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Growing an Inclusive Community of K-12 CS Education Researchers

Monica McGill
Proceedings of 54th Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE’23), ACM (2023)


A recent study found that there is a litany of unmet needs that are serving as barriers for the CS education research community to grow in depth and breadth, including ensuring that the community is representative of the teachers and students that are studied. Cultivating a diverse, equitable, inclusive, and accessible CSEd research community requires simultaneous bottom-up and top-down alignment on practice standards, professional development, and wellbeing for all constituents that is rooted in politicized trust and collective impact. For this position paper, we engaged in an expository writing process using a confirmatory and elucidating research design to contextualize quantitative and qualitative data reported from our previous study within related work. Our results indicate that there is a variety of researcher-centered, researcher-adjacent, and research-centered barriers in CS education that affect researchers’ practice, and personal and professional identities. These results were validated by findings from research in other fields, such as education, psychology, and organizational change. These findings highlight the need for intentional changes to be made, both top-down and bottom-up, to sustain and grow the CS education research community in a way that equitably supports the evolving needs of a diverse set of students as well as the diverse set of researchers who study interventions.

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