Grover, S., & Pea, R. (2013). Computational Thinking in K–12 A Review of the State of the Field. Educational Researcher, 42(1), 38-43.


Type: Theoretical

Purpose: "This article frames the current state of discourse on computational thinking in K–12 education by examining mostly recently published academic literature that uses Wing’s article as a springboard, identifies gaps in research, and articulates priorities for future inquiries." (p. 38)

Findings: "It is thus quite evident that much of the recent work on CT has focused mostly on definitional issues, and tools that foster CT development. Some strides have been made in the realm of defining curricula for nurturing computational competencies, and assessing their development. Large gaps, however, still exist that call out for empirical inquiries." (p. 42) These gaps include applying learning science to develop age-appropriate curriculum, computing as a medium for teaching other subjects, and attitudes about CS/CT.

Recommendations: "Empirical studies on CT in schoolchildren could leverage extensive research on the types of problems beginner CS undergraduates face in their early programming experiences that go beyond syntactical issues: Are there well-defined hurdles or targets of difficulty that exist in the path of developing some elements of CT in children (e.g., recursion)? If so, what are these and how can they be addressed? Also largely untapped is the territory of dispositions for, attitudes toward, and stereotypes concerning CT and CS... What, for example, can we expect children to know or do better once they’ve been participating in a curriculum designed to develop CT and how can this be evaluated?" (p. 42)