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Culturally Relevant Computer Science Sample Lessons

To continue to foster our efforts in broadening participation in computing, we have created sample lessons and activities that aim to empower students through inclusive education!

Creating culturally responsive computer science (CS) lessons is essential in empowering students from diverse backgrounds and ensuring equitable access to education. We recognize that students learn best when they can relate to and see themselves in the material being taught, which is why participants in our Computing Educator Diversity Initiative (CEDI) have explored this concept as a part of the Strategies for Effective and Inclusive CS Teaching course. Through the course, teachers had the opportunity to engage in thoughtful discussions and discover practical classroom applications of culturally responsive teaching.

With the idea of cultural responsiveness at its core, we were able to work with a cohort of CEDI alumni educators to bring these ideas to life in a tangible way.  Together, we collaborated to create a series of exemplary lessons that can be used to provide a strong foundation for future CS curricula. These lessons were carefully designed to be culturally relevant and inclusive, drawing on the expertise and experiences of the educators involved.

The sample lessons are designed to be engaging, hands-on, and interactive, and aligned to the Computer Science Teachers Association’s K-12 Computer Science Standards.  Additionally, when crafting the learning experiences, the Kapor Center’s Culturally Responsive-Sustaining CS Education Framework was drawn upon for guidance.  Of particular note was the 4th Core Component of the framework which calls for student voice, agency, and self-determination to be prioritized in CS classrooms.  Additionally, lesson components were intentionally designed to focus on equity as defined by the Teacher Accessibility, Equity, and Content (TEC) Rubric for Evaluating Computing Curricula.

By offering these exemplary lessons freely on our website, we hope to promote the use of culturally responsive teaching in CS classrooms and encourage educators to incorporate diverse perspectives and experiences into their curricula. We believe that by doing so, we can help students feel seen, heard, and valued, which can lead to increased engagement, motivation, and success in their CS studies.

We recognize that creating culturally responsive lessons is an ongoing process that requires continual reflection, adaptation, and improvement. Our hope is that these lessons will serve as a starting point and inspire educators to develop their own culturally responsive teaching practices. Together, we can work towards a future where all students have access to relevant, inclusive, empowering, high-quality CS education.

Sample lessons can be accessed through this link. Please keep in mind this is a live link, and these lessons are currently in the process of being created. 

This project was funded in part by Google.