1. Diane Ketelhut
  2. https://education.umd.edu/directory/diane-jass-ketelhut
  3. Associate Professor
  5. University of Maryland
  1. Lautaro Cabrera
  2. https://www.lautarocabrera.com
  4. University of Maryland
  1. Emily Hestness
  2. Postdoctoral Researcher
  4. University of Maryland
  1. Hannoori Jeong
  3. University of Maryland

Exploring the Integration of Computational Thinking into Preservice Elementar...

NSF Awards: 1639891

2018 (see original presentation & discussion)

Grades K-6, Undergraduate, Adult learners

To increase the number and diversity of students enrolled in secondary computer science courses (and thus in computer science careers), interest and basic understanding need to be developed in younger children when interests are being formed. The first step is to improve the preparation that elementary teachers receive about computational thinking (CT) to increase both the quantity and quality of exposure for elementary-aged children that can then be built upon throughout their schooling. This project’s overall goal, therefore, is to transform elementary school teacher practice by integrating CT strategically and significantly into science instruction for all young learners, thereby promoting a more numerous and more diverse citizenry, knowledgeable and interested in computing. The CT→PSTE project is designing, implementing, and testing pedagogical modules for developing CT in preservice teachers’ science methods pedagogical course. Further, an extracurricular Science Teaching CT Inquiry Group is being designed to enhance and broaden the level of understanding for both teacher interns’ and their mentor teachers’ understanding of CT, including how computer applications support the teaching of science and CT as a necessary science practice for all elementary-aged students. Instruction in how to convey to young learners the integral nature of CT for STEM career awareness and readiness is included throughout the curriculum innovation. This project is engaging in exploratory, basic research to provide empirical support in developing a set of resources (science methods experiences), tools (a framework for integrating CT in undergraduate science teacher education), and measures (assessments for CT understanding and CT-STEM career awareness).

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