Elementary students must be ready to learn about computer science in later grades. Computational thinking (CT), which includes preparation for computer science practices, such as pattern recognition, abstraction, and testing to solve problems, can be taught in elementary grades. However, elementary schools require support to infuse CT throughout their curricula and to make sure learning experiences for students are coherent, high quality, and equitable.
The EDC project Researching the Integration of CT Readiness for All at the Elementary School Level will create tools to support schools and districts in examining their current CT teaching and learning experiences as well as developing plans for creating new experiences.
The project is carrying out the following activities:
- Conduct research to investigate the planning process and teacher professional development required to incorporate CT as part of the elementary school curricula
- Gather data about professional development opportunities, student learning, teacher and school leader surveys, and other artifacts of teaching CT
- Explore students’ access to high-quality CT instruction, with attention to groups historically underrepresented in computer science
- The long-term goal of this work is to improve the sustainability of teaching CT and to increase student readiness and interest in CT.