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Computational Thinking, Grade 1 Students and the Binomial Theorem

Abstract

Wing’s (2006; 2008) advocacy for computational thinking in K-12 education, along with calls from technology leaders for computer programming for all students, have prompted educators and education leaders to reconsider the potential of computational thinking in K-12 education. Currently, computational thinking tends to be viewed as its own objective, rather than integrated with curriculum to enrich existing subject areas. However, there is a natural (and historical) connection between computational thinking and mathematics—in terms of logical structure and in the ability to model and investigate mathematical relationships. To better understand the potential of computational thinking in mathematics education, we consider a classroom case where computational thinking was used with Grade 1 students to investigate (a) patterns with squares and (b) rudimentary ideas of the Binomial Theorem. Our analysis focuses on computational thinking affordances as “actors” in the teaching and learning process.

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Acknowledgments

This paper is based on work funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

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Correspondence to George Gadanidis.

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Gadanidis, G., Hughes, J.M., Minniti, L. et al. Computational Thinking, Grade 1 Students and the Binomial Theorem. Digit Exp Math Educ 3, 77–96 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40751-016-0019-3

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s40751-016-0019-3

Keywords

  • Mathematics education
  • Computational thinking