A Sociocultural Perspective on Computer Science Capital and its Pedagogical Implications in Computer Science Education

I have been so busy lately that I realised that I forgot to mention that my latest publication is finally out! You can access the article here. If you wish to read the article but cannot access it for whatever reason, please feel free to contact me at: tina.vrieler@it.uu.se


The aim of this conceptual article is to provide a framework and a lens for educators in diversifying and making CS education more inclusive. In this paper, we conceptualize the notion of computer science capital (CSC), which extends Bourdieu’s sociological theory of capital and Archer et al.’s work on ‘science capital’. The CSC concept was developed by contrasting the concept of science capital with a literature review on key factors affecting students’ aspirations in CS. We argue that there is a need to distinguish between science capital and CSC, because the types of capital that are considered legitimate vary between the field of natural science and computer science. The CSC concept uses a sociocultural perspective on learning and can be understood as a form of symbolic capital that is influential in facilitating students’ possibility to fully participate in, engage with, and form aspirations in CS. The CSC concept consists of three main components, each with associated subcomponents. We believe our CSC framework, along with the self-reflection prompts included in this article, will offer support for reflections for educators in their daily pedagogical work. By taking students’ various levels of social and cultural capital into consideration, educators can plan didactic activities with a focus to strengthen students’ various types of capital. This includes reflection on how implicit and explicit norms, beliefs, thoughts, expectations, values, and ideas can affect the pedagogical practices and ultimately the students. Only when we are reflective about our teaching practices can we be better positioned to construct a more inclusive teaching and learning environment.

Tina Vrieler and Minna Salminen-Karlsson. 2021. A Sociocultural Perspective on Computer Science Capital and its Pedagogical Implications in Computer Science Education. ACM Trans. Comput. Educ.(September 2021). https://doi-org.ezproxy.its.uu.se/10.1145/3487052


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s