Student-centered teaching patterns in the context of computational thinking problem solving processes

Dr. Bernhard Standl-Gruber | 18.05.2016 | 13:00 Uhr | E.2.37


Successful learning can take place when the learner is addressed at all levels of learning instead of limiting teaching to knowledge transfer but also involving an emotional and skills level. Considering this as the student-centered approach, we designed, carried out and revised in practice computer science lessons in 9th grade classrooms. During these real classroom experiences we identified certain successful scenarios when such learning was effective. We subsequently transformed scenarios to a more abstract representation and obtained as a result 24 patterns, which uniformly describe how student-centered lessons in computer science can be carried out. The patterns don’t specify detailed instructions for the teacher but still hold all the information necessary to be coherent with the pedagogical approach in the context of computer science. Instead of providing a detailed description of lesson plans and exact scenarios, the patterns describe how different teaching procedures can be approached alongside the student-centered approach. The advantage of this representation is, that it leaves the freedom of individual implementation to the teacher. In order to prove the concept of the patterns four case studies in classrooms were carried out with the design-based research approach as driving force combined with mixed methods as questionnaires, classroom meetings, and audio recordings. Outcomes showed, that these patterns have impact on students’ perception of the teacher’s attitudes. Furthermore, we identified detailed aspects of students’ communication characteristics during problem solving processes. In a next step, these patterns were further applied during a research visit in the United States in the context of computational thinking problem solving tasks. Assuming that problem solving processes can be found in everyday occurrences, computational thinking problem solving skills affect everyone and should be part of a general knowledge every person should have these days. Therefore, we combined the patterns with computer science algorithms in the context of everyday life settings and designed lesson scenarios for four high school classes. These classroom activities were accompanied with the mixed research approach and case studies. First results of this study showed, that students improved required skills for computational problem solving.

standlBernhard Standl is a postdoctoral researcher and lecturer at the Faculty of Computer Science at the University of Vienna and computer science teacher at a secondary school in Vienna. After graduating from computer science and history studies with teacher certification, he finished in 2014 the PhD studies in computer science education at the University of Vienna in Austria and completed the thesis in the interdisciplinary field of computer science and education. Since 2008 he was part of computer science education and interdisciplinary, international projects. 2015 he stayed as Fulbright research fellow at Missouri State University in Springfield, MO where he carried out an individual research project named coThink – Computational Thinking. His research interests are focused on computer science education and technology enhanced learning at secondary school level and is interested in research for promoting computational thinking aimed at inspiring students for experiencing computer science as an exciting subject.

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