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Integrating Computational Thinking into Classroom Practice: A Case Study

Diane Vassallo, Leonard Busuttil
University of Malta, Malta

Abstract. Recent educational developments have seen increasing attention attributed to Computational Thinking (CT) and its integration into school curricula. This has brought along a series of challenges for teachers integrating CT into their practice. The study presented in this article explores the journey of a Maltese secondary school teacher in his efforts to integrate CT within the context of a Math club. The teacher participant was recruited from the Malta EU Codeweek summer school, a pilot initiative that stemmed from the EU Codeweek’s Train the Trainer programme carried out during summer 2021. The qualitative methodology involved a case study research, with data collected from an online discussion forum, interviews with the participant teacher as well as an analysis of the teaching material developed by the teacher. The results shed light on the CT aspects that were used to scaffold the teaching of mathematical concepts and highlight the challenges and obstacles that the teacher encountered in his integration efforts. The discussion proposes that non-formal learning environments, such as in-break activities, can serve as test-beds for CT integration and emphasises the need for CT to be introduced much earlier on in Maltese schools. Ultimately, this study can substantially help inform further research and practice around the integration of CT in classroom practice.

Keywords: Computational Thinking, EU Codeweek, formal and informal learning settings, K-12, Mathematics education

About the authors

Diane Vassallo is a lecturer at the Faculty of Education, University of Malta. She conducts re-search in the field of Computational Thinking and has a particular interest in Computing educa-tion, digital competencies and curriculum design and development.

Leonard Busuttil is a senior lecturer at the Faculty of Education, University of Malta. Leonard is involved in the formation of pre-service and in-service Computing educators. His research in-terests include Computational Thinking, Computing education, design of educational software, game-based learning and human computer interaction.

To Be or Not to Be a Great Educator, 2022. Proceedings of ATEE Annual Conference
Riga: University of Latvia Press, 2023. 985 p.
EdL. Daniela
ISBN 978-9934-36-019-0