How the Pre-service Teachers Associate Computational Thinking with Programming?
A Case Study of an Introductory Programming Course in Teacher Education
Keywords:Computational Thinking, Programming, Teacher Education, K-12 Education, Case Study
There is a growing interest among educators to integrate computational thinking into basic education. Computational thinking is a complex concept and difficult to understand especially for those who have limited theoretical knowledge about this concept and no background in the computer science. Question arises, whether we reach the high-standard learning goals without comprehensive understanding of computer science. Therefore, there is a need to study computational thinking and how it should be introduced to pre-service teachers with little knowledge and experience in computer science and programming. This study aims to explore pre-service teachers' understanding of computational thinking in the context of an introductory programming course. We focus on to what extent the pre-service teachers recognize computational thinking during the course and how they associate their conceptual understanding of computational thinking with the concrete programming practices. We undertake in-depth analysis of five pre-service teachers who were novices in programming. The assignments and the survey after the course are analysed. The preliminary results show that sequencing from unplugged activities to computerized activities and project work helps the pre-service teachers recognized computational thinking. Understanding of the relationship between computational thinking and programming was diverse. Some explained that computational thinking helps understanding the code. This study provides insights of how computational thinking should be introduced along the way of learning programming.
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