Examining Pre-Service Teachers’ Computational Thinking: Are there Differences Between Gender in Digital Game Construction?
Abstract: Jeannette Wing (2006) suggested that computational thinking (CT) should be essential part of a 21st Century learner’s educational experience and integrated across the K-12 curriculum. Wing views CT as using concepts, largely drawn for computing science to solve problems, design systems, and understand human behaviour. In this study we assessed the CT skills of pre-service teachers, who designed and built their own video games using the Scratch programming environment. The learning environment was based on a constructionist-learning framework proposed by Papert (1991). Forty pre-services teachers, divided equally by gender, each constructed their own digital games. The games were assessed across eight identified dimensions of CT. Results indicated no significant differences on gender with respect to the pre-services teachers’ scores computational thinking abilities in the context of game development in Scratch, supporting the notion that digital game construction is a gender-neutral educational activity.