About the Project
In education, computational thinking is a set of problem-solving methods that involve expressing problems and their solutions in ways a computer could execute (Wing, J, 2014). Computational thinking can be used to algorithmically solve complex problems in a very efficient way (Repenning, A. et al, 2010). Besides critical thinking, creativity, communication and collaboration, computational thinking can be seen as an important part of 21 st century learning. At this moment the importance of ‘computational thinking’ is still underestimated in curricula for elementary and even secondary education throughout Europe.
The aim of the project is to strengthen teaching and learning computational thinking skills from pre primary to lower secondary (3 years-14 years old) by integrating the learning of these skills within ‘real life’ STEAM contexts. The integrated approach of STEAM will help to make computational thinking more concrete and connected to the real-world and therefore more understandable for children. The focus will be on the process of problem-solving instead of the use of (expensive) technological tools and materials. So teachers will be supported to teach ‘computational thinking’ with easily applicable and accessible materials and tools.
The partnership is a combination of universities (teacher training) and primary and secondary schools which means that the consortium will stimulate the cooperation of researchers and practitioners, which is one of the key elements of educational design research. The Universities are^ ( the University College of Vives of Belgium, the Universidad de Valladolid of Spain and Vilniaus Universitetas of Lithuania. 21 Knowledge, Unipessoal Lda of Portugal is a training center. The innovative primary and secondary schools are Vendelsomalmsskolan from Sweden, Kummun koulu i Outokummun kaupunki from Finland, GO! basisschool Ter Elzen Wijtschate from Belgium, Laude Fontenebro School from Spain and Istituto Comprensivo Statale "G.Giardino" from Italy.
The partnership between universities and primary and secondary schools is a perfect foundation for carrying out ’design-based research’ since researchers work together with pilot teachers (Me Kenney & Reeves, 2012). This leads to a shared theoretical understanding and a strong implementation and dissemination of the developed materials.