

Miranda Parker

Human-Centered Computing Ph.D. Candidate

School of Interactive Computing

College of Computing

Georgia Institute of Technology

 

Date: Thursday, October 10, 2019

Time: 10AM to 12PM EST

Location: 85 5th Street NE, Technology Square Research Building (TSRB), 2nd floor, Room 223

 

Committee:

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Dr. Mark Guzdial (Advisor), School of Interactive Computing, Georgia Institute of Technology 

Dr. Betsy DiSalvo, School of Interactive Computing, Georgia Institute of Technology 

Dr. Rebecca E. Grinter, School of Interactive Computing, Georgia Institute of Technology 

Dr. Willie Pearson, Jr., School of History and Sociology, Georgia Institute of Technology 

Dr. Leigh Ann DeLyser, CSforAll Consortium

 

Abstract:

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There is a growing international movement to provide every child access to high-quality computing education. Despite the widespread effort, most children in the US do not take any computing classes in primary or secondary schools. There are many factors that principals and districts must consider when determining whether to offer CS courses. The process through which school officials make these decisions, and the supports and barriers they face in the process, is not well understood. Once we understand these supports and barriers, we can better design and implement policy to provide CS for all.

 

In my thesis, I study public high schools in the state of Georgia and the supports and barriers that affect offerings of CS courses. I quantitatively model school- and county-level factors and the impact these factors have on CS enrollment and offerings. The best regression models include prior CS enrollment or offerings, implying that CS is likely sustainable once a class is offered. However, large unexplained variances persist in the regression models.

 

To help explain this variance, I selected four high schools and interviewed principals, counselors, and teachers about what helps, or hurts, their decisions to offer a CS course. I build case studies around each school to explore the structural and people-oriented themes the participants discussed. Difficulty in hiring and retaining qualified teachers in CS was one major theme. I frame the case studies using diffusion of innovations providing additional insights into what attributes support a school deciding to offer a CS course.

 

The qualitative themes gathered from the case studies and the quantitative factors used in the regression models inform a theory of supports and barriers to CS course offerings in high schools in Georgia. This understanding can influence future educational policy decisions around CS education and provide a foundation for future work on schools and CS access.

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Phd Defense
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  • Created By: Tatianna Richardson
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: Sep 24, 2019 - 2:31pm
  • Last Updated: Sep 24, 2019 - 2:31pm