Degree

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

School of Education

Document Type

Dissertation

Abstract

The discussion of Computational Thinking as a pedagogical concept is now essential as it has found itself integrated into the core science disciplines with its inclusion in all of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS, 2018). The need for a practical and functional definition for teacher practitioners is a driving point for many recent research endeavors. Across the United States school systems are currently seeking new methods for expanding their students’ ability to analytically think and to employee real-world problem-solving strategies (Hopson, Simms, and Knezek, 2001). The need for STEM trained individuals crosses both the vocational certified and college degreed career spectrums.

This embedded multiple case study employed mixed methods data to gain insights into the pedagogical practices, curriculum, and teacher-student interactions that occurred in three teacher’s lives. The study’s teachers were all using LSU’s Introduction to Computational Thinking (ICT) curriculum and the accompanying professional development program. The cases studied demonstrated that it was possible to train a teacher with no experience in computing to be a functional novice teacher. The three teachers demonstrated a pathway of professional growth that I classify as apprehension of the novelty, transitional growth with the content, and reinforced confidence from student interactions. The teachers were challenged by embracing new project/problem based pedagogical techniques and working in a virtual environment. Teacher success was reinforced through their ability to embrace reflective thinking practices with their students. The role of contextualization was examined as a critical factor in teacher professional evolution. The results have implications for future computing curriculum development and meaningful/ successful teacher training practices.

Date

5-25-2020

Committee Chair

MacGregor, Susan Kim

Available for download on Tuesday, August 25, 2020

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