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    How can computational thinking be used as a problem-solving methodology to improve the teaching and learning in my classroom?

    Tighe, Caoilinn (2022) How can computational thinking be used as a problem-solving methodology to improve the teaching and learning in my classroom? Masters thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

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    This thesis explores the question: can Computational Thinking (CT) be used as a problem-solving strategy to improve the teaching and learning in a classroom? The research was conducted using a self-study approach within an action research paradigm to reflect on myself as a professional and the learning taking place in my classroom, with a view to enhancing it. The study took place in a co-educational, rural multigrade 1st/2nd classroom. The epistemological and ontological values underpinning the research and explained throughout are: child-centred approach, perseverance, adaptability and guided discovery. I believe that, as educators, we must focus on the needs of the learners in our classroom and that allowing them time to explore and discuss different topics will aid in the development of important life skills. Myself and the 1st/2nd class, as co-participants, conducted the research over two cycles. I decided to explicitly teach the 6 different CT concepts before modelling their use with the class. This was done as a means of scaffolding the children’s learning experience. The class then participated in challenges to kindle the development of CT. A range of qualitative data was collected throughout both cycles. My reflective journal acted as a means of critical reflection and greatly added to the data collected. Whole class discussions, group interviews and voice recordings provided me with an insight into the children’s’ learning experience, development and opinions. Through a number of conversations with my critical friends, validation groups and observations from my colleagues, I gained a variety of perspectives on my research and my practice. Ethical standards were followed throughout the research and ethical approval was granted by the school and the University. The data analysis revealed that the children developed confidence and independence when problem-solving. The children appeared happier and were more efficient with their time. As an educator, I developed a deeper understanding of my values and learned the true benefits of CT. Having completed the self-study action research process, I have developed a deeper understanding of CT. I have come to appreciate the intrinsic value of creating problem-solving tasks for the children to complete independently. I now understand the benefits of allowing the children agency in group work and independence in the classroom. Throughout this process, I have also deepened my understanding of critical reflection and will continue this practice regularly to further my development as a professional.

    Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
    Additional Information: M.Ed. Froebel Department of Primary and Early Childhood Education
    Keywords: computational thinking; problem-solving methodology; teaching and learning; classroom;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Froebel Department of Primary and Early Childhood Education
    Item ID: 17245
    Depositing User: IR eTheses
    Date Deposited: 29 May 2023 13:06
      Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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