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Intentions and pedagogical actions: A study of programming teachers’ construction of a learning objective
KTH, School of Education and Communication in Engineering Science (ECE), Learning, Teknikdidaktik.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6012-6834
KTH, School of Education and Communication in Engineering Science (ECE), Learning, Teknikdidaktik.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3973-3466
Stockholm University.
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Teachers focus on one or several objects of learning (OoLs) in parallel. During the process of teaching and learning,students are invited to share the enacted object of learning (eOoL) as teachers shape the intended object of learning(iOoL). A gap is suggested in the steps going from the iOoL to the eOoL because students have differentprerequisites and ambitions. In laboratory work, theory and practice supposedly interplay to enhance students’learning. This study therefore considers that gap and addresses the following question: “What educational intentionsand expectations do programming teachers express when they (in retrospect) describe their teaching during anassignment on a principle from computer science?” Interviews were conducted with five teachers from differentsites (secondary and tertiary levels). A second-order perspective was used to unravel the expected OoL and theteachers’ intentions. The study reveals the existence of other OoLs in interplay with what is expected to be learnt.The teachers reveal a strong opinion regarding practice as a means for learning theory, as three qualitativelydifferent students’ actions will help the teacher to decide students’ theoretical understanding. Further work issuggested to explore the teachers’ reflections about what materialized in the classrooms and thus gain anunderstanding of the gap.

Keyword [en]
Intentionality, object of learning, theory, practice
National Category
Educational Sciences Pedagogy
Research subject
Education and Communication in the Technological Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-160728OAI: diva2:791196
Swedish Research Council, 2011-36908-83719-51

QS 2015

Available from: 2015-02-27 Created: 2015-02-27 Last updated: 2015-02-27Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Programmed or Not: A study about programming teachers’ beliefs and intentions in relation to curriculum
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Programmed or Not: A study about programming teachers’ beliefs and intentions in relation to curriculum
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
Programmerad eller Inte : programmering i skolan från ett lärarperspektiv
Abstract [en]

In the intersection of technology, curriculum and intentions, a specific issue of interest is found in the gap between teachers’ intentions and implementations of curriculum. Instead of approaching curriculum and technology as something fait accompli, teachers are considered crucial in the re-discovery of what and how to teach. The thesis depicts the mind-set of teachers and their beliefs in relation to computing curriculum. Three perspectives are covered in the thesis. Based on original documents and interviews with curriculum developers, the enactment of the computing/programming curriculum during the 1970s and 1980s is explored (Paper 1). This historical perspective is supplemented with a perspective from the present day where current teaching practice is explored through teachers’ statements (seminars with associated questionnaires) regarding their beliefs about teaching and learning programming(Paper 2). Finally with a view from a theoretical perspective, teachers’perception of instruction is discussed in relation to a theoretical framework where their intentions in relation to theoretical and practical aspects of knowledge are revealed (Papers 3 & 4). The initial incitement to offer computing education during the 1970s was discovered in the recruitment of a broader group of students within the Natural Science Programme and the perception that it would contribute to the development of students’ ability to think logically and learn problem solving skills. Data concerning teachers’ beliefs about teaching and learning programming unravels an instructional dependence among today’s teachers where students’ logical and analytical abilities (even before the courses start) are considered crucial to students’ learning, while teachers question the importance of their pedagogy. The thesis also discover two types of instruction; a large group putting emphasis on the syntax of programming languages, and a smaller group putting emphasis on the students’ experiences of learning concepts of computer science (not necessarily to do with syntax). In summary the thesis depicts an instructional tradition based on teachers’ beliefs where the historical development of the subject sets the framework for the teaching. Directly and indirectly the historical development and related traditions govern what programming teachers in upper secondary school will/are able to present to their students. From deploying two theoretical approaches, phenomenography and logic of events, upon teacher’s cases it is shown that the intended object of learning (iOoL) is shaped by the teacher’s intentions (e.g., balancing the importance oftheory and practice, using different learning strategies, encouraging learning by trial-and-error and fostering collaboration between students for a deeper understanding). The teachers also present a diverse picture regarding what theoretical knowledge students will reach for.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2015. ix, 99 p.
TRITA-ECE, 2015:3
computing, programming education, teachers’ beliefs, intentionality, curriculum development, curriculum studies, upper secondary school
National Category
Educational Sciences Pedagogy Pedagogical Work
Research subject
Education and Communication in the Technological Sciences
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-160724 (URN)978-91-7595-463-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-03-20, F3 (Gradängsal), Lindstedtsvägen 26, floor 02, KTH, Stockholm, 14:00 (English)

QC 20150227

Available from: 2015-02-27 Created: 2015-02-26 Last updated: 2015-03-10Bibliographically approved

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Rolandsson, LennartSkogh, Inga-Britt
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