Project Announcement: Meta-Synthesis of K-12 CS Education Reports in the US using the CAPE Equity Framework.
CSEdResearch.org received a grant from Google (Google CS-ER) to conduct CS education research. Our project is framed around the notion that, although CS K-12 CS education is growing, there is still a gap in the research, presumably caused by the infancy of CS education research and the barriers around funding research. However, corporations and foundations with a vested interest in improving CS outcomes have made considerable investments in producing reports to illustrate their return on investment. So, while there are reports circulating about K-12 CS education, there has never been a meta-analysis of the information written in the reports. Therefore, an examination of the data and analysis in these reports is the framing of our project.
CAPE, which stands for Capacity, Access, Participation, and Experience, was designed by Fletcher and Warner to examine CS through an equity lens. Therefore, we will use this framework to guide our analysis. Capacity focuses on teachers, funding, and policies that allow for CS education in K-12 settings. Access focuses on equitable access to CS courses. Participation assesses the equitable enrollment in available CS courses. And experience explores variables that affect students’ experiences in a CS learning environment, such as comfort, confidence, and sense of belonging.
Each of the reports chosen for analysis in our study has at least one of these concepts embedded in the report. By examining these reports holistically through the CAPE framework, we will be able to understand the gaps and strengths across the reports. Therefore, the research question we posed in this project is When viewed collectively and objectively using the equity-centric CAPE framework, what will a synthesis of findings from major reports show about equity in K-12 computer science (CS) education?
We hope this meta-analysis will provide a holistic view across the national landscape of K-12 CS education research and build an understanding of how all students, especially underrepresented and historically marginalized students, are accessing, participating in, and experiencing CS education within K-12 settings. We will also provide insight on school, district, and state capacity to offer K-12 CS education equitably. This project will provide a fully published methodology for synthesizing multiple reports, and provide context to other researchers’ findings, whether they align or differ with the synthesized findings.
Written by Angelica Thompson, Senior Education Researcher, CSEdResearch.org