Computational thinking (CT) has been introduced in primary schools worldwide. However, rich classroom-based evidence and research on how to assess and support students’ CT through programming are particularly scarce. This empirical study investigates 4th grade students’ (N = 57) CT in a comparatively comprehensive and fine-grained manner by assessing their Scratch projects (N = 325) with a framework that was revised from previous studies to aim towards enhancing CT. The results demonstrate in detail the various coding patterns and code constructs the students programmed in assorted projects throughout a programming course and the extent to which they had conceptual encounters with CT. Notably, the projects indicated CT diversely, and the students altogether encountered dissimilar areas in CT. To target the acquisition of CT broadly, manifold programming activities are necessary to introduce in the classroom. Furthermore, we discuss the possibilities of applying the assessment framework employed herein to support CT education through Scratch in classrooms.
This research examines the factors that influence the intention to use information technology in the classroom by primary school teachers based on the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology and their technological predisposition. In particular, the relationship between teachers' innovativeness and their beliefs associated with the use of technology in the classroom was analyzed. To this end, 212 teachers from three provinces of Chile were surveyed. Data were analyzed using partial least squares statistical technique. Results indicate that performance expectancy, social influence, and facilitating conditions influence the intention to use information technology in the classroom. It was found that the intention to use construct is a determinant of the use of technology, which validates the robustness of the model in a context of primary education. In addition, it was validated that teachers' innovativeness determines their beliefs about the use of information technology in the classroom.
Despite a growing effort to implement computational thinking (CT) skills in primary schools, little research is reported about what CT skills to teach at what age. Therefore, the research questions that guide this study read: (1) How is age related to students' success in computational thinking tasks? (2) How are computational thinking tasks perceived by students? (3) How do students' experience learning with respect to computational thinking? 200 primary school students between the age of 6 and 12 participated in this study. These students got introduced to two CT subjects: abstraction and decomposition. We found that age seems to be related with these concepts, with an interaction effect for gender in the abstraction task. No differences found between young and older students in the constructs perceived difficulty, cognitive load, and flow indicate that young primary school students can engage in learning these CT skills.
On the basis of national research data on schoolchildren' achievements, the article deals with implementation of educational software in the process of teaching world study in primary school and different natural sciences in basic school. It has been established that educational software is often enough implemented during the classes on world study in primary school in comparison with natural science lessons provided in basic school. Primary educational software is regularly used in the city site, less frequently - in the regional centre and rarely in the rural area schools. On the opposite of the city site schools, basic educational software is widely employed in the rural area. The comparison of the rates of implementation of educational software during the different classes on natural sciences reveals that educational software is most frequently applied during the classes on biology, the least frequently - during the classes on physics.