Since its inception, hundreds of students have graduated from Phillips Academy with a deep understanding of the ethical implications of computer science. The ethi{CS} project has prepared them to enter a workforce with a competency often neglected in the computer science field. The ethi{CS} project exemplifies Phillips Academy’s mission, not only by leading the advancement of teaching and learning at the Academy but also around the world.


Computer science teachers often struggle to incorporate ethics into their classes. When they do, it can be compartmentalized as an aside and is thus less impactful. The ethi{CS} project’s mission to meaningfully incorporate ethical and technical coursework helps to overcome these issues. The project’s educator resources and professional development opportunities offer teachers from around the world an opportunity to collaborate on this integration. In addition, because many computer science teachers are first-time ethicists, a careful bottom-up approach to building capacity is central to the ethi{CS} project.

Once charged with the ethical side of the equation, my design becomes much more deliberate as to how it will affect a user.

Computer Science Student2023

Takeaways & Best Practices

Students see their teachers engaging ethical issues in computer science. Because students see their computer science teachers engaging in ethics topics, students are more likely to consider ethics and computer science as inherently linked.

Open access and collaborative space are available for experimentation and optimization. Currently, the ethi{CS} project uses Github to store and make available its curriculums and pedagogy. By doing so, the project is reaching a wide range of students and teachers.

The ethi{CS} project is having a positive impact on Andover students. Bhardwaj and Zufelt have integrated ethics into all of the Andover CS curriculum. Because of this integration, students report being able to think more about the ethical implications of their choices as coders.

Bottom Line

Phillips Academy students engage with the ethi{CS} project curricula in a way that ensures students move into computer science careers with a relevant and advanced understanding of the ethical implications of computer science.

Computer science (CS) has a toolset that can produce elegant solutions to a number of tasks, but it isn’t an ethically neutral discipline. Because of the impact of developers’ choices in their work, we need to teach ethics in CS classrooms.

Kiran BhardwajInstructor in Philosophy and Religious Studies

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