Letter to Headmasters
Building Capacity in Computer Science (CS) Education and Student Near Peer Classroom Mentorship is a 3 year research-practice partnership between The Young People’s Project (YPP), Boston Public Schools, Bootstrap, and Boston University. It aims to increase the capacity of mathematics teachers to integrate computer science into their classrooms. The goal of this project is to provide professional development for BPS teachers that uses a culturally responsive and sustaining classroom model of instruction developed by the Young People’s Project and the Algebra Project which integrates Bootstraps CS curriculum into existing 9th-grade algebra 1 classrooms. We intend to reach 6 Algebra 1 educators (2 per year) over the span of 3 years at each participating school. A critical component of this implementation is each school will be assigned 2 college students per classroom using the Bootstrap: Algebra modules.
The first Professional Development cycle will happen in the summer of 2021 as part of YPPs Math and Computational Thinking Summer Institute. The summer institute for teachers and college students will function as a lab providing them the opportunity to co-design lessons, to facilitate these lessons for YPP high school math literacy workers, and to receive feedback from the high school math literacy workers, from each other, and from YPP PD specialists about their lessons. It is designed to enable teachers to learn and practice, working directly with students like their own, in a less restricted and consequential environment. Implementation in the school year is PD will continue throughout.
Time commitment for teachers each year
Summer (out of school)
A 5-day virtual, hands-on PD workshop on the Bootstrap: Algebra curriculum, August 9-13, 2021 from 10:30 am – 4:30 pm EST. Participants will learn the curriculum as students would, learning how to use small amounts of programming to explore datasets and answer questions about data. The workshop will consist of two 2.5-hour sessions each day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Sessions will combine short instructional segments and small-group work (In Zoom and Zoom breakout rooms).
4 day practice implementation spanning 15 hours August 16th-27th. Because we know that one-off PD sessions are not effective, we want to make sure that teachers have sufficient time and a variety of experiences for professional learning, especially learning that builds awareness of professional strengths and areas to be developed and that enhances creativity, risk taking, and problem solving strategies (Linda Darling Hammond, 2017). The YPP summer institute, for teachers and college students, will function as a lab providing teachers and college students the opportunity to co-design lessons, to facilitate these lessons for YPP high school math literacy workers, and to receive feedback from the high school math literacy workers, from each other, and from YPP PD specialists about their lessons. It is modeled on the AP and YPP training of trainers programs, Building Demand for Math Literacy ISE #05155598. It is designed to enable teachers to learn and practice the competencies and to build awareness about their strengths and areas to be developed by working directly with students like their own in a less restricted and consequential environment.
Fall (in school)
In school implementation is projected to span from September to December at the equivalent of 25 instructional hours, including current Algebra 1 curriculum. During the in school implementation phase, YPP PD specialists will conduct 5 hours (2 visits) of classroom observation and support in each classroom, including pre-planning session with the teacher, classroom observation, and reflection session with the teacher and college students. Each teacher will co-plan and team teach two lessons with a partner: one lesson in each of the teacher’s classrooms.Each team of teachers will produce a “lessons learned” document based on their team teaching experience to share with the whole group.
All teachers who participate in this project will be given a $2500 honorarium.