Event: Undergraduate Research Symposium
Date: May 18, 2019
Location: UCI Student Center
Presenter: Lizethe Arce
Mentors: Leiny Garcia, Mark Warschauer, Yucheng Cao
Title: Diverse SES Students' Impact on Teachers' Perceptions of CS Classrooms
Computer science (CS) is a relatively new field, especially at the primary/secondary school level. We see different programs, such as Girls Who Code, reach out and encourage girls to code to create diversity. Few programs, however, focus on preparing different Socioeconomic Status (SES) level students in working together and creating an equitable environment. Not enough research has been done to explore the outcome of having higher and lower SES students placed in the same classroom and its effect over the class. The objective of this study is to examine the perspective of current Orange County CS teachers, whose class contains both SES groups, in order to shed light on the lack of CS equity and promote the continuing equity battle. The study examines high school CS classes (9th–12th grade) under UCI School of Education CS1C@OC. In distinguishing between the low and high SES groups, the research will look into teacher testimonies/surveys in which they mention their criteria to determine students’ SES level and how they perceive each group’s CS abilities. To measure the equitable environment of each class, the research will focus on teacher surveys to determine overall generalized standpoints for each classroom. The overall research findings are important to note due to the teachers’ mission of promoting an equitable CS education environment. If such perceptions in CS classrooms are held by the teachers, any current/future educational initiatives to promote CS equity will lack as an equal opportunity provider; continuing the advantage of certain groups over others.