Diversity: New Ways in Computer Science Education

Call for Papers

Integration of Gender and Diversity in STEM-subjects 
in Higher Education 

Final Conference

TU Berlin, November 21-22, 2013
Computer science as a relatively young subject has changed during the last decades like no other scientific discipline. And like hardly any other discipline its developments influence our daily lives. Starting out as an application-subject of math, computer science is developing into different directions and provides attractive areas of occupation. Therefore, computer science has all the requirements to attract a large and diverse body of students.
However, it does not manage to acquire diverse students. In particular, the low participation of women in classical computer science is noticeable. Possible reasons for that are manifold: A wrong concept of what computer science is about, the persistent hacker-image, the contents and their mediation in computer science courses at school, a lack of role models, a lack of application-orientation and social embeddedness in university teaching etc. Punctual measures thus far showed only small effects.
One of the aims should be to initiate a sustainable change in the perception of the subject culture of computer science in order to show the multifaceted possibilities that are offered by engaging in computer science contents as well as to facilitate an identification with the subject for a wide range of people. Two central starting points for universities will be the focus of the conference “Diversity: New Ways in Computer Science Education” and shall be discussed with a variety of experts: The design of the transition from school to university as well as university teaching in computer science and the other STEM-subjects. 
Experts, teachers and researchers are invited to submit their contributions from studies, measures and projects in one of these fields and to present them in the framework of the conference.
Workshop 1 –Transition from (High) School to University 
Preferences regarding the decision for or against academic studies and for or against certain courses respectively are already being developed at school. During this phase it is important that well-educated teachers convey a true and realistic picture of computer science and that gender dynamics are being addressed (e.g. gender specific distribution in academic studies or at the work place, ‘(male) extrusive behaviour’ at the computer). This workshop deals with measures that inspire pupils for computer science, convey a realistic picture of the subject and address the existing gender bias.
Workshop 2 – Gender and Diversity in Higher Education
The transfer and preparation of the content of teaching that focusses on the learner is an important starting point for universities. Gender and diversity sensitive subject didactics aims at creating offers for different types of learners, minimising experiences of frustration and therefore lowering dropout rates. Measures in this field are supposed to raise the attractiveness of the subject in the medium and long term in order to attain diverse students who again act as multipliers or role models enabling an identification of diverse people with the subject. In this workshop measures will be presented and discussed that contribute to a gender and diversity sensitive design of study courses. 
Presentations in this session may deal with the question which aspects gender and diversity sensitive teaching should address and how they could be implemented, which requirements, challenges and limits the claim for gender and diversity sensitive teaching means for didactics, how teachers/lecturers can be sensitised and an overall acceptance of the topic can be reached among students as well, and which further structures or measures (e.g. curriculum, networks, lecture series, preliminary courses, training opportunities) should be modified or customised to attract diverse students.
This is the final conference of the project “IGaDtools4MINT – Integration of Gender and Diversity in STEM-subjects in Higher Education”, which ends in January 2014 after a runtime of three years. The conference is linked to this year‘s faculty day of computer science at the TU Berlin, which provides the opportunity of an interdisciplinary exchange among the participants.
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