I actively recruit female AP Computer Science tutoring clients and female students in my AP CS classes. Some of the benefits of choosing a tutor who embraces women in CS are discussed below.
No gender bias
Unconscious bias can cause well-intentioned tutors to treat girls in ways that are counterproductive. For example, tutors might more readily interpret a pause by a girl as a sign that she is stuck. Offering help too quickly or offering too much help can result in undesirable dependence on the tutor, loss of confidence and inability to work through challenging problems. Tutors might select easier problems for girls that deprive them of the chance to fully engage with the content.
Tutors may praise girls for being tough enough to survive in a male dominated class and field. Girls likely have a greater desire to feel that they belong in AP CS, which they do, than to feel that they are anomalies.
I’ve worked with many skilled and motivated female students, clients and colleagues. I’ve sought to maintain and increase the enrollment of girls in my AP CS course. If I ever had any unconscious bias against girls in computer science it has long been dispelled by my experience. The help I provide to girls is every bit as measured and focused as the help I provide to boys. The exercises I use with girls are every bit as interesting and challenging as those I use with boys. I will never suggest to a girl that she is unusual because she has chosen to pursue the fascinating subject of CS.
Gender neutral & female targeted exercises
Exercises with a gender bias can be extremely frustrating to girls. The AP CS practice exercises I’ve developed are gender neutral. Some of my exercises feature elements specifically intended to appeal to girls, such as graphics, social responsibility implications and subtle jokes. Even girls who like or don’t mind traditionally male themes are likely to find the variety refreshing.