• Is there a progression of computational thinking concepts in K-12 education? What are some criteria by which to order such a progression?
• How should professional development efforts and classroom support be adapted to the varying experience levels of teachers such as pre-service, inducted, and in-service levels? What tools are available to support teachers as they teach computational thinking?
• How does computational thinking education connect with other subjects? Should computational thinking be integrated in other subjects taught in the classroom?
• How can learning of computational thinking be assessed? How should we measure the success of efforts to teach computational thinking?
This workshop was structured to illuminate different approaches to the teaching of computational thinking. Participants often clarified their own interpretations of computational thinking in relation to the discussion in the first workshop report.
To improve readability and to promote understanding, background material on some of the topics and ideas raised is interspersed in this workshop report. This workshop report also includes some of the material discussed in the first workshop that related to pedagogy and how best to expose students to the ideas of computational thinking but that was not addressed in the first workshop report.
The second workshop was deliberately organized to include individuals with a broad range of perspectives. For this reason and because some of the discussion amounted to brainstorming, this workshop summary may contain internal inconsistencies that reflect the wide range of views offered by workshop participants. In keeping with its purpose of exploring the topic, this workshop summary does not contain findings or recommendations.
The reader is cautioned that the workshop was not intended to result in a consensus regarding the scope and nature of computational thinking. As was true in the first workshop, participants in the second workshop expressed a host of different views about the scope and nature of computational thinking. As stated in the first report:
Even though workshop participants generally did not explicitly disagree with views of computational thinking that were not identical to their own, almost every participant held his or her own perspective on computational thinking that placed greater emphasis on particular aspects or characteristics of importance to that individual.2
2 National Research Council, 2010, Report of a Workshop on the Scope and Nature of Computational Thinking, Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press, p. 59. Available at http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=12840. Last accessed February 7, 2011.