June 24, 2017
June 24, 2017
June 28, 2017
Pre-College Engineering Education Division
Integrated learning through engineering and computational thinking is fundamental in the current era of STEM education. However, articulating evidence of learning in such complex learning environments can be a challenge. This is especially true in elementary grades where developmentally-appropriate practices are not yet fully defined and understood.
The purpose of this research is to explore computational thinking practices in K-2 classrooms during an integrated curriculum. In particular, this study will focus on evidence of and computational thinking found in worksheets completed throughout the curriculum. The primary research question is: How do student artifacts promote computational thinking during an integrated literacy, STEM, and computational thinking curriculum?
Three twelve-lesson integrated units incorporating literacy, STEM, and computational thinking were developed for use in K-2 classrooms, one per grade level. These units have four primary components of note: 1) engineering design as the interdisciplinary glue, 2) realistic engineering contexts to promote student engagement, 3) high-quality literature to facilitate meaningful connections and 4) instruction of specific STEM content within an integrated approach. In addition, the curriculum incorporates computational thinking in developmentally-appropriate ways in each grade level.
The integrated curriculum has been implemented in one Kindergarten classroom in Fall 2016. Student artifacts have been collected, scanned, and de-identified and analyzed for understanding of computational thinking. A priori codes include computational thinking practices as determined from existing frameworks while allowing for inductive coding of unanticipated phenomena.
This paper will provide evidence of how students in Kindergarten engage with computational thinking through analysis of student work.
Dasgupta, A., & Rynearson, A. M., & Purzer, S., & Ehsan, H., & Cardella, M. E. (2017, June), Computational Thinking in K-2 Classrooms: Evidence from Student Artifacts (Fundamental) Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. https://peer.asee.org/28062
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