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Guide Stuck in the Shallow End: Education, Race, and Computing

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Stuck in the Shallow End should be required reading for all educators who care about our children and their futures. Jane Margolis. Jane Margolis and Allan Fisher. Search Search. Search Advanced Search close Close. Preview Preview. Request Permissions Exam copy. Overview Author s Praise. Summary An investigation into why so few African American and Latino high school students are studying computer science reveals the dynamics of inequality in American schools.

August February Share Share Share email. Surprisingly, it is not hard to get students interested in computer science, especially if I can show them some of the applications of the subject.

Stuck in the Shallow End, Updated Edition

For example, I developed a presentation about computer science using information I obtained from the Tapestry Workshop that included Sphero, a robot that is controlled by an app on a smartphone. I think the students were impressed by the salaries of computer scientists and the future prospects of computer science as a career field, but Sphero was a rock star. More than that, after my presentation to an analytic geometry class, students from all over the school heard about Sphero and would interrupt my class to see Sphero perform.

I used some of the strategies in Stuck in the Shallow End to offer AP Computer Science to students who I think would not otherwise have taken this course.

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Yet as I taught them, I noticed one glaring weakness in the book and my teaching: we had both completely ignored the students. Frederick Douglass speech said it best in to a congressional church in Washington D.


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If we succeed in the race of life, it must be by our own energies, and our exertions. Others may clear the road, but we must go forward, or be left behind in the race of life. The book and the national debate on how to increase the number of underrepresented groups in computer science have ignored the fact that students, regardless of their background, have some accountability for their success.

February 4, - Published on Amazon. Margolis and company have led an incredibly effective program to engage Black, Hispanic, and female students in computer science. This book reveals how the underlying problems they discovered were causing minorities and women to be underrepresented in the CS pipeline.

Profiling three very different schools, they find that each school channels the majority of talent away from computer science, but in different ways. Teachers from any school will find unexpected reflections of themselves and their school in Stuck in the Shallow End, and in the end will put down the book with greater insight into how their school's programs might be contributing to the problem. An important book to read for educators and systemic thinkers, its lessons apply not only to computer science but to all fields in which women and minorities are under-represented. I've mentioned my high regard for Stuck in the Shallow End to several leaders in computer science education.

All gave a surprisingly similar response: "That book changed my career.

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