STEM Ed Seminar: CSforAll Springfield - Reflections on a Research-Practice Partnership

STEM Ed Seminar: CSforAll Springfield - Reflections on a Research-Practice Partnership
Rick Adrion, UMass Amherst
Date and time: Tue, Oct 29, 2019 - 4:00pm
Refreshments at 3:45pm
Location: Hasbrouck 242
Category: Special Events

CSforAll Springfield is a 4-year Research Practice Partnership (RPP) of UMass Amherst, Five Colleges Inc., Springfield Public Schools, and SageFox Associates, supported by the National Science Foundation and Google, Inc. The CSforAll Springfield RPP is integrating Massachusetts standards-based computer science and computational thinking (CS/CT) in K-5 curricula across all 32 public elementary schools in Springfield. CSforAll Springfield hopes to: (1) reach and engage all K-5 Springfield students in learning CS/CT concepts and practices; (2) create a cadre of teachers with skills and capacity to design, create and teach integrated CS/CT content; and (3) form professional learning communities (PLCs) that will support the dissemination of CS/CT curricula across all elementary schools. 

The 4-year project began with teacher-led curriculum pilots. Eight-member teacher design teams in each Kindergarten and 3rd grade, organized in dyads, developed integrated CS/CT modules with support from professional development, teacher coordinators, curriculum specialists, and researchers. The teacher design teams created modules that include 4-8 lessons per "quarter" at each grade level. The modules were created using three agile "design-deploy-assess-revise" cycles with support from the whole RPP and reviewed by District curriculum coordinators. The first-year design teams are supporting the teacher coordinators to provide professional development and enable implementation by "early adopter" K and 3rd-grade teachers across 28 schools. We are beginning to pilot curricula for 1st and 4th grade as we enter year 2 of the project.

In this talk, we will reflect on how Design-Based Implementation Research within a RPP that focuses on CS/CT, K-5, and diversity and inclusion can reach and engage ALL students in an effective teaching and learning environment. We will describe the research questions that inform our research describe our preliminary results, outcomes, observations, lessons learned, and challenges.