The National Science Foundation recently awarded dolcelab a grant to support formation of a research-practice partnership with the New York City schools on computer science education for bilingual students. One barrier schools face is how best to teach computer science to students who are learning English. Translanguaging is an approach that allows teachers to tailor their teaching to whatever language skills children bring to the table. It is thought that the skills multilingual kids use to learn multiple languages may also be useful in helping them learn to program computers. This project will explore whether that is the case, and will develop and test approaches for bilingual educators to incorporate computer science concepts in their teaching.
This project is a partnership between researchers in computer science education at NYU, researchers in language and literacy at the City University of New York (CUNY), and educators at three New York City public middle schools serving predominantly low-income Latino students. As part of the project, the researchers will develop a professional development toolkit for integrating computational thinking topics in the middle grades leveraging translanguaging pedagogy. Designed to support emergent bilinguals in the classroom through professional development that encourages teachers to create and adapt curricula to their students, the project will also help build capacity in computer science education as the City continues to roll out its Computer Science for All initiative.
The two-year grant began August 15, 2017. The project is led by Christopher Hoadley, associate professor of learning sciences/educational technology at NYU Steinhardt, along with Kate Menken of CUNY’s Queens College and Laura Ascenzi-Moreno of CUNY’s Brooklyn College.
The project website is http://pila-cs.org