About four years ago in May 2016, a group of TERC staff interested in Computational Thinking (CT) education started meeting to help inform and support each other in a community of practice. These meetings identified some common issues and areas of interest, including a serious, shared challenge—a general lack of agreement around the definition of CT.
This sparked our interest, so the two of us—Mike Cassidy and Teon Edwards—have spent part of the last few years exploring different definitions and various peoples’ understandings of computational thinking. You can see some of what we learned about K-12 teachers’ understandings of CT through our Hands On! article.
With this and several additional blog posts, we are delving into just a few of the ways people at TERC have been defining … or at least thinking about … CT in education.
The field of CT education can be traced back to the work of Papert in 1980, with the term computational thinking most often associated with Wing from 2006. But CT has only become a common focus in education over the last five or so years, and definitions of computational thinking abound.
During these interviews, you will read how Jodi Asbell-Clarke discusses the ways she defines computational thinking as well as the ways in which her team, EdGE, think about using CT in their work. Later, Andee Rubin discusses computational thinking and how it is and is not related to data science.