Talking Points

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Spanish version of Why Should Young People Consider Careers in Computing and Information Technology?

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What should you tell a young person about IT careers? How can they prepare now for a career in IT?

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This Talking Point Card explains stereotype threat and how it is triggered, shares examples of effects from stereotype threat, and suggests ways to create a stereotype threat-free environment for attracting able and diverse students to computing.

Moving Beyond Computer Literacy: Why schools should teach computer science
Computer Science — not computer literacy — underlies most innovation today, yet the majority of U.S. schools require only that students use computers. Computer science teaches students design, logical reasoning, and problem solving — all valuable well beyond the computer science classroom. This resource provides information about the value of computer science curriculum for students, educators, local and national economies as well as global society. It offers steps schools can take to successfully incorporate computer science education.
Talking Points
Institutional barriers (IBs) are policies, procedures, or situations that systematically disadvantage certain groups of people. IBs exist in any majority-minority group situation. When an initial population is fairly similar (e.g., in male-dominated professions), systems naturally emerge to meet the needs of this population. If these systems do not change with the times, they can inhibit the success of new members with different needs. IBs often seem natural or “just the way things are around here.”
Talking Points
In the popular press and in public debate, one often hears that U.S. students are performing poorly in math and science in comparison to other countries. What is the basis for these claims? What are students’ actual scores and rankings? How should we interpret and use these scores? A better understanding of the evidence is important for making effective policy decisions that affect computer science and other STEM fields.