Algorithmic Thinking, Literacy, and Numeracy: Factors Influencing the Development of Computational Thinking Skills in 9-16 Year Old Students
Abstract: Teaching computational thinking (CT) in K-12 education presents new challenges for educators. In this collaborative action research project three teachers taught a series of lessons in computational thinking skills, focusing on three core CT skills algorithmic thinking, loops, and debugging. Then students recorded themselves as they sought to apply those concepts to a novel problem solving scenario presented by the game Tomorrow Corporation: Human Resources Machine. Preliminary results suggest a relationship between the child's literacy and numeracy levels and their ability to integrate computational thinking skills into a problem solving set. Specifically, students who struggle with basic reading comprehension and mathematical concepts demonstrated difficulties in applying new CT skills to novel problem solving situations. Teacher findings for improving their instructional practices around CT will be shared. Discussion of the opportunity for furthering student interest in reading/math as an opportunity to succeed in these other domains will be explored.
Presider: Raquel Santos, School of Education, Instituto Politécnico de Santarém, Portugal