Creating a Welcoming Physical Environment
Not only should the content of a curriculum be designed to appeal to a broad range of students, but the classroom a computer science course is offered in should appeal to all students as well. Typical computer science workplaces and classroom environments may not appeal to underrepresented students such as women and minorities. The presentation and resources (below) will share some tips on ways to make your classroom more inviting. (Slides)
How to Create a Welcoming Physical Environment
Avoid images and phrases that reinforce stereotypes
Use natural & neutral decor items
Keep classroom clutter free and bright
Provide space for collaboration and mobility
Display student projects and upcoming opportunities
Include info about diverse CS careers and role models
Label items in both languages
Post maps, flags, and cultural images from a variety of countries
Take a few minutes to complete this welcoming environment activity (the link will force you to make a copy of the Google slide). Arrange the images (or delete them) to create your welcoming classroom.
Consider the following questions:
What kind of classroom do you teach in now? Share a picture with your group if you have one.
How well does your classroom layout facilitate student collaboration? Are desks and tables in groups or can they be moved?
What kind of wall decorations do you have? What aspects would you change to reduce stereotype threat in the room? (See the resources above for posters)
ReducingStereotypeThreat.org (new website is coming soon - updated 7/12/2022)