Teaching JavaScript for Social Justice

Can teaching JavaScript advance social justice? This spring I took an initial step to incorporate issues of culture, bias and equity into my JavaScript programming course. It’s a small step, and reflects my own growing understanding of these issues. Here I’ll describe why and what I did, and some of my initial experiences. I hope that you will share your thoughts, suggestions and resources.

Why did I do this?

Our students need to gain an understanding of  issues of culture, bias and equity at the same time that they learn technical skills. There are compelling ethical reasons, but even from a purely pragmatic perspective, information professionals need to understand the context in which we use programming skills. We don’t teach reference services, project management or cataloging isolated from their organizational and culture contexts, and we should similarly be teaching programming in its cultural context. Continue reading “Teaching JavaScript for Social Justice”