Archive for November, 2014

Why women leave tech: It’s the culture, not because ‘math is hard’

Everything that I have found in my research, and everything that I see in my personal experience agrees with the finding below.  Women like CS (maybe even more than men, on average).  Women leave because of the culture. Do read the whole article — there’s a bunch of data and interesting analyses.

One-hundred-ninety-two women cited discomfort working in environments that felt overtly or implicitly discriminatory as a primary factor in their decision to leave tech. That’s just over a quarter of the women surveyed. Several of them mention discrimination related to their age, race, or sexuality in addition to gender and motherhood.

via Why women leave tech: It’s the culture, not because ‘math is hard’.

November 3, 2014 at 8:17 am 1 comment

The challenge of turning business teachers into CS teachers: Where’s the passion?

Josh Paley raises an important point here.  The best teachers are passionate about what they do.  Converting existing teachers (most often business teachers, since that’s how CS is classified in most states) into CS teachers may result in dispassionate, unhappy teachers. I don’t think it’s the only possible outcome, and I don’t think that hiring teachers with “CS background” (degrees? job experience?) is the only answer.  But he’s right that it’s not the same as recruiting someone who decided on a career as a Computing Teacher.

I think the same sort of thing applies in CS.  Many retrained teachers will be enthusiastic about computing, study it intensely and, in time, become experts.  Others will teach CS, but it won’t be their passion, and that’s often a recipe for unhappy students who see an unhappy teacher.  There are lots of other possible outcomes, some better than others.  No matter how you slice it, it isn’t the same as hiring a person with a CS background to teach CS.

via If you want CS education, put your money where your mouth is. | Cheaper Than Rogaine.

November 1, 2014 at 8:24 am 15 comments

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