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

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

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MIT Press
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Stuck in the Shallow End: Education, Race, and Computing

The number of African Americans and Latino/as receiving undergraduate and advanced degrees in computer science is disproportionately low, according to recent surveys. And relatively few African American and Latino/a high school students receive the kind of institutional encouragement, educational opportunities, and preparation needed, for them to choose computer science as a field of study and profession. In Stuck in the Shallow End, Jane Margolis looks at the daily experiences of students and teachers in three Los Angeles public high schools: an overcrowded urban high school, a math and science magnet school, and a well-funded school in an affluent neighborhood. She finds an insidious "virtual segregation" that maintains inequality.

Margolis traces the interplay of school structures (such factors as course offerings and student-to-counselor ratios) and belief systems-including teachers' assumptions about their students and students' assumptions about themselves. Stuck in the Shallow End is a story of how inequality is reproduced in America-and how students and teachers, given the necessary tools, can change the system.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780262514040
Publisher: MIT Press
Publication date: 04/30/2010
Pages: 216
Sales rank: 154,824
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.70(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

Foreword Shirley Malcom vii

Preface to the Updated Edition ix

Acknowledgments xv

Introduction: The Myth of Technology as the "Great Equalizer" 1

1 An Unlikely Metaphor: The Color Line in Swimming and Computer Science 17

2 Technology Rich, But Curriculum Poor 27

3 Normalizing the Racial Divide in High School Computer Science 51

4 Claimed Spaces: "Preparatory Privilege" and High School Computer Science 71

5 Teachers as Potential Change Agents: Balancing Equity Reform and Systemic Change 97

6 Technology Policy Illusions 117

Conclusion: "The Best and the Brightest"? 133

Afterword Richard Tapia 141

Postscript: Keeping Equity at the Core of Computer Science Education Jane Margolis Joanna Goode 145

Discussion Guide 157

Appendix A Methodology: Process and Reflections 165

Notes 183

References 199

About the Authors 217

Index 219

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