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Computer programming tools for young children are being created and used in early childhood classrooms more than ever. However, little is known about the relationship between a teacher’s unique instructional style and their students’ ability to explore and retain programming content. In this mixed-methods study, quantitative and qualitative data were collected from N = 6 teachers and N = 222 Kindergarten through second grade students at six schools across the United States. These teachers and students participated in an investigation of the relationship between teaching styles and student learning outcomes. All participants engaged in a minimum of two lessons and a maximum of seven lessons using the ScratchJr programming environment to introduce coding. Teachers reported on their classroom structure, lesson plan, teaching style and comfort with technology. They also administered ScratchJr Solve It assessments to capture various aspects of students’ programming comprehension, which were analyzed for trends in learning outcomes. Results from this descriptive, exploratory study show that all students were successful in attaining foundational ScratchJr programming comprehension. Statistically significant findings revealed higher programming achievement in students whose educators demonstrated flexibility in lesson planning, responsiveness to student needs, technological content expertise, and concern for developing students’ independent thinking. Implications for research in the development of computational thinking strategies are discussed, as well as suggestions for successfully implementing early childhood classroom interventions with ScratchJr.
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- Teaching tools, teachers’ rules: exploring the impact of teaching styles on young children’s programming knowledge in ScratchJr
Marina Umaschi Bers
- Springer Netherlands
International Journal of Technology and Design Education
Print ISSN: 0957-7572
Elektronische ISSN: 1573-1804
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