Pedagogical Interventions to Improve the Outcomes of Hispanics in AP Computer Science

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Conference Proceeding

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A year-long proof-of-concept research project explored the impact of utilizing pedagogical strategies from teaching English as a Second Language and Bilingual education to improve the outcomes of Hispanics in Advanced Placement Computer Science A (AP CSA) and AP Computer Science Principles (AP CSP). The project was conducted in the US during the 2019-2020 academic year with twenty-two AP Computer Science teachers. The intervention was evaluated by comparing the College Board's 2020 national and state AP CSA and AP CSP exam statistics with the aggregate scores of the students in the classroom of the project's teacher cohort. Teacher surveys were also used to evaluate the impact of the study on teacher's perception and teaching practices. Results from this research show that Hispanic students in the research cohort passed the AP CSP test at the same rate as all students passing the AP CSP test in the cohort. This contrasts favorably with the national and state Hispanic passing AP CSP test takers which are reported as 10 to 13% below all students AP CSP passing test takers. The pedagogical interventions used here are one approach to promote equity in computer science education. This paper presents a description of the project, a comparison of the project's data to the 2020 national and state AP CSA and AP CSP exam statistics, a summary of the teacher survey data and recommendations for continued research in this area.

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Annual Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education, ITiCSE

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