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Teacher’s role in fostering preschoolers’ computational thinking: An exploratory case study

Computational thinking (CT), which is defined as the systematic analysis, exploration, and testing of solutions to open-ended and often complex problems, is an important skill to foster in early childhood. However, little is known about teachers’ role in fostering CT in early childhood classrooms. To address this gap, we conducted an exploratory case study to investigate how an exemplary teacher supported preschoolers’ CT learning in developmentally appropriate ways using an interactive programmable toy. We video recorded 12 weekly sessions of a small group of children and employed a hybrid approach—combining open coding and a priori coding based on standard definitions of CT—to analyze the data. Using one “telling” session to illustrate the findings, we discuss how the teacher employed a range of scaffolding strategies to support CT practices (e.g., problem reformation/decomposition, systematic testing, and debugging) and CT perspectives including communication, collaboration, and perseverance. Practice or Policy: Findings underscore the importance of providing professional support for teachers to engage preschoolers in CT learning. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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