Understanding problem-solving processes of preschool children in CS unplugged activities
Keywords:CS Unplugged Activities; problem Solving; preschool children
This study aims to explore the influences of the unplugged CS activities in developing problem solving skills of preschool children. Code.org activities were used as an instructional package. The participants were 11 children (4-5 aged) enrolled in a public pre-school. Activity assessment form and clinical interviews were used to understand children’s problem solving processes. In order to determine the problem solving performances, the tasks were divided into the meaningful sub-tasks with regard to problem steps of Nance’ problem solving model. The results indicated that CS unplugged activities positively influenced students’ understanding and planning performances more than doing and evaluation skills. Preschool children developmental characteristics and the nature of the problems somewhat hampered the development of their performances in doing and evaluation steps. It is hoped that the study may provide insights for the efforts on enhancing preschool children’s problem solving processes.
Angeli, C., Voogt, J., Fluck, A., Webb, M., Cox, M., Malyn-Smith, J., & Zagami, J. (2016). A K-6 computational thinking curriculum framework: Implications for teacher knowledge. Journal of Educational Technology & Society, 19(3).
Barr, D., Harrison, J. and Conery, L. (2011). Computational thinking: A dijital age skill for everyone. Learning & Leading with Technology, 38(6), 20-23.
Bell, T. C., Witten, I. H., & Fellows, M. (1998). Computer Science Unplugged: Off-line activities and games for all ages. Computer Science Unplugged.
Bell, T., Alexander, J., Freeman, I., & Grimley, M. (2009). Computer science unplugged: School students doing real computing without computers. The New Zealand Journal of Applied Computing and Information Technology, 13(1), 20-29.
Bell, T., & Vahrenhold, J. (2018). CS Unplugged-How Is It Used, and Does It Work?. In Adventures between Lower Bounds and Higher Altitudes (pp. 497-521). Springer, Cham.
Bell, T., Witten, I. H., & Fellows, M. (2016). CS Unplugged. An enrichment and extension programme for primary-aged students. Version 3.2. 2. CS Edu. Res. Group, Univ. Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand.
Bers, M. U., Flannery, L., Kazakoff, E. R., & Sullivan, A. (2014). Computational thinking and tinkering: Exploration of an early childhood robotics curriculum. Computers & Education, 72, 145-157.
Brown, Q., Mongan, W., Kusic, D., Garbarine, E., Fromm, E. and Fontecchio, A. (2013). Computer aided instruction as a vehicle for problem solving: Scratch programming environment in the middle years classroom. Retrieved 22 September 2018 from
http://www.pages.drexel.edu/ ~dmk25/ ASEE_08.pdf.
Brackmann, C. P., Román-González, M., Robles, G., Moreno-León, J., Casali, A., & Barone, D. (2017, November). Development of computational thinking skills through unplugged activities in primary school. In Proceedings of the 12th Workshop on Primary and Secondary Computing Education (pp. 65-72). ACM.
Bransford, J. D., Zech, L., Schwartz, D., Barron, B., Vye, N., & CTGV. (1999). Designs for environments that invite and sustain mathematical thinking. In Cobb, P. (Ed.), Symbolizing, communicating, and mathematizing: Perspectives on discourse, tools, and instructional design. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Budd, T.A. (2006). An active learning approach to teaching the data structures course, ACM SIGCSE Bulletin, 38, (1), 143-147.
Cassel, L. (2002). Very active learning of network routing, SIGCSE Bull., 34, (3), 195
Curzon, P., & McOwan, P. W. (2008). Engaging with computer science through magic shows. In ACM SIGCSE Bulletin (Vol. 40, No. 3, pp. 179-183). ACM.
Çetin, E. (2016). A case study for the use of technology aided graphical organizers in preschool children's problem solving process. Unpublished PhD. Dissertation, Gazi University, Ankara.
