Discussion

Can You Draw a Computer Scientist?

This would be an interesting experiment to continue with our elementary school classrooms! Ask them to draw computer scientists! Then discuss what they drew, what biased they noticed, and if we think our biases are based in reality or what we see portrayed in the media... If you try this with your students, comment! I'd love to hear how it went!

I see so many cross-curricular connections here! You could tie this in to art, media ecology, computer science (of course), English (writing, communication, speaking and listening), research, math (if you create bar charts illustrating different features noted in the scientist portrayals)...

Comments

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Profile picture for user garystager
Submitted by Gary Stager on Wed, 01/19/2022 - 6:54 pm EST

Why not spend the time teaching kids to be computer scientists? Don't talk. Do!

Time is the most precious resource in schools.

In reply to by Gary Stager

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Profile picture for user Rclang1
Submitted by Rebekah Lang on Mon, 01/24/2022 - 3:07 pm EST

I agree that time is the most precious resource... but I don't think it's time wasted to help students become aware of their own biases and become just a little more self-aware. For me, learning how to learn, self-efficacy, and a growth mindset are some of the most important lessons students can learn from school. I suspect that if students don't see computer scientists as people like them, they might not be able to make the leaps from "hour of code" level materials to electing to take it as a separate course.