Master of Arts
Immaculate Kizito Namukasa
This study investigates the integration of computational thinking (CT) in mathematics education by examining current CT practices in school, community outreach, and public educational settings to seek insight into further affordances of CT. A qualitative content analysis through a mix of inductive and deductive approaches is used to analyze online CT resources and computational artifacts. I interpreted the data through Kafai et al.’s (2020) framings of CT and a combination of constructionism, social constructivism, and critical literacy theories of learning. This study revealed that cognitive framing of CT (acquisition) receives greater attention compared to situated framing (participation), whereas the affordances of CT from critical framing (action) receive insufficient emphasis. The findings illustrate that using CT concepts and tools when incorporating real-world problems into mathematics instruction can improve the affordances associated with these three framings. These results will contribute to improvements in the integration of CT in mathematics teaching and learning.
Summary for Lay Audience
Computational thinking learning expectations are generally associated with problem-solving and thinking skills; however, they also improve many other skills, such as critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and citizenship. However, CT studies have mainly focused on a few of its benefits and mostly ignored its wide opportunities. This study sought a comprehensive understanding of these broader and deeper possibilities of using CT concepts and tools by investigating its current state in practices and real-life applications and implications (e.g., using CT concepts and tools to illustrate real-world problems) in mathematics teaching and learning. With this purpose, I ask what the current state of integration of computational thinking in mathematics education in school, outreach, and public educational settings is. Specifically, this study examines the online resources and the publicly shared computational artifacts used to illustrate real-world problems (e.g., simulating the spread of disease such as during a pandemic).
The findings of the study show that the most attention has been paid to understanding and using CT concepts and tools in improving understanding school mathematics curriculum. However, what has often been overlooked by practitioners is the potential for using CT concepts and tools to offer students a better understanding of real-world problems and provide wider opportunities for learning, such as enhancing mathematics knowledge and skills (e.g., problem-solving, reasoning), promoting social interaction, and fostering citizenship through mathematical modelling. By providing an understanding of the current state of CT in practices, this study provides new ideas to researchers, educators, and policymakers regarding the integration of CT in mathematics education. In this study, I explore possible ways of integrating CT into mathematics teaching and learning and draw attention to potential improvements for this integration.
Sezer, Hatice Beyza, "The Integration of Computational Thinking in Mathematics Education: The Current State of Practices in School, Outreach, and Public Educational Settings" (2022). Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository. 8498.
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