Introduction to computational thinking education

Siu Cheung KONG, Harold ABELSON, Ming LAI

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapters


This chapter provides an overview of this edited volume on Computational Thinking Education (CTE). It starts with a historical review of CTE, beginning from the pioneering ideas of Seymour Papert on promoting the need to think computationally, the seminal work by Jeanette Wing, who argued that computational thinking (CT) should be an essential skill for everyone, and efforts to incorporate CT into K-12 education, such as those made by the National Research Council (Report of a workshop on the scope and nature of computational thinking, National Academies Press, 2010). With this background, the chapter introduces its conceptual framework of CTE and identifies six sub-themes. The section on the ‘Computational Thinking and Tool Development’ sub-theme includes an in-depth discussion of abstraction, a key concept of CT, and the development of a programming environment to facilitate CT development. ‘Student Competency and Assessment’ contains chapters that identify the key components, methods and tools for assessing CT. ‘Computational Thinking and Programming Education in K-12’ focuses on how CT can be taught and cultivated in K-12. ‘Computational Thinking in K-12 STEM Education and Non-Formal Learning’ discusses the combination of STEM and game activities with CT development. ‘Teacher and Mentor Development in K-12 Education’ sheds light on the capacity building of teachers and teaching assistants in implementing CT education. ‘Computational Thinking in Educational Policy and Implementation’ discusses the educational policy related to CT and a 10-year project with thinking skills embedded in computer studies. Among the issues discussed in these chapters, the key focus of CTE is the importance of learning to think computationally. Copyright © 2019 The Author(s).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationComputational thinking education
EditorsSiu-Cheung KONG, Harold ABELSON
Place of PublicationSingapore
ISBN (Electronic)9789811365287
ISBN (Print)9789811365270
Publication statusPublished - 2019


Kong, S.-C., Abelson, H., & Lai, M. (2019). Introduction to computational thinking education. In S.-C. Kong & H. Abelson (Eds.), Computational thinking education (pp. 1-10). Singapore: Springer.


  • Computation thinking
  • Computational thinking education
  • Computer science education
  • Programming education
  • STEM education


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