Developing pre-service teachers’ computational thinking through experiential learning: hybridisation of plugged and unplugged approaches
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Computational thinking (CT) is one of the skills that are critical for problem-solving in a technology-driven society. Although the importance of CT as a goal in education is increasingly acknowledged, there is scant research on developing pre-service teachers’ CT competencies so that they can integrate CT in their lesson design. In this study, drawing from the experiential learning framework, we discuss the design of a module using a novel approach that is a hybridisation of plugged and unplugged CT approaches. The aim is to facilitate pre-service teachers in making connections between CT and their teaching contexts. Thirty-eight pre-service teachers attended the CT module for twelve weeks. The results indicated that the participants developed better CT competencies by integrating, justifying and reflecting CT in their lesson design. This study demonstrates the importance of providing a practical CT module to conduct unplugged activities for pre-service teachers, especially for those without prior computing knowledge, before introducing CT in the context of programming.
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