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Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
ERIC Number: ED593958
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2019-Apr-3
Pages: 75
Abstractor: As Provided
Preservice Science Teachers' Intentions and Avoidances to Integrate Computational Thinking into Their Science Lesson Plans for Young Learners
McGinnis, J. Randy; Ketelhut, Diane Jass; Mills, Kelly; Hestness, Emily; Jeong, Hannoori; Cabrera, Lautaro
Grantee Submission, Paper presented at the Annual International Conference of NARST: A Worldwide Association for Research in Science Teaching and Learning (Baltimore, MD, Apr 3, 2019)
In this study, we described a curricular module on computational thinking (CT) integrated within an undergraduate, senior level elementary science methods course, and developed insights on elementary preservice science teachers' (PSTs) thoughts, feelings, and actions about CT integration. Our research question was: "Following participation in an involuntary policy driven curricular module on CT, what is the nature of PSTs' intentions and avoidances as informed by their thoughts, feelings, and actions about the innovation in their elementary science classrooms?" Three major findings were that PSTs 1) expressed an intention to integrate CT in their teaching and not avoid it, since they thought and felt that CT supported evidence-based science teaching practices and offered opportunity to increase their students career interest in STEM. That is, PSTs thought that the CT integration offered them the opportunity to teach science in a policy supported manner to all their students, including those traditionally underserved in STEM; 2) thought that opportunities to engage in CT in science would benefit their young students due to their use of technological tools to teach CT. Furthermore, they felt that CT made science more fun, interesting, and engaging, as well as cognitively challenging because of the need to think in a new way about science and engineering; 3) varied in their reasons for integrating CT in their practices and in their actions to integrate it in their classroom science lesson plans. Approximately half of the participants attempted to integrate CT due to polite compliance (termed "Visitors to CT Land") and half attempted it due to a personal commitment to promote a new way of thinking in science that included CT (termed, "Good Citizens in CT Land"). PSTs in both groups varied widely in the scope and accuracy of their lesson planning and instruction of CT. Discussion focused on the role of affordances but also challenges in PSTs thinking, feeling, and acts of integrating policy driven innovation in pedagogy, specifically the CT innovation. Findings have implications for the design and instruction of science methods courses that seek to integrate effectively CT. Additionally, consideration of the use of lesson plans as evidence for the integration of CT in science instruction was the focus of an addendum to the study.
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: 1639891