Skip to main content

Using Structured Academic Controversy for STEM Education Leadership Programs

Journal of College Science Teaching—March/April 2024 (Volume 53, Issue 2)

By Mariana Alvidrez, Christopher Villa, Elaine Hampton

As ethical issues involving computer technologies and social media become more common, there is increasing interest in what role ethics should play in Computer Science education. As a result, Computer Science departments worldwide have increased efforts to examine relevant ethical issues in undergraduate Computer Science education to prepare emerging professionals to face relevant issues when they enter the computing workforce. As part of these efforts, a public R-1 Hispanic Serving Institution located on the US-Mexico border piloted a leadership course based on the Relational Leadership Model (Komives et al., 2013). This leadership model provides a broad idea of leadership that focuses on developing and exercising leaders' ethical awareness by engaging in discussions of ethical issues. The pilot course was organized around the implementation of a cooperative pedagogical tool known as structured academic controversy (Johnson et al., 1996). We describe in detail the strategy for implementing this approach, discuss key elements of students' final reflections about their participation in the academic controversy and present the quantitative results examining students' understanding of leadership and satisfaction with the pilot course.

Administration Computer Science Leadership STEM Teaching Strategies

Asset 2