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Programming in grade 7-9: Action possibilities and constraints from the perspective of mathematics and technology teachers
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Communication, Quality Management, and Information Systems (2023-).
2023 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The idea of using programming in fields outside of computer science is not new, but it has received renewed attention with the global trend of integrating programming in school curricula. In the Swedish context, mathematics and technology teachers for grades 7-9 have been significantly affected by the integration of programming. Previous research has highlighted the opportunities and challenges presented by this integration and shown that programming is a relevant skill for students to acquire, but it also shows that teachers often lack knowledge, skill and guidance for this integration. The knowledge object of the thesis is to develop knowledge about teachers’ perceived affordances (action possibilities) and constraints in using programming in grade 7-9 mathematics and technology. The thesis includes five papers and uses a qualitative approach to identify action possibilities and constraints of using programming in grade 7-9 mathematics and technology. These action possibilities and constraints relate to three aspects of teaching and learning: subject content, motivation and engagement, and digital competence. Together, the findings provide a conceptual model for what programming can be used for in grade 7-9 mathematics and technology. This conceptual model, which incorporates action possibilities and constraints of programming related to the three aspects of teaching and learning mentioned above, represents the contribution of the thesis. The thesis provides new insights into the understanding of teachers’ use and perceptions of programming for teaching and learning in grade 7-9 mathematics and technology (the study object). The thesis also has practical implications for the future design of professional development courses on programming for teachers and how programming should be used and integrated in an educational context.

Abstract [sv]

Idén att använda programmering i fler områden än datavetenskap är inte ny, men det har aktualiserats igen med den globala trenden att integrera programmering i skolans läroplan. I Sverige har årskurs 7–9 lärare i matematik och teknik varit särskild berörda av integreringen av programmering. Tidigare forskning visar både möjligheter och utmaningar, till exempel att programmering är en relevant färdighet men att lärare ofta saknar kunskap, kompetens och vägledning i att genomföra integreringen. Med affordances som teoretisk lins har kunskapsobjektet i avhandlingen varit att utveckla kunskap om lärares upplevda handlingsmöjligheter och begränsningar i att använda programmering för matematik och teknik i årskurs 7–9. Med kvalitativ ansats och fem inkluderade studier har avhandlingen identifierat flera handlingsmöjligheter och begränsningar med programmering för matematik och teknik i årskurs 7–9. Dessa relaterar till tre aspekter av undervisningen: ämnesinnehåll, motivation och engagemang, samt digital kompetens. Tillsammans bildar detta en konceptuell modell över vad programmering kan användas till i årskurs 7–9 matematik och teknik. Den konceptuella modellen, som inbegriper handlingsmöjligheter och begränsningar med programmering relaterat till tre aspekter av undervisning, utgör avhandlingens bidrag. Avhandlingen bidrar med nya insikter om lärares användning och upplevelse av programmering för matematik- och teknikundervisning i årskurs 7–9 (studieobjektet). Avhandlingen har även praktiska implikationer för design av fortbildningskurser i programmering, samt programmeringens användning och integration i skolan.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sundsvall: Mid Sweden University , 2023. , p. 104
Series
Mid Sweden University doctoral thesis, ISSN 1652-893X ; 382
National Category
Computer and Information Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-46677ISBN: 978-91-89341-85-2 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-46677DiVA, id: diva2:1720268
Public defence
2023-01-19, F234, Kunskapens väg 8, Östersund, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

Vid tidpunkten för disputationen var följande delarbete opublicerat: delarbete 4 accepterad.

At the time of the doctoral defence the following paper was unpublished: paper 4 accepted.

Available from: 2022-12-19 Created: 2022-12-19 Last updated: 2022-12-20Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Remaking and reinforcing mathematics and technology with programming – teacher perceptions of challenges, opportunities and tools in K-12 settings
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Remaking and reinforcing mathematics and technology with programming – teacher perceptions of challenges, opportunities and tools in K-12 settings
2020 (English)In: The international journal of information and learning technology, ISSN 2056-4880, E-ISSN 2056-4899, Vol. 37, no 5, p. 309-321Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to analyse and discuss K-12 mathematics and technology teachers' perceptions on integrating programming in their teaching and learning activities, and perceptions on different programming tools. Design/methodology/approach: The approach of a case study was used, with data collected from three instances of a professional development programming course for K-12 teachers in mathematics and technology. Findings: The findings show that there are perceived challenges and opportunities with learning and integrating programming, and with different programming tools. Many teachers perceive programming as fun, but lack the time to learn and implement it, and view different programming tools as both complementary to each other and with individual opportunities and challenges. Practical implications: The practical implication of the research is that it can provide guidance for teachers and other stakeholders that are in the process of integrating programming in K-12 education. Further, the research provides useful information on teachers' experiences on working with different programming tools. Social implications: The social implication of the research is that the overall aim of the nation-wide integration process might not succeed if the challenges identified in this study are not addressed, which could have negative effects on the development of students' digital competence. Originality/value: The value of the research is that it identifies important challenges and opportunities for the integration of programming. That is, that many teachers perceive the different programming tools available as complimentary to each other, but are hesitating about what is expected of the integration. Findings could also be valuable for future course design of the teacher professional development. 

