Coding to Connect: Centering Joy and Community in Elementary Computer Science Education

Main Article Content

Mike Karlin
Cristina Stephany
Marcia Reed


In this piece, we weave together personal reflections to explore the design and implementation of an unplugged, elementary computer science (CS) event, and examine the underlying pedagogical principles guiding this work.  Critical CS scholars have increasingly called for centering joy and connection within CS, while simultaneously decentering the neoliberal focus on workforce development.  We aimed to forefront these ideas with a CS event supported and led by a multi-stakeholder partnership between preservice teachers, staff, and faculty within California State University, Dominguez Hills’ College of Education, and the students, inservice teachers, and administration at 186th St. Elementary School.  Historically, CS is an inequitable and inaccessible field that does not prioritize diversity or inclusion.  By bringing together numerous stakeholders from across the community for a CS event centering joy, we hoped to shift perceptions and experiences of CS and find better ways of supporting and inspiring all our students and teachers.  

Article Details

Perspective 3: Faculty & Staff Voices