Case Studies of Elementary Children’s Engagement in Computational Thinking Through Scratch Programming
Scratch is a programming environment designed to facilitate children’s engagement in computational thinking through the creation of interactive multimedia products. It is purported that children’s engagement in computational thinking can possibly build their problem-solving skills, which is a key twenty-first-century competency. As such, Scratch programming has attracted considerable attention in the educational field recently, especially through the integration of Scratch programming into the school curriculum. Despite this increased interest, there is limited understanding of the possible achievements and challenges that children with different programming abilities may have when engaging in computational thinking. Such studies are critical for understanding the computational thinking of elementary students and are useful for helping educators to better design programming lessons. To address this gap, this study examines three case studies of how elementary children with different programming abilities approach Scratch programming. Using a multiple case study approach, the narratives of children’s programming moves, utterances, and behaviours during Scratch programming will be compared to understand the possible achievements as well as the challenges that children could face when engaging in computational thinking through Scratch programming. Based on the findings, we proposed some possible instructional implications for supporting children’s engagement in computational thinking through K-12 programming lessons.
KeywordsK-12 computational thinking K-12 programming STEM education Scratch programming Problem-solving
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