Programmed or Not A study about programming teachers’ beliefs and intentions in relation to curriculum

Detta är en avhandling från Stockholm : KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Sammanfattning: In the intersection of technology, curriculum and intentions, a specific issue of interest is found in the gap between teachers’ intentions and implementations of curriculum. Instead of approaching curriculum and technology as something fait accompli, teachers are considered crucial in the re-discovery of what and how to teach. The thesis depicts the mind-set of teachers and their beliefs in relation to computing curriculum. Three perspectives are covered in the thesis. Based on original documents and interviews with curriculum developers, the enactment of the computing/programming curriculum during the 1970s and 1980s is explored (Paper 1). This historical perspective is supplemented with a perspective from the present day where current teaching practice is explored through teachers’ statements (seminars with associated questionnaires) regarding their beliefs about teaching and learning programming(Paper 2). Finally with a view from a theoretical perspective, teachers’perception of instruction is discussed in relation to a theoretical framework where their intentions in relation to theoretical and practical aspects of knowledge are revealed (Papers 3 & 4). The initial incitement to offer computing education during the 1970s was discovered in the recruitment of a broader group of students within the Natural Science Programme and the perception that it would contribute to the development of students’ ability to think logically and learn problem solving skills. Data concerning teachers’ beliefs about teaching and learning programming unravels an instructional dependence among today’s teachers where students’ logical and analytical abilities (even before the courses start) are considered crucial to students’ learning, while teachers question the importance of their pedagogy. The thesis also discover two types of instruction; a large group putting emphasis on the syntax of programming languages, and a smaller group putting emphasis on the students’ experiences of learning concepts of computer science (not necessarily to do with syntax). In summary the thesis depicts an instructional tradition based on teachers’ beliefs where the historical development of the subject sets the framework for the teaching. Directly and indirectly the historical development and related traditions govern what programming teachers in upper secondary school will/are able to present to their students. From deploying two theoretical approaches, phenomenography and logic of events, upon teacher’s cases it is shown that the intended object of learning (iOoL) is shaped by the teacher’s intentions (e.g., balancing the importance oftheory and practice, using different learning strategies, encouraging learning by trial-and-error and fostering collaboration between students for a deeper understanding). The teachers also present a diverse picture regarding what theoretical knowledge students will reach for.