ering them to teach students these
higher-order-thinking skills. Teacher-education programs are the opportune time to engage teachers early in
their preparation to formulate ways
to integrate computational thinking
into their practice. Educational-technology and methods courses in elementary and secondary teacher preparation programs are ideal places for
teacher educators to discuss computational thinking. The accompanying
table summarizes our recommendations for teacher educators to embed
computational thinking into teacher-education programs.
In summary, we have emphasized
the importance of embedding computational thinking curricula in teacher
education and provided recommendations for how teacher educators might
be able to do it. For this effort to succeed, however, computer science and
education faculty must work collaboratively, as both groups bring complementary expertise in computing and
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Aman Yadav ( email@example.com) is an associate professor
in the College of Education and director of the Masters of
Arts in Educational Technology program at Michigan State
University, East Lansing, MI.
Chris Stephenson ( firstname.lastname@example.org) is the
head of Computer Science Education Strategy at Google,
Mountain View, CA.
Hai Hong ( email@example.com) leads the K– 12 Education
U. S. Outreach team at Google, Mountain View, CA.
Copyright held by the authors.
cific methods course that could help
pre-service teachers connect computational thinking to their daily lives and
to classroom contexts. For example,
pre-service teachers could carry out
“CS Unplugged” activities (http://csun-
plugged.org/), many of which teach
computational thinking skills without needing a computer and are easily
adapted to other subjects. Pre-service
teachers could also use Scratch—a programming environment that allows
students to create programs by dragging and dropping blocks representing
core constructs—to create simple programs and animations.
Recognizing the need for teachers
to address computational thinking in
their curricula and practice, several
organizations, including the CSTA,
ISTE, and the National Science Teachers Association, are also developing
and sharing tools and resources for
current and future teachers. Google’s
Exploring Computational Thinking
website ( http://g.co/exploringCT) provides more than 130 lesson plans and
sample programs aligned with international education standards; a collection of videos demonstrating how
computational thinking concepts are
used in real-world problem solving;
and a “Computational Thinking for
Educators” online course ( http://g.co/
computationalthinking). Since 2014,
the Computer Science Education Research Group at the University of Adelaide in Australia has been partnering
with Google to create introductory courses for implementing Australia’s Digital
Technologies Curriculum and teaching
computer science and computational
thinking at primary and secondary levels, explicitly tied to the Australian curriculum (https://csdigitaltech.appspot.
com). These resources provide a starting point for teacher educators to incorporate computational thinking
ideas and relate them to specific subject area pre-service teachers will go on
to teach in their future classrooms.
The 21st century is heavily influenced
by computing, making it imperative
that teacher educators incorporate
computational thinking into elementary and secondary education. This
means they must prepare teachers
for computational thinking,
Watch the authors discuss
their work in this exclusive