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October 19, 2022

The Ethi{CS} Professional Learning Program

A sequence of six professional learning workshops throughout the 2022–2023 academic year
by Kiran Bhardwaj & Nicholas Zufelt

Ethi{CS} Professional Learning Program: Helping students think ethically through computer science

The Ethi{CS} Professional Learning Program is a series of six workshops that help high school computer science teachers to:

  • recognize opportunities for ethical inquiry in any computer science curriculum
  • design activities which prompt student to consider the ethical dimensions of their work

This program is designed for teachers who want to help students develop ethical thinking skills, but do not have a background in ethics and want support in adding an ethical dimension to their courses. The ethi{CS} pedagogy leverages opportunities for teaching ethics that are already embedded in computer science lessons. Teachers will emerge with strategies for engaging in ethical questioning and analysis with their students. Teachers from STEM and other technical disciplines are welcome, although conversations will focus primarily on applications in computer sciences.

The Ethi{CS} Professional Learning Program will be delivered over the 2022–2023 academic year with synchronous and asynchronous content. Teachers are welcome to participate in workshops individually or as a sequenced course for Ethi{CS} Pedagogical Certification. Certification indicates that teachers are prepared to develop and teach a computer science curriculum that builds students’ applied ethical skills. See below for more information about the Professional Learning series.

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The second workshop, Roadblocks for Bringing Ethics into the Classroom, will be conducted via Zoom on Wednesday, November 9, 7:00–8:15 pm EST. To receive more information about the Professional Learning Program, and to register for Workshop 2, please complete this form.

Please direct questions to [email protected].

The ethi{CS} project is based at Phillips Academy and supported by the Tang Institute. It is led by Andover ethicist Kiran Bhardwaj and computer science teacher Nicholas Zufelt, who have been developing pedagogies with their own students, and share methods with fellow teachers nationwide.

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2022–2023 ethi{CS} Professional Learning Program: Workshop Schedule

Workshop 1: ethi{CS} Project Pedagogical Practices
October 20, 7:00–8:30 pm EST
  • An introduction for teachers who want to learn how the ethi{CS} project designs assignments to integrate ethics with technical work. Teachers will also receive an overview of basic pedagogy practices from the ethics classroom that can be borrowed by CS educators. This session will repeat material from the August 17 workshop.
  • This content will also be offered asynchronously.
Workshop 2: Roadblocks for Bringing Ethics into the Classroom (Part 1)
November 9, 7:00–8:15pm EST
  • Designed for those who are curious about common misconceptions about ethics and ethics pedagogy, and particularly for anyone who feels unsure or even vulnerable about teaching ethics in their own classrooms.
  • This content will also be offered asynchronously.
Workshop 3: Ethics Basics
  • An asynchronous workshop, delivered from November–January.
  • Designed for teachers who want to know more about both how those in the discipline frame ethical conversations and dilemmas, as well as applied content or contexts in CS courses.
Workshop 4: Ethics in Your Courses
February 6, 6:30–8:30pm EST
  • Designed as a workshopping opportunity for teachers to debrief on or plan possible lessons, assignments, or similar in their own courses.
  • Teachers who have been able to engage with the content of all Workshops 1–3 may join at 7:00pm EST.
  • This content will only be available during the session.
Workshop 5: Roadblocks for Bringing Ethics into the Classroom (Part 2)
March 6, 7:00–8:30pm EST
  • Designed for teachers who are interested in how to, on-the-spot, handle some of the trickiest kinds of conversations we have about ethics. Bring your own difficult cases!
  • There will not be an early start, as in other sessions in the series, as the Session 4 materials do not require review.
  • This content will NOT be offered asynchronously.
Workshop 6: Quality of Ethical Thinking and Review
April 24, 7:00-8:30pm EST
  • This content will be offered asynchronously as well.
  • The session from 7:00-7:45 will be designed for those interested in how to assess the quality of students’ ethical thinking.
  • The remainder of the session is designed for participants for the full Professional Learning course as a workshopping opportunity.
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