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Computational Thinking rubric: learning behaviours, dispositions and perspectives

A rubric for computational thinking learning behaviours (practices), dispositions and perspectives

Mark Dorling

Created by Mark Dorling
last edited Sep 26 2020 by Asiat Adeola Adeniran

This resources has been developed for the Ian Livingstone acedemies. It is very much a work in progress.

What does children’s computational thinking behaviours (practices) and dispositions (perspectives) look like?

To articulate this, a group of computing specialist teachers and non-specialist practising teachers has formulated a rubric. This is adapted from the CSTA five dispositions/attitudes and builds on the work of Brennan and Resnick (2012)

Childrens progression is suggested on a scales from Hibernating to Realised (learners choose these words). This behaviours and dispositions framework has provided a set of indicators for a classroom teachers (and classroom observers). They are only the proxy indicators.

This rubric should be regarded as a tool to aid (self, peer and teacher) to gage learners computational thinking behaviours (practises), dispositions and attitudes (perspectives). Computational thinking like any skill, requires repeated exposure to a range of real world problems and how they are studied, solved and represented. Therefore, this should be used periodically in conjunction with a learner portfolio of work to make an overall judgement on learners computational thinking capabilities.

The rubric could also be used as an aid to focus discussions on the teaching materials used and the way in which they were presented to the learners’. For example, when reflecting on your own practise or the practise of others, it is important to ask the following questions:

  1. What was your pedagogical choice? This might have been to use a computer science unplugged activity or perhaps to do a paired programming activity.

  2. What was the behavior/attitudes/dispositions of learners? This is where the Computational Thinking Behaviors and Dispositions Rubric come into play. It enables you to consider what behaviors were I looking for from your pedagogical choice, and what did I actually see?

  3. What is the evidence of this behaviour by learners? Either, whilst in the lesson or post lesson, examine the work (artefacts) of learners and consider does the evidence match what you observed, compare and contrast to the learner’s portfolio.

  4. What would I try differently next time and what is my next step? Finally, evaluate your choice of pedagogy. Would you use your choice of pedagogy again? If not, what would you use instead? Maybe the learners need more exposure to that pedagogy? But it is important to as well as looking back, look forwards, use what you learnt about how the learners responded to previously and consider what your next steps would be.

Thanks for checking out this resources. I hope that you find it useful in your school context. We will continue to develop this agenda – if you have any feedback/suggestions, please do start a conversation on the resource or email feedback.

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