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  1. Sarah Wille
  2. Senior Education Researcher
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. Outlier Research & Evaluation at Univ of Chicago, Wolcott School
  1. Amy Cassata
  2. Senior Education Researcher
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. Outlier Research & Evaluation at Univ of Chicago, Wolcott School

Opening the Door to Computer Science Principles for Students with Learning Di...

NSF Awards: 1542963

2016 (see original presentation & discussion)

Grades 9-12

The computer science education field is engaging in unprecedented efforts to expand opportunities in K-12 CS education. However, one underrepresented group is often overlooked: students with learning differences (that is, students with specific learning disabilities and related attention disorders, like ADHD). As computer science education initiatives grow, K-12 teachers need evidence-based guidance about how to account for challenges specific to learning and related attention disorders so that these students who learn differently can access instruction and curriculum in ways that address their learning needs. To address this problem, our interdisciplinary team of education researchers, expert practitioners, and students with learning differences is conducting an exploratory research study that aims to make computer science more accessible for students who learn differently. Over the next two years, the team is applying a rigorous research approach to: 1) identify teaching and learning challenges specific to learning differences in two sets of Computer Science Principles (CSP) instructional materials (Beauty and Joy of Computing and Code.org’s CS Principles); 2) propose adjustments to the instructional materials to address those challenges; and 3) test the adjusted materials with students who have learning differences at Wolcott School (a high school for students with learning differences).

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