Fostering computational thinking and design thinking in the PYP, MYP and DP (2020)

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James D Slotta, University of Toronto, Jie Chao, The Concord Consortium, Mike Tissenbaum—University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Design thinking (DT) and computational thinking (CT) have been recognized by many as being critical 21st-century competencies needed for students’ long-term educational and career success. To give schools and the International Baccalaureate (IB) insights into these important competencies, this study had four objectives. First, to provide clarity around definitions of DT and CT for IB stakeholders through an examination of the literature in themed areas. Second, to describe how DT and CT are currently represented within IB courses and programmes through an audit of selected Primary Years Programme (PYP), Middle Years Programme (MYP) and Diploma Programme (DP) subjects and documents. Third, to use teacher survey data from PYP, MYP and DP teachers to describe the state of understanding and the challenges to implementing DT and CT in their classrooms. Fourth, the study aimed to provide guidance for future curriculum and implementation practices in the IB as well as recommendations for schools with regard to integration of DT and CT in their courses.

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