Computer Science Education
Black Families Rate Importance of CS as a Subject Higher
- By Dian Schaffhauser
families consider computer science to be an important subject for
their kids to learn. But that's especially true for black parents and
guardians. While 69 percent said it was "important" or
"very important" for their children to learn CS, 78 percent
of black families said the same. In fact, the number of black parents
who said it was "very important," was 52 percent, compared
to 32 percent of White parents and 37 percent of Hispanic parents.
while six in 10 parents and guardians (61 percent) said that it was
likely their child would need to know CS for a career someday, among
black families, that share was 71 percent. Among Hispanic families it
was 63 percent and for White families it was 60 percent.
results surfaced in a survey done by Gallup
in a project supported by Google. Gallup interviewed a nationally
representative sample of 1,402 public and private school students in
grades 7-12, as well as 2,092 parents and guardians of students in
those grades and 979 public and private school teachers of students
in grades preschool through 12.
was also a higher propensity of families of male students who pegged
CS education as important (71 percent) compared to families of female
students (67 percent). While 58 percent of families of female
students expected their children to have to know CS for work one day,
65 percent of families of male students said so.
survey found that parents and guardians of male students were more
likely than parents and guardians of female students to report that
their child was confident in learning computer science (79 percent
compared to 66 percent). The size of that gender confidence gap was
"notably the same as the gap between male and female students
themselves," the report stated.
35 percent of families have encouraged their students to pursue a CS
career, 53 percent of teachers said they have done so. When students
were asked whether an adult in their lives had encouraged them to
seek a CS job someday, slightly more black and Hispanic students (49
percent and 54 percent, respectively) said yes than White students
(40 percent). However, the adult encouragement primarily went to male
students (52 percent) than female students (37 percent).
wasn't the only kind of gap uncovered in the survey. While most
teachers, principals and superintendents said they consider offering
CS courses just as important to a student's future as other core
subjects, that sensibility was truer among school and district
leaders. Three-quarters of superintendents (75 percent) and
principals (73 percent) concurred that CS was just as important as
English, math, history and science, while 66 percent of teachers did.
almost six in 10 superintendents (58 percent) agreed that CS was
currently a top priority in their districts, only 18 percent of
public-school teachers and 28 percent of principals said CS was
treated as a top priority.
whereas 38 percent of district leaders and 36 percent of school
leaders rated the quality of CS at their schools as "excellent"
or "very good," 29 percent of teachers rated it equally
"resourcing" and policymaking lie at the heart of CS
education success, the report suggested. Just one in four (27
percent) superintendents said their states had made CS education
funding and resources available (and 78 percent have used those
resources in their districts), "It will certainly take more
resourcing to boost students’ interest, aspiration and competency
in computer science," the report noted. "It will also take
effective policymaking that prioritizes and addresses learning
standards, certification, development and infrastructure support.
Perhaps most critically, it will take ongoing collaboration among
families, educators and policymakers to integrate computer science
learning within existing curricula to give all students a chance to
choose a pathway in the expanding world of computer science."
and Gallup will host a virtual Zoom
on Sep. 30 at noon Pacific time to discuss key takeaways from the
Perspectives and Continuing Challenges in Computer Science Education
in U.S. K-12 Schools" is openly available through
the Google website.
Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.