Integrating Computational Thinking into Middle School Science: A Search for Synergistic Pedagogy

Published in ASEE-SE 2019, 2019

Recommended citation: Bortz, W. W., Gautam, A., Lipscomb, K., & Tatar, D. (2019). Integration Computational Thinking into Middle School Science: A search for Synergistic Pedagogy. In ASEE Southeastern Section Conference. http://aakashg58.github.io/files/asee2019.pdf

In recent years, Computational Thinking (CT) has gained status as an essential skill. With little room in K –12 curricula for new content, an alternative method for providing students opportunities to develop these skills is to incorporate CT into classes that all students take. However, there is not enough research in this context to conclude that integrating CT with other domains truly does deepen learning in both areas. This paper highlights evidence that students can learn CT and science in tandem, particularly when pedagogy weaves the two domains into classroom tasks in complementary ways. We describe how the scientific practice of argumentation can act as a synergistic tool, engaging students with both science and CT within the same activity. Quantitative results of a pre/post performance assessment and qualitative analyses of student artifacts demonstrate that argumentation holds potential for simultaneously engaging students with science and CT.

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Recommended citation: Bortz, W. W., Gautam, A., Lipscomb, K., & Tatar, D. (2019). Integration Computational Thinking into Middle School Science: A search for Synergistic Pedagogy. In ASEE Southeastern Section Conference.