Computational Thinking: Research and Practice — weekly quote #1

I am currently working on an edited book with Dr. Charles Hodges of Georgia Southern University called, “Computational Thinking: Research and Practice.” We have many chapters from scholars from all around the world who are trying to implement computational thinking practices with students and teachers of all ages.

Each week, we will share a quote from one of the chapters that highlights important points or findings from a different chapter. The book will be published by Springer, together with the the Association for Educational Communications and Technology. So, without further ado, here’s a snippet from a chapter by Aman Yadav, Sarah Gretter, Jon Good, and Tamika McLean of Michigan State University.

While computational thinking has been suggested as a problem solving approach using principles from computer science, many of the existing efforts use programming tools and environments to expose students to computational thinking. Fletcher & Lu (2009) argued that this approach might continue the misconceptions about computer science as being equivalent to “programming.” Instead, they suggested, “just as proficiency in basic language arts helps us to effectively communicate and proficiency in basic math helps us to successfully quantitate, proficiency in computational thinking helps us systematically and efficiently process information and tasks” (Fletcher & Lu, p. 23). This effort to lay foundations of CT needs to start early on in students’ K-12 experience before they experience programming languages (Fletcher & Lu). Hence, we need to develop ways to embed computational thinking concepts and practices across disciplines both with and without the programming context to benefit students with varied interests.

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Peter Rich

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