MENTORS in CS
Matching Experienced and Novice Teachers for Ongoing Rigorous Support in Computer Science
As the number of CS teachers increases to meet the burgeoning course offerings in the U.S., teachers new to the discipline need additional supports beyond one-time workshops focused on particular curricula. To address this need, we developed a year-long, equity-focused peer mentoring program.
Mentors are teachers with 5+ years of CS teaching experience, and mentees are teachers who are new to teaching CS. They are strategically matched in 1:1 partnerships based on context and goals. Across one academic year, they meet twice monthly to identify and work towards three goals related to the CSTA Standards for CS Teachers. Through individualized support through 1:1 mentorship, teachers will demonstrate increased confidence, pedagogical content knowledge, and use of equitable and inclusive teaching practices.
Key project activities include:
- teacher recruitment and matching
- one-on-one mentoring
- mentoring tools and resources development
- mentor training
- community of practice
Each activity has embedded equity supports.
Observed CS Teacher Outcomes
- a reflective stance towards their teaching
- increased confidence in CS teaching knowledge and pedagogical practices
- increased use of equitable and inclusive teaching practices
- high confidence in CS teaching
- greater skills and confidence in their abilities to mentor and support other teachers
Our team has developed several tools to support a structured mentoring process aligned to the CSTA Standards for CS Teachers. Tools include a self-reflection, relationship building structures, partnership agreement, goal setting templates, example goals, and mentoring meeting logs.
We seek high school CS teachers to participate in the mentorship program. Currently, our program is limited to teachers in Wisconsin, but we plan to expand to CSTA New Jersey and the Black Affinity Group in 2024-25.
5+ years experience teaching CS, and interested in leadership, collaboration, and professional growth
New to teaching CS, and interested in professional growth, collaboration, and community building
Learning through Research
Initial data suggest that both mentees and mentors benefitted from the program, increasing their confidence in teaching and mentoring. Through design-based implementation research, we continuously improved structures and resources across the first two years of implementation in Wisconsin.
Learn more in our recent research publications:
MENTORS in CS is a National Science Foundation-supported research/practice partnership among CSTA, WestEd, and the CSTA Wisconsin Dairyland chapter.
PI, Vice-President of Education & Research
Dr. DaQuan Bashir
Professional Learning Manager
Dr. Aleata Hubbard Cheuoua
Co-PI, Senior Research Associate
Dr. Jennifer Tsan
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grants No. 2031314 and 2318232.