How can we encourage a growth mindset amongst students regarding Computer Science? How can we motivate students to believe that they too can engage in Computer Science? People usually say that those able to do Computer Science are those that are either of a certain race, gender, economic standing or level of intellect, but I wonder what has made them come to such conclusions? Does this mean that our personal beliefs on whether or not a student is capable or worthy of being taught the subject area could affect our ability to teach them? How then can we dismantle such biases and do our best to provide them with the same opportunities as others?
When Computer Science is seen as a subject that is only exclusive to a certain kind of student, are we truly providing an inclusive education to all students? In describing what a student interested in Computer Science might look like, we may describe them as a person of a certain apprearance and even ethnicity, reflecting a very limited representation of other types of students within this realm. Many educators might suggest that the lack of teaching Computer Science may be a result of scarce resources or a lack of interest on behalf of students. This makes me think that they are not willing to take a step further and try to overcome the obstacles that could potentially hold a student back from tapping into their full and for some, dormant potential of excelling in the areas of computational thinking.
How can we truly overcome the bias, economic and social obstacles to help students see themselves as capable enough to engage in Computer Science? Encouraging students while providing them with the opportunities to engage in Computer Science is what can set a student on a path to break down barriers and discover a new subject that they may have not even knew of. From this, I also believe that as educators, we can be driving forcing that mark the difference in our student’s beliefs about themselves through the additional supports we provide.