Digital Experiences in Mathematics Education

, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp 154–171 | Cite as

A Pedagogical Framework for Computational Thinking

  • Donna KotsopoulosEmail author
  • Lisa Floyd
  • Steven Khan
  • Immaculate Kizito Namukasa
  • Sowmya Somanath
  • Jessica Weber
  • Chris Yiu
Mathematics and Programming


Our goal in this paper is to propose a Computational Thinking Pedagogical Framework (CTPF), developed from constructionism and social-constructivism theories. CTPF includes four pedagogical experiences: (1) unplugged, (2) tinkering, (3) making, and (4) remixing. Unplugged experiences focus on activities implemented without the use of computers. Tinkering experiences primarily involve activities that take things apart and engaging in changes and/or modifications to existing objects. Making experiences involve activities where constructing new objects is the primary focus. Remixing refers to those experiences that involve the appropriation of objects or components of objects for use in other objects or for other purposes. Objects can be digital, tangible, or even conceptual. These experiences reflect distinct yet overlapping CT experiences which are all proposed to be necessary in order for students to fully experience CT. In some cases, particularly for novices and depending on the concepts under exploration, a sequential approach to these experiences may be helpful.


Computational thinking Experiences Mathematics Making Pedagogical Remixing Tinkering Unplugged 



This paper was based on the Namukasa et al. (2015) working group report from the Math + Coding Symposium, Western University, London, Canada. We would like to acknowledge the early contributions of Yasmin B. Kafai and Laura Morrison, and the feedback from George Gadanidis. This research was funded by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council grant to George Gadanidis, Donna Kotsopoulos, and Immaculate Kizito Namukasa.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donna Kotsopoulos
    • 1
    Email author
  • Lisa Floyd
    • 2
  • Steven Khan
    • 3
  • Immaculate Kizito Namukasa
    • 4
  • Sowmya Somanath
    • 5
  • Jessica Weber
    • 6
  • Chris Yiu
    • 7
  1. 1.Faculty of Education and Faculty of Science (Department of Mathematics)Wilfrid Laurier UniversityONCanada
  2. 2.Faculty of EducationWestern University/Thames Valley District School BoardLondonCanada
  3. 3.Faculty of EducationBrock UniversitySt. CatharinesCanada
  4. 4.Faculty of EducationWestern UniversityLondonCanada
  5. 5.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  6. 6.Waterloo Catholic District School BoardWaterlooCanada
  7. 7.Department of Computer ScienceWestern UniversityLondonCanada

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