Dagien˙e, V., Stupurien˙e, G., Vinikien˙e, L. (2016). Promoting inclusive informatics education through the Bebras Challenge to all K-12 students. In: Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Computer Systems and Technologies 2016 - CompSysTech 2016, pp. 407–414. ACM
Dwyer, H., Hill, C., Carpenter, S., Harlow, D., & Franklin, D. (2014). Identifying elementary students' pre-instructional ability to develop algorithms and step-by-step instructions. In Proceedings of the 45th ACM Technical Symposium On Computer Science Education (pp. 511-516). ACM.
Faber, H. H., Wierdsma, M. D., Doornbos, R. P., van der Ven, J. S., & de Vette, K. (2017). Teaching computational thinking to primary school students via unplugged programming lessons. Journal of the European Teacher Education Network, 12, 13-24.
Gomes, T. C. S., Falcão, T. P., & Tedesco, P. C. D. A. R. (2018). Exploring an approach based on digital games for teaching programming concepts to young children. International Journal of Child-Computer Interaction, 16, 77-84.
Gonzalez, G. (2006). A systematic approach to active and cooperative learning in CS1 and its effects on CS2, ACM SIGCSE Bulletin, 38, (1), 133-137.
Grgurina, N., Barendsen, E., Zwaneveld, B., van de Grift, W., & Stoker, I. (2013). Computational thinking skills in Dutch secondary education. Proceedings of the 8th Workshop in Primary and Secondary Computing Education, pp. 31-32
Grgurina, N., Barendsen, E., Zwaneveld, B., van Veen, K., & Stoker, I. (2014). Computational thinking skills in Dutch secondary education: exploring pedagogical content knowledge. In Proceedings of the 14th Koli Calling International Conference on Computing Education Research (pp. 173-174). ACM.
Grout, V., & Houlden, N. (2014). Taking computer science and programming into schools: The Glyndŵr/BCS Turing project. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 141, 680-685.
Grover, S. and Pea, R. (2013). Computational thinking in K-12: A review of the state of the field. Educational Researcher, 42(1), 38–43
Gujberova, M., Kalas, I. (2013). Designing productive gradations of tasks in primary programming education. In: Proceedings of the 8th Workshop in Primary and Secondary Computing Education, pp. 108–117.
Hodhod, R., Khan, S., Kurt-Peker, Y., & Ray, L. (2016). Training teachers to integrate computational thinking into K-12 teaching. In Proceedings of the 47th ACM Technical Symposium on Computing Science Education (pp. 156-157). ACM.
Kafai, Y. B., & Burke, Q. (2013). Computer programming goes back to school. Phi Delta Kappan, 95(1), 61-65.
Kalelioğlu, F., Gülbahar, Y., Akçay, S., & Doğan, D. (2014). Curriculum integration ideas for improving the computational thinking skills of learners through programming via scratch. In Local Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Informatics in Schools: Situation, Evolution and Perspectives (pp. 101-112).
Lambert, L., & Guiffre, H. (2009). Computer science outreach in an elementary school. Journal of Computing Sciences in Colleges, 24(3), 118-124.
Lau, K., Active learning sheets for a beginner’s course on reasoning about imperative programs, ACM SIGCSE Bulletin, 39, (1), 198-202, 2007.
Lee, I., Martin, F., & Apone, K. (2014). Integrating computational thinking across the K—8 curriculum. Acm Inroads, 5(4), 64-71.
Levitin, A. Analyze that: Puzzles and analysis of algorithms, ACM SIGCSE Bulletin, 37, (1), 171-175, 2005.
Ludi, S., Natarajan, S., Reichlmayr T. (2005). An introductory software engineering course that facilitates active learning, ACM SIGCSE Bulletin, 37, (1), 302-306
Margolis, J., Estrella, R., Goode, J., Jellison Home, J., Nao, K. (2008). Stuck in the shallow end: Education, race, and computing. Cambridge Mass: MIT Press.
Nance, S. (2016). Using computer programming to enhance problem-solving skills of fifth grade students. Unpublished PhD. Thesis, University of Florida, Gainesville.
Nishida, T., Idosaka, Y., Hofuku, Y., Kanemune, S., & Kuno, Y. (2008). New methodology of information education with “Computer science unplugged”. In International Conference on Informatics in Secondary Schools-Evolution and Perspectives (pp. 241-252). Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.
Pahl, C., Barrett, R., Kenny, C., Supporting active database learning and training through interactive multimedia, ACM SIGCSE Bulletin, 36, (3), 27-31, 2004.
Piaget, J. (1954). The construction of reality in the child (M. Cook, Trans.). New York, NY, US.
Piaget, J. (1976). Piaget’s theory. In Piaget and his school (pp. 11-23). Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.
Prottsman, K. (2014). Computer science for the elementary classroom. ACM Inroads, 5(4), 60-63.
Radesky, J. S., & Christakis, D. A. (2016). Keeping children’s attention: The problem with bells and whistles. JAMA pediatrics, 170(2), 112-113.
Repenning, A., Webb, D., & Ioannidou, A. (2010). Scalable game design and the development of a checklist for getting computational thinking into public schools. In Proceedings of the 41st ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education (pp. 265-269). ACM.
Resnick, M., Maloney, J., Monroy-Hernández, A., Rusk, N., Eastmond, E., Brennan, K., ... and Kafai, Y. (2009). Scratch: programming for all. Communications of the ACM, 52(11), 60-67
Rodriguez, B., Rader, C., & Camp, T. (2016). Using student performance to assess CS unplugged activities in a classroom environment. In Proceedings of the 2016 ACM Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education (pp. 95-100). ACM.
Sivilotti, P. A., & Pike, S. M. (2007). A collection of kinesthetic learning activities for a course on distributed computing: ACM SIGACT news distributed computing column 26. ACM SIGACT News, 38(2), 56-74.
Taub, R., Armoni, M., & Ben-Ari, M. (2012). CS unplugged and middle-school students’ views, attitudes, and intentions regarding CS. ACM Transactions on Computing Education (TOCE), 12(2), 8.
Thies, R., & Vahrenhold, J. (2012). Reflections on outreach programs in CS classes: learning objectives for unplugged activities. In Proceedings of the 43rd ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education (pp. 487-492). ACM.
URL-1: https://www.csunplugged.org/en/computational-thinking/ retrieved at10th August 2018.
Voogt, J., Fisser, P., Good, J., Mishra, P., & Yadav, A. (2015). Computational thinking in compulsory education: Towards an agenda for research and practice. Education and Information Technologies, 20(4), 715-728.
Yardi, S., & Bruckman, A. (2007). What is computing?: bridging the gap between teenagers' perceptions and graduate students' experiences. In Proceedings of the Third İnternational Workshop on Computing Education Research (pp. 39-50). ACM.
Zur Bargury, I., Haberman, B., Cohen, A., Muller, O., Zohar, D., Levy, D., & Hotoveli, R. (2012, October). Implementing a new Computer Science Curriculum for middle school in Israel. In 2012 Frontiers in Education Conference Proceedings (pp. 1-6). IEEE.
Wanda, P. D., Cooper, S., & Pausch, R. (2009). Learning to Program with ALICE. Pearson education.
Wing, J. M. (2006). Computational thinking. Communications of the ACM, 49(3), 33-35
Wing, J. M. (2008). Computational thinking and thinking about computing. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 366(1881), 3717-3725.
Wing, J. (2011). Research notebook: Computational thinking-What and why. The Link Magazine, 20-23.
Wohl, B., Porter, B., & Clinch, S. (2015). Teaching Computer Science to 5-7 year-olds: An initial study with Scratch, Cubelets and unplugged computing. In Proceedings of the Workshop in Primary and Secondary Computing Education (pp. 55-60). ACM.
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2022 Unal CAKIROGLU, Suheda MUMCU, Melek ATABAY, Merve AYDIN
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).
Most read articles by the same author(s)
- Ünal ÇAKIROGLU, Samet ATABAS, Dogukan SARIYALÇINKAYA, Ibrahim Enes Öner, Learning programming online: Influences of various types of feedback on programming performances , International Journal of Computer Science Education in Schools: Vol. 3 No. 3 (2020): International Journal of Computer Science Education in Schools