Dr. Charles Hodges (Georgia Southern University) and I are currently co-editing a book on Computational Thinking research and practice that will be published by Springer. Every week, we like to share a quote from one of the chapters that highlights the authors’ work. This week, our contribution comes from Tarmo Toikkanen and Teemu Leinonen of the Learning Environments Research Group at Aalto University in Finland.
In their chapter, “The Code ABC MOOC in Finland: Experiences from a coding and computational thinking MOOC for Finnish primary school teachers,” they report on 501 primary educators (K-2, 3-6, 7-9) and found the following:
As expected, many preconceptions and reservations disappeared completely once the teachers tried out a programming tool in practice. The ease of use was a surprise to those who had perhaps studied a bit of computer science during their university studies.
Another key insight many had was that what these tools allowed meshed really well with an ideal pedagogical approach. Some special ed teachers noted that they had been doing “coding” for years, but just using colored paper and other craft materials, and hadn’t realized they could call it programming. While of course some teachers struggled to learn computational concepts, the vast majority had no trouble with the tools and seeing their immediate benefits in their classrooms.