Harvard Educational Review
  1. Winter 2019 Issue »

    CS4Some? Differences in Technology Learning Readiness

    CASSIDY PUCKETT

    This article investigates the extent to which teens are ready to take advantage of the Computer Science for All (CS4All) initiative promoted in 2016 by the Obama administration. Using new survey data from a socioeconomically stratified random sample of eighth graders in regular neighborhood schools in Chicago, author Cassidy Puckett looks at differences in students' technology learning readiness, operationalized as the use of five technology learning habits, and home and school resources and practices that explain these differences. Findings show that students vary in their technology learning readiness, which suggests the need for intervention before high school, and that families shape readiness, but schools largely do not. This study contributes to debates about schools' relationship to inequality by identifying a mechanism through which policies can inadvertently exacerbate inequities without understanding and addressing readiness; it also offers possible methods for interventions in schools.

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    Cassidy Puckett (https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1907-9033) is an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology at Emory University. Using a mixed-methods approach, she examines the relationship between technological change and inequality in education, occupations, and health care. Her work has appeared in the Teachers College Record, Qualitative Sociology, and Sociological Focus. Her research has received support from the US Department of Education, National Science Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, American Council of Learned Societies, and Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Before earning her doctorate at Northwestern University, Puckett taught technology classes for six years at Urban Promise Academy in Oakland, California.

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