From mathematical thinking to computational thinking: Use scratch programming to teach concepts of prime and composite numbers

Siu Cheung KONG, Wai Ying KWOK

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapters

Abstract

This study pioneered the pedagogical use of Scratch programming to support Grade 6 students to cross from mathematical thinking to computational thinking (CT) in mathematics classrooms. A Scratch-based pedagogical innovation was designed to expose students to the pedagogy “To Play, To Think, To Code” with two Scratch apps and five Scratch activity worksheets to explore, think about, apply and consolidate the target mathematical concepts through Scratch programming. An eight-lesson teaching in 320 minutes was trialed in 15 selected Grade 6 classes involving 324 students from seven primary schools in Hong Kong. From the pre-post-tests, the pedagogical innovation successfully supported students to make statistically significant growth in understanding all five topic-specific mathematical concepts and all five target CT concepts. From the questionnaire surveys, students demonstrated a high level of awareness of the two target CT practices, and a positive perception of CT development for their own good. From the focus group interviews, students confirmed the effectiveness of and expressed a satisfaction with the pedagogy for mathematics learning and CT development through coding. The positive results of this study confirm the potential of the pedagogical innovation which integrates CT education with subject-specific curriculum delivery for an effective development of both subject knowledge and CT competency among primary school students. Implications for the flow and scope of future integration of subject lessons with coding activities are discussed. Copyright © 2021 Asia-Pacific Society for Computers in Education.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of 29th International Conference on Computers in Education Conference
EditorsMaria Mercedes T. RODRIGO, Sridhar IYER, Antonija MITROVIC
Place of PublicationTaiwan
PublisherAsia-Pacific Society for Computers in Education
Pages549-558
VolumeI
ISBN (Electronic)9789869721479
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021

Citation

Kong, S. C., & Kwok, W. Y. (2021). From mathematical thinking to computational thinking: Use scratch programming to teach concepts of prime and composite numbers. In M. M. T. Rodrigo, S. Iyer, & A. Mitrovic (Eds.), Proceedings of 29th International Conference on Computers in Education Conference (Vol. I, pp. 549-558). Taiwan: Asia-Pacific Society for Computers in Education.

Keywords

  • Computational thinking
  • Mathematical thinking
  • Primary schools
  • Prime and composite numbers
  • Scratch programming

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