The impact of story-inspired programming on preschool children's computational thinking: A multi-group experiment

Weipeng YANG, Davy Tsz Kit NG, Jiahong SU

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Computational thinking (CT) has received worldwide attention due to its alignment with developing 21st century skills such as creativity, problem-solving, and digital competence. With the increasing provision of programming tools such as robotic toys and tablet apps in the sector of early childhood education (ECE), many ECE researchers and practitioners tend to link CT to programming. However, children are reluctant to sustain their interests in programming activities, and may be further demotivated by debugging failures. This multi-group quasi-experimental study aimed to evaluate the effects of a story-inspired approach in bridging the gap between programming and CT for preschool children. Building on previous literature suggesting storytelling as a powerful, culturally responsive pedagogy, 5-year-old children (N=108) were involved in nine weeks of CT learning via one of the three conditions: Story-Inspired Robot Programming (SIRP), Story-Inspired Tablet Programming (SITP), and unplugged CT education. Results revealed that children who participated in the SIRP and SITP conditions showed improved CT scores, relative to unplugged CT education, even after controlling for baseline CT scores. No gender or family socioeconomic effects were found to influence the benefits of story-inspired programming interventions. These findings suggest that storytelling as a culturally responsive approach, whether using robots or tablets as a programming tool, can provide young children with more inclusive and sustainable CT learning experiences. Copyright © 2022 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101218
JournalThinking Skills and Creativity
Volume47
Early online dateDec 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023

Citation

Yang, W., Ng, D. T. K., & Su, J. (2023). The impact of story-inspired programming on preschool children's computational thinking: A multi-group experiment. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 47. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tsc.2022.101218

Keywords

  • Early childhood education
  • Story-inspired programming
  • Culturally responsive teaching
  • Computational thinking
  • Equity

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