16 SES 12 A, Computational Thinking and Digital Literacy
(2020 ID: 1525) Unpacking the Notion of Computational Thinking in Teacher Education: One Example from the Norwegian Online Course “Programming in School”
This paper discusses the notion of computational thinking and presents one example from an online course in programming to illustrate how computational thinking is approached in one teacher education institution. Computational thinking was first coined by Papert as the relationship between programming and thinking skills (Papert, 1996). Wing further developed the concept and defined computational thinking as “solving problems, designing systems, and understanding human behavior, by drawing on the concepts fundamental to computer science” (2006, p. 33).
Zhang & Nouri (2019) present computational thinking as a 21st century skill that future generations must develop. Despite a lack of general consensus on what computational thinking entails (Shute et al 2017, Brennan & Resnick, 2012), the approach taken in Nordic countries is that computational thinking is more than just programming, and encompasses key 21 century skills like problem solving, logical thinking and creativity (Bocconi et al, 2018). This connection between computational thinking, problem-solving and 21 century skills can be interpreted as a pointer to the value and relevance of the concept computational thinking. This is visible in revival of computational thinking in both policy documents and national curricula in several countries. Heinz, Mannila and Färnqvist’s (2016) review how 10 different countries (Australia, England, Estonia, Finland, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, South Korea, Poland and USA) have approached introducing computer science into their K– 12 education, where they conclude that the trend is to introduce computing, programming and digital competencies in primary education.
Within the last few years, the Nordic countries have all introduced computational thinking in their curricula, and the different countries interpret and implement the notion of computational thinking in different ways (Bocconi et. al 2018). Mainly there are two different angles of how the different countries integrate computational thinking into school curricula: 1) integrating computational thinking as part of a specific subject or 2) having computational thinking as its own subject. The revised Norwegian curriculum (2020) introduces computational thinking in Mathematics, Natural Science, Music and Arts and Crafts. This introduction in the curriculum calls for a response from teacher education. This paper addresses following research question: How is computational thinking defined and how is it approached in teacher education in Norway?
The general trend in primary education is to introduce computing, often in the form of what is termed computational thinking, but this term is rarely used explicit, however the ideas are included in some form (Carlborg, et. al, 2019), which appears to be the case in the Norwegian curriculum (2020). Computational thinking is a concept used by many researchers and in policy documents, but few define and describe it. Garcia-Penalvo & Mendes (2018) state that “computational thinking is not coding, but computational thinking may be the outcome of a good planned programming practice”.
In the new Norwegian curriculum of 2020 computational thinking has been divided into two main aspects: key concepts and working methods. Key concepts are: logic (analyze and predict), algorithms (rules and step-by-step), decomposition (breaking down into smaller parts), patterns (spotting and using similarities), abstraction (remove unnecessary details) and evaluation (making judgements). Working methods are: Tinkering (experimenting and playing), creating (designing and making), debugging (finding and fixing errors), persevering (keep going) and collaborating (working together) (Directorate of Education, 2019).
However, there are some dilemmas connected to the notion of computational thinking and how to teach it in schools. Although computational thinking has been introduced in subjects at school it is still unclear how computational thinking should be taught in high school (Musaeus & Musaeus, 2019).
Bocconi, S., Chioccariello, A., & Earp, J. (2018). The Nordic approach to introducing Computational Thinking and programming in compulsory education. Report prepared for the Nordic@ BETT2018 Steering Group. doi: https://doi. Org/10.17471/54007. Brennan, K., & Resnick, M. (2012, April). New frameworks for studying and assessing the development of computational thinking. In Proceedings of the 2012 annual meeting of the American educational research association, Vancouver, Canada (Vol. 1, p. 25). Carlborg, N., Tyren, M., Heath, C., & Eriksson, E. (2019). The scope of autonomy when teaching computational thinking in primary school. International Journal of Child-Computer Interaction, 21, 130-139. Directorate of Education (2019, sist endret 27.03.2019). Algoritmisk tenkning. https://www.udir.no/kvalitet-og-kompetanse/profesjonsfaglig-digital-kompetanse/algoritmisk-tenkning/ García-Peñalvo, F. J., & Mendes, A. J. (2018). Exploring the computational thinking effects in pre-university education.Computers in Human Behavior, 2018, Vol.80, p.407-411 Heintz, F., Mannila, L., & Färnqvist, T. (2016, October). A review of models for introducing computational thinking, computer science and computing in K-12 education. In 2016 IEEE Frontiers in Education conference (FIE) (pp. 1-9). IEEE. McKenney, S., & Reeves, T. (2018). Conducting Educational Design Research. Oxon: Routledge. Papert, S. (1996). An exploration in the space of mathematics educations. IJ Computers for Math. Learning, 1(1), 95-123. Retrieved from http://www.papert.org/articles/AnExplorationintheSpaceofMathematicsEducations.html Musaeus, L. H., & Musaeus, P. (2019, February). Computational Thinking in the Danish High School: Learning Coding, Modeling, and Content Knowledge with NetLogo. In Proceedings of the 50th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education (pp. 913-919). ACM. Shute, V. J., Sun, C., & Asbell-Clarke, J. (2017). Demystifying computational thinking. Educational Research Review, 22, 142-158. Ulvik, M., Riese, H. & Roness, D. (2016). Å forske på egen praksis. Aksjonsforskning og andre tilnærminger til profesjonell utvikling i utdanningsfeltet. Bergen: Fagbokforlaget Wing, J. M. (2006). Computational thinking. Communications of the ACM, 49(3), 33-35. Zhang, L., & Nouri, J. (2019). A systematic review of learning computational thinking through Scratch in K-9. Computers & Education, 141, 103607.
- Search for keywords and phrases in "Text Search"
- Restrict in which part of the abstracts to search in "Where to search"
- Search for authors and in the respective field.
- For planning your conference attendance you may want to use the conference app, which will be issued some weeks before the conference
- If you are a session chair, best look up your chairing duties in the conference system (Conftool) or the app.