Hiding in Plain Sight: Identifying Computational Thinking in the Ontario Elementary School Curriculum
Faculty of Education
Department of Psychology
Given a growing digital economy with complex problems, demands are being made for education to address computational thinking (CT) – an approach to problem solving that draws on the tenets of computer science. We conducted a comprehensive content analysis of the Ontario elementary school curriculum documents for 44 CT-related terms to examine the extent to which CT may already be considered within the curriculum. The quantitative analysis strategy provided frequencies of terms, and a qualitative analysis provided information about how and where terms were being used. As predicted, results showed that while CT terms appeared mostly in Mathematics, and concepts and perspectives were more frequently cited than practices, related terms appeared across almost all disciplines and grades. Findings suggest that CT is already a relevant consideration for educators in terms of concepts and perspectives; however, CT practices should be more widely incorporated to promote 21st century skills across disciplines. Future research would benefit from continued examination of the implementation and assessment of CT and its related concepts, practices, and perspectives.
Hennessey, E.J.V.,, Mueller, J., Beckett, D., & Fisher, P.A. (2017). Hiding in plain sight: Identifying computational thinking in the Ontario elementary school curriculum. Journal of Curriculum and Teaching 6(1), 79-96. https://doi.org/10.5430/jct.v6n1p79