During the 2019 NCWIT Summit, we sat down with several plenary speakers, workshop presenters, and other change leaders from the NCWIT community to discuss their perspectives on valuing diversity, changing systems (as opposed to “fixing” underrepresented individuals), recognizing bias, and more. The end result was a series of short videos that not only captures what drives these change leaders in their inclusion efforts, but also highlights research-based recommendations from the vast collection of NCWIT resources.
In this video, Google Chief Education Evangelist Jaime Casap talks about getting kids engaged in tech topics by asking them, “What problem do you want to solve?” and “What do you need to learn in order to solve that problem?” For those who want to explore this topic more deeply, EngageCSEdu offers educators a library of materials for designing effective assignments and curricula using practices that are shown to be helpful in engaging students from diverse backgrounds in computing classes.
JAIME CASAP: The most important thing that we can do is to shift culture in education models. I think that’s where we need to focus.
JAIME CASAP: We need to reframe the questions that we ask, right? This idea that we can ask kids, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” It doesn’t make sense. That’s an old-world question. The better question that we should be asking students instead is, “What problem do you want to solve? What’s the problem that spins in your head?” Cause then we can follow up with, “How do you want to solve that problem?” And then, and this is where education comes in, then we can ask them, “What do you need to learn to solve that problem? What are the knowledge, the skills, and the abilities that you need to have to solve that problem?” So we can shift some of the questions, that we can change some of the ideas that that worked for us for a long time and shift them into an understanding of what the future looks like, then we can start having different conversations.