Keywords
Block programming, K-12, Programming, Teacher professional development, Textual programming, Unplugged programming
National Category
Educational Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-39711 (URN)10.1108/IJILT-02-2020-0021 (DOI)000566131900001 ()2-s2.0-85089867738 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2020-09-02 Created: 2020-09-02 Last updated: 2022-12-19Bibliographically approved
2. The use of Programming Tools in Teaching and Learning Material by K-12 Teachers
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The use of Programming Tools in Teaching and Learning Material by K-12 Teachers
2021 (English)In: Proceedings of the 20th European Conference on e-Learning (ECEL 2021): A Virtual Conference Supported by University of Applied Sciences HTW Berlin, Germany / [ed] Carsten Busch, Martin Steinicke, Regina Frieß, and Tilo Wendler, Reading, UK: Academic Conferences and Publishing International Limited, 2021, p. 574-582Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The integration of programming in K-12 education (kindergarten to grade 12) can be viewed worldwide. Expected outcomes of the integration is that students will develop skills in problem solving, creativity, logical thinking, reasoning, and computational thinking. Previous research has identified several challenges for the integration of programming, such as lack of guidance, motivation, time and competence. The aim of this study is to examine the use of programming tools in teaching and learning material by K-12 teachers. The teaching and learning material analysed in this study were collected from a website (Lektion.se) where K-12 teachers can share their teaching and learning material with each other. A document review process, inspired by a systematic literature review process, was used to select the teaching and learning material to be included in the study. The selected teaching and learning material were later analysed through content analysis with deductive and inductive coding. In the study, four types of programming tools can be found in the analysed teaching and learning material: textual programming tools, block programming tools, tangible programming tools, and unplugged programming. The findings of the study indicate potential relationships between the use of different programming tools and school subjects and student grades. These findings can be drawn upon by teachers and other stakeholders in the decision on what programming tools to integrate in classroom practice and how they are to be used. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Reading, UK: Academic Conferences and Publishing International Limited, 2021
Keywords
programming tool, programming, K-12, teaching material, learning material
National Category
Computer and Information Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-43560 (URN)10.34190/EEL.21.117 (DOI)000755489500071 ()2-s2.0-85121621354 (Scopus ID)978-1-914587-18-4 (ISBN)978-1-914587-19-1 (ISBN)
Conference
European Conference on e-Learning (ECEL 2021), Berlin, Germany, [DIGITAL], October 28-29, 2021.
Available from: 2021-10-28 Created: 2021-10-28 Last updated: 2022-12-19Bibliographically approved
3. Teacher observations of programming affordances for K-12 mathematics and technology
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Teacher observations of programming affordances for K-12 mathematics and technology
2022 (English)In: Education and Information Technologies: Official Journal of the IFIP technical committee on Education, ISSN 1360-2357, E-ISSN 1573-7608, Vol. 27, no 4, p. 4887-4904Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

With future shortage of professionals with programming and computing skills, many countries have made programming part of kindergarten – grade 12 curriculum (K-12). A possible approach is to make programming part of an already existing subject. Sweden has chosen this approach and in 2017 programming was integrated in the subject content of K-12 mathematics and technology. Integrating programming is at the expense of extra workload on teachers. Teachers afected by these changes will face new challenges in their teaching and learning activities. The aim of the study is to examine K-12 teachers’ use and perceived afordances of programming as a tool for teaching and learning activities in mathematics and technology. Data were collected through focus group discussions with three teacher teams in mathematics and technology from three K-12 schools in the mid Sweden region. 21 teachers participated in the study. Thematic analysis with a mixture of deductive and inductive coding were used to analyse the data. Theory of afordances was used to structure fndings in themes of interests and answer the study’s aim and research questions. Results show that the teachers use a variety of programming tools in their teaching and learning activities. The use of programming in mathematics and technology can be understood in fve main perceived afordances: 1) Play, 2) Discovery, 3) Adaptation, 4) Control, and 5) Freedom; which relate to both student motivation and subject content. Teachers also perceive obstacles and opportunities in using programming, that relates to diferent programming tools’ ability to support