Change display time — Currently: Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) (Event time)

Rethinking How We Teach Java: A Culturally Responsive and Equitable Approach

Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, Franklin 11/12/13

Explore and create: Deep-dive Creation lab
Preregistration Required
Save to My Favorites


6-12 Curriculum Product Manager
I am a Senior Curriculum Development Manager for working on our AP Computer Science A curriculum. Before, I was the computer science instructor at Evans High School in Orlando, FL for six years, coming into education from the industry with the goal of increasing interest and opportunity for underrepresented groups in computer science. My passion for equity and opportunity in computer science is a core component of who I am and how I approach curriculum and professional development.

Session description

Curricula focused on programming should be culturally responsive and equitable to provide opportunities for students to see themselves as computer scientists and make computer science relevant to their personal lives. We will explore strategies and activities for making connections between students’ identities and CS and giving students voice and choice.

Purpose & objective

Participants will learn strategies for implementing a culturally-responsive pedagogy in their classroom and obtain resources and tools that they can use to support students from diverse backgrounds.

Participants will learn about the CSA curriculum and the culturally-responsive threads that make up its foundation to ensure equitable opportunities for all students in the AP CSA classroom.

Participants will explore the Java Lab programming environment in the CSA curriculum and the features that are incorporated to provide feedback to students while they are implementing and testing solutions and encourage collaboration on activities and projects.

Participants will practice decomposition and algorithm development skills to implement a solution to a problem they choose through an activity from the CSA curriculum.

More [+]


Gaps in enrollment and success in AP Computer Science A [15 minutes]
In small groups, attendees will review enrollment and success data for underrepresented students in AP CSA and respond to prompts to identify trends.
Each group will share their findings and thoughts.

Importance of Culturally-Responsive Pedagogy in AP CSA [15 minutes]
Attendees will share their understanding of culturally-responsive pedagogy and how they currently implement this in their classroom and/or the challenges they face in doing so.
Present background about culturally-responsive pedagogy and the threads we developed to form the core of the AP CSA curriculum.
Revisit attendees understanding of culturally-responsive pedagogy and share how this aligns with or is different from what they already do.

Activity from the AP CSA Curriculum [45 minutes]
Provide an overview of the curriculum and how it is different from other AP CSA and Java curricula.
Attendees will join a demo section and be given an activity guide from one of the lessons in the curriculum.
With a partner or small group, attendees will choose one of the problems on the activity guide to design an algorithm.
Attendees will access the online IDE (Java Lab) to implement and test their solution.
Attendees will participate in a code review to provide feedback to each other about their solution.

Debrief Activity [15 minutes]
Attendees will share their takeaways from the activity and the aspects they noticed were culturally-responsive.
Present another strategies and activities in the AP CSA curriculum.
Attendees will share additional strategies that are also culturally-responsive for teaching Java that they are using or would like to use in their classroom.

More [+]

Supporting research

Zaretta Hammond, Culturally Responsive Teaching & the Brain. (California: Corwin, 2015)

Microsoft, Guide to Inclusive Computer Science Education: How educators can encourage and engage all students in computer science,

Kapor Center, Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Computer Science Education: A Framework,

The UDL Guidelines,

More [+]

Session specifications

Student agency, choice and voice
Grade level:
Skill level:
Curriculum/district specialists, Principals/head teachers, Teachers
Attendee devices:
Devices required
Attendee device specification:
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Subject area:
Computer science
ISTE Standards:
For Students:
Innovative Designer
  • Students know and use a deliberate design process for generating ideas, testing theories, creating innovative artifacts or solving authentic problems.
Computational Thinker
  • Students break problems into component parts, extract key information, and develop descriptive models to understand complex systems or facilitate problem-solving.
Global Collaborator
  • Students use collaborative technologies to work with others, including peers, experts or community members, to examine issues and problems from multiple viewpoints.
The submitter of this session has been supported by a company whose product is being included in the session
Related exhibitors: