Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Thesis Format



Master of Arts




Kim, Mi Song


The existing literature regarding teacher sensemaking has identified that ‘‘sensemaking’’ is a plausible and valuable concept in exploring the reasons why teachers have a wide range of differences in perception and understanding of the same reforms or educational innovations. However, little research has shed light on the thorough process of teacher sensemaking of curriculum innovations, such as integrating Computational Thinking (CT) under the setting of Professional Learning Communities (PLCs). Also, few studies have combined sensemaking and actor-network theory (ANT) to examine actors that influence teacher sensemaking toward curriculum innovations. ANT emphasizes actors that can be both human and non-human. Employing ANT in this study provided a thorough picture of teachers’ sensemaking, and how different actors affected their sensemaking. Moreover, CT is almost ubiquitous in education today, as diSessa asserts that CT can be a new form of literacy, namely Computational Literacy (CL). This research was qualitative and aimed to explore how seven mathematics teachers at a school in Singapore made sense of CT and made sense of how to integrate CT into the mathematics curriculum. Teachers in this study applied an unplugged approach of CT to teach math. This study employed a case-study design with seven teachers using observations of teacher meetings, semi-structured interviews with the teachers, and teacher artifacts. The findings showed how teachers made sense of CT and what actors influenced their sensemaking. Also, the four principles of CL were reflected within the findings. This study provided pertinent suggestions based on the findings and directions for future research.

Summary for Lay Audience

Today, it is inevitable for teachers and schools to deal with rapid changes and the emergence of curriculum policy reforms and educational innovations. There has been a rising interest in integrating Computational Thinking (CT) into the mathematics lessons. CT is almost ubiquitous in education today. Sensemaking is especially vital for understanding how innovations and reforms have made impacts on educators within organizations.

This study aimed to explore how mathematics teachers made sense of and integrated CT into the mathematics curriculum in a PD setting, and it sought to identify and interpret interconnected actors that were involved in producing teacher sensemaking and then influenced the practices of CT. Lastly, this thesis attempted to explore how CL was reflected. The findings indicated the most prevalent property of sensemaking and how teachers made sense of CT in detail. This study offered a comprehensive picture that included how different actors including the exam-oriented culture in Singapore, the way of teaching and learning CT+math lessons, the suitability of mathematics topics, and the arrangement of teacher duties influenced teacher sensemaking. Also, the four principles of CL were reflected within the findings. Pertinent suggestions are provided to educators who are involved in curriculum innovations. These findings are important to support continuing professional development because they indicate the roles and importance of PLCs so researchers and educational sectors can improve or adjust their practices in PLCs based on the findings. It is also useful for educational researchers, practitioners, and governments to understand teachers’ thoughts and needs when they encounter new educational innovations so they can pertinently support teachers and implement the innovations confidently and smoothly. Furthermore, this study gives insights into the development of CL because the thesis showed how CL was reflected in the practices of CT. Finally, as this study specifically examined teacher sensemaking in CT+math lessons, schools or teachers who are implementing or will implement CT+math in their lessons will benefit from this research because they will explicitly see the challenges, obstacles, and processes of implementing CT+math lessons.