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Teaching Computer Science 'Away from the Computer'

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by brett_smith4, May 9, 2018.

  1. Have you used 'unplugged' activities to teach KS3 and/or KS4 students?

    I am conducting action research at a Secondary school in order to investigate the teaching of Computer Science (CS) 'away from the computer'. This field of study has not been researched as extensively as other subjects; which include, Mathematics, Physics etc. We all appreciate how critical it is to establish effective ways in which to teacher CS and which pedogical strategies will have positive impacts on students' views of the CS.

    [This comment/section/image has been removed for breaching our Community Guidelines/Terms and conditions]

    For your reference, I have included the three main research questions in my study.

    Research questions

    1. Is constructivism an effective pedagogical method for teaching Computer Science?

    2. Are ‘unplugged’ activities effective teaching and learning strategies for teaching Computer Science?

    3. Do ‘unplugged’ activities have a positive impact on students’ views of Computer Science?

    Thank you in advance for taking the time to complete the questionnaire.
  2. JaquesJaquesLiverot

    JaquesJaquesLiverot Established commenter

    Are you from a Computing background? Your questions seem to suggest a less-than-thorough knowledge of the National Curriculum for Computing. There are nine bullet points at KS3, for example, of which only three really require a computer.

    Also, isn't constructivism a view of learning that's independent of pedagogical methods - i.e. a student could still actively construct the knowledge even if the teacher thinks they're using the transmission model?

    There's a "subject genius" post on a related topic, if you're interested:
  3. binaryhex

    binaryhex Lead commenter

    Brett: your data collection method is abysmal. You do know this forum gets about a dozen posts a month, from about half a dozen different posters? To answer your questions, I have no idea as I don’t understand the big words you used, and I doubt many teachers do.
  4. Stiltskin

    Stiltskin Star commenter

    I am not sure what you mean that it hasn't been as extensively researched as maths or physics (it's not a straight comparison as they don't involve computers), however there is plenty of research relating to unplugged activities in computing. Have a look at some of the education journals (try looking at WiPSCE).

    As @JaquesJaquesLiverot says, I also think your confused by what constructivism is (a philosophical viewpoint). Have you heard of Seymour Papert? His connstructionism approach is based on that ontology which may fit your question better.

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