Question or focus area: How can the Spiral of Enquiry approach help engage girls more in the subject of Computing, more specifically programming?
My initial scan was done using the 4 main questions. We discussed the increase in automation from machines and computers, which led to questions around how professions could change over time. Students recognised that many jobs would become automated (with examples like driverless cars etc.) but not many felt that a good knowledge of Computing was important. My second scan showed that girls were less engaged in programming than boys.
With such rapid developments in technology over the last decade I was interested to see if students identified my subject bring a crucial part of that change. “Can students see the relevance and importance of Computing in the immediate future?”. I wanted to link the discussion (or scan) back to this growing need within industry, in particular the area of programming. Why do some students engage better with this than others? i.e. boys more-so than girls?
Could changing the scheme of work help address the issues identified through the scanning questions?
New professional learning
The main area of scrutiny and interest is the pedagogy within Computing, but more specifically programming. Through extensive theoretical research in the subject (books, online journals), as well as my own experiences of teaching the subject and talking to students, I intend to amend the scheme of work to look at 3 main pedagogical approaches and evaluate how effective these are with a particular focus on the engagement of girls compared to boys.
I have begun planning new strategies based on feedback from students; promote the use of video tutorials and online self-help; actively encourage paired programming and collaborative problem solving; delivery of the skills primarily through age-appropriate text books.
Once the new scheme of work has been delivered, I will use the questions from my second scan and compare the data with the baseline collected this year.
Reflections/Advice: There are few conclusions reached yet due to still being at the early stages of the inquiry. However, the patterns identified through the data collected so far see great differences in attitudes to learning and attainment (of programming) between girls and boys which I want to address in the next 12 months.