Supporting and Sustaining Equitable STEAM Activities in High School Classrooms: Understanding Computer Science Teachers’ Needs and Practices When Implementing an E-Textiles Curriculum to Forge Connections Across Communities
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While the last two decades have seen an increased interest in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) in K-12 schools, few efforts have focused on the teachers and teaching practices necessary to support these interventions. Even fewer have considered the important work that teachers carry out not just inside classrooms but beyond the classroom walls to sustain such STEAM implementation efforts, from interacting with administrators to recruiting students and persuading parents about the importance of arts and computer science. In order to understand teachers’ needs and practices regarding STEAM implementation, in this paper, we focus on eight experienced computer science teachers’ reflections on implementing a STEAM unit using electronic textiles, which combine crafting, circuit design, and coding so as to make wearable artifacts. We use a broad lens to examine the practices high school teachers employed not only in their classrooms but also in their schools and communities to keep these equitable learning opportunities going, from communicating with other teachers and admins to building a computer science (CS) teacher community across district and state lines. We also analyzed these reflections to understand teachers’ own social and emotional needs—needs important to staying in the field of CS education—better, as they are relevant to engaging with learning new content, applying new pedagogical skills, and obtaining materials and endorsements from their organizations to bring STEAM into their classrooms. In the discussion, we contemplate what teachers’ reported practices and needs say about supporting and sustaining equitable STEAM in classrooms.
Fields, D.; Kafai, Y. Supporting and Sustaining Equitable STEAM Activities in High School Classrooms: Understanding Computer Science Teachers’ Needs and Practices When Implementing an E-Textiles Curriculum to Forge Connections across Communities. Sustainability 2023, 15, 8468. https://doi.org/10.3390/su15118468