Middle school stem teachers' understandings of computational thinking: A case study of Brazil and USA

Eugenia Vomvoridi-Ivanovic, Tonisha B. Lane, Jonathan Elliot Gaines, Kali Lynn Morgan, Selene Willis, Salam Ahmad, Cristina Diordieva, Ibrahim H. Yeter, Walter S. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

Abstract

In recent years, computational thinking has received increasing amounts of attention, with numerous K-12 institutions looking to incorporate it into existing STEM curriculums. This movement to improve computational thinking literacy, supported by numerous professional organizations (e.g., American Society for Engineering Education [ASEE], National Research Council [NRC], National Academy of Engineering [NAE]) and Next Generation Science Standard (NGSS Lead States, 2013), attempts to improve students' problem-solving skills and strategies. Efforts to improve computational thinking have been aimed at both teachers and students. However, few studies exist to investigate how teachers implement the teaching of CT practices in courses with a component that involves collaboration between students in multiple countries. Therefore, the focus of the study is to explore middle school STEM teachers' understandings of computational thinking practices, if any, within an integrated STEM education teaching approach. This study is an international study, as the teachers are from two countries, Brazil and the United States. For this study, an extensive semi-structured interview protocol is used to gather data from a sample of four middle school STEM teachers. All of the teachers are communicated with in English to collect the data. A case study method is implemented to collect and analyze interview data to identify similarities across cases. Member checking is used to confirm accuracy in the results. Findings from this study offer insights for researchers, middle school teachers, curriculum developers and professional development providers.

Original languageEnglish
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Jun 15 2019
Event126th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: Charged Up for the Next 125 Years, ASEE 2019 - Tampa, United States
Duration: Jun 15 2019Jun 19 2019

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