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Computational Thinking, Mathematics, and Science: Elementary Teachers’ Perspectives on Integration

, , , Michigan State University, United States

Journal of Technology and Teacher Education Volume 27, Number 2, ISSN 1059-7069 Publisher: Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education, Waynesville, NC USA

Abstract

In order to create professional development experiences, curriculum materials, and policies that support elementary school teachers to embed computational thinking (CT) in their teaching, researchers and teacher educators must understand ways teachers see CT as connecting to their classroom practices. We interviewed 12 elementary school teachers, probing their understanding six components of CT (abstraction, algorithmic thinking, automation, debugging, decomposition, and generalization) and how those components relate to their math and science teaching. Results suggested that teachers saw stronger connections between CT and their mathematics instruction than between CT and their science instruction. We also found that teachers draw upon their existing knowledge of CT-related terminology to make connections to their math and science instruction that could be leveraged in professional development. Teachers were, however, concerned about bringing CT into teaching due to limited class time and the difficulties of addressing high level CT thinking in developmentally appropriate ways. We discuss these results and their implications future research and the design of curriculum and professional development.

Citation

Rich, K.M., Yadav, A. & Schwarz, C.V. (2019). Computational Thinking, Mathematics, and Science: Elementary Teachers’ Perspectives on Integration. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 27(2), 165-205. Waynesville, NC USA: Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education. Retrieved August 17, 2019 from .