Chapter 7 Building Computational Thinking

Design and Making in Teacher Education

In: Recruiting, Preparing, and Retaining STEM Teachers for a Global Generation
Laurie O. Campbell
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Samantha Heller
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While the importance of teaching computational thinking has received national attention over the last decade, many educators continue to lack the understanding and awareness to implement computational thinking as a problem-solving framework in their daily instruction. In this mixed methods study, preservice teachers participated in Pop-Up Makerspace activities designed to introduce and explore computational thinking as a framework for problem solving. After determining the participants’ level of confidence teaching STEM-related content was lowest in problem-solving and engineering, the study examined how affective factors such as disposition and attitude were evident during the Pop-Up learning experiences. In this study, educators demonstrated the affective traits of resilience, failure, persistence, and frustration. Each factor of computational thinking was observed during the design and making experience. The effects of participation in a Pop-Up Makerspace motivated the preservice teachers to incorporate these experiential learning experiences into their own teaching practices.

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