Incorporating Cultural Tools for Math and Computing Concepts into Boys and Girls Clubs

Funded by NSF CISE Broadening Participation in Computing, March 2009 through February 2012, Valerie Taylor (TAMU), Ron Eglash (RPI), Juan Gilbert (Clemson), Deborah Bennet (Purdue).

Lincoln Center (College Station)

“Culturally responsive pedagogy” refers to the alternative approaches in which educational material, such as math and computing, is presented in ways that provide a better fit to minority cultural orientations and perceptions. While several studies show statistically significant increases in math performance using culturally responsive approaches, the literature on culturally responsive computing education is quite small. Two such frameworks– AADMLSS City Stroll (African American Distributed Multiple Learning Styles System) and CSDT (Culturally Situated Design Tools) – have been developed for math education and are currently being expanded to computing education. They are, however, only being deployed in limited geographic regions.

Albany, NY Site

The goals of this project were the following: (1) to extend the current work with these two culturally responsive education tools, CSDTs and AADMLSS, from the local or regional scale to the national scale to be incorporated in the Boys and Girls Clubs of America (BGCA), a national organization; (2) to develop a institutional “pipeline” such that K-12 students successfully participating in these activities can maximize their odds of entering undergraduate programs in computing; (3) to assist the efforts to extend the work on these math educational tools to include computing; and (4) to use the two approaches to provide new understandings about the circumstances in which each is most useful and the correlations. With respect to volunteers, we have early commitments from Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU), National Technical Association (NTA), and the STARS Alliance. Hence, this project represented synergy among multiple organizations and projects.