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Preservice Science Teachers’ Beliefs About Computational Thinking Following a Curricular Module Within an Elementary Science Methods Course

, , , , , , University of Maryland, United States

CITE Journal Volume 20, Number 1, ISSN 1528-5804 Publisher: Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education, Waynesville, NC USA

Abstract

The authors describe their study of a curricular module on computational thinking (CT) implemented within an elementary science methods course and reported insights on preservice science teachers’ (PSTs’) beliefs about CT integration. The research question was, “Following participation in a curricular module on CT, what is the nature of PSTs’ beliefs about CT integration in their elementary science classrooms?” The authors designed and implemented a three-class-session CT module within an undergraduate elementary science methods course. They observed and collected field notes on PSTs’ (N = 39) participation in the module, along with class artifacts. They examined the data to gain insight into PSTs’ perceptions of CT integration in elementary science education, its feasibility, and its value for their own teaching practice. They found that PSTs overwhelmingly supported the pedagogical innovation of integrating CT in their science teaching; they appreciated that CT modernized and made science education engaging for young learners; and, they generally believed that CT integration supported the implementation of what they understood as good science teaching practice. However, the PSTs believed they would face a variety of challenges in their efforts to integrate CT into their science teaching. Implications for CT teacher education are discussed.

Citation

McGinnis, J.R., Hestness, E., Mills, K., Ketelhut, D., Cabrera, L. & Jeong, H. (2020). Preservice Science Teachers’ Beliefs About Computational Thinking Following a Curricular Module Within an Elementary Science Methods Course. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 20(1), 85-107. Waynesville, NC USA: Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education. Retrieved May 24, 2020 from .