Computational thinking in early childhood is underpinned by sequencing ability and self-regulation: A cross-sectional study

Hongyu GAO, Weipeng YANG, Yunxiao JIANG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Computational thinking (CT) is a new literacy of 21st century that can be transferred to and applied in different real-world situations, although being derived from the discipline of computer science. Tangible robots or child-friendly digital apps are used to implement coding education with the goal of promoting young children’s CT. However, there are still controversies on the validity and applicability of CT in early childhood, mainly due to the vagueness of the learning mechanism underlying young children’s CT. This cross-sectional study examined the associations among sequencing ability, self-regulation and CT among Chinses preschoolers (N = 101, Mage = 5.25 years, SD = 0.73). Results showed that sequencing ability and self-regulation have positive and significant associations with CT, and the relationship between sequencing ability and CT was fully mediated by self-regulation, even after controlling for child gender, age, and family socioeconomic status (SES). This implies CT in early childhood as a combination of sequencing ability and self-regulation. Findings of this study have implications for early childhood CT education programs, suggesting the need to assist children in learning sequencing and how to self-regulate in coding (both plugged and unplugged) and STEM activities. Copyright © 2023 The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14747-14765
JournalEducation and Information Technologies
Volume28
Early online dateApr 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023

Citation

Gao, H., Yang, W., & Jiang, Y. (2023). Computational thinking in early childhood is underpinned by sequencing ability and self-regulation: A cross-sectional study. Education and Information Technologies, 28, 14747-14765. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10639-023-11787-5

Keywords

  • Computational thinking
  • Sequencing ability
  • Self-regulation
  • Preschool children
  • Early childhood education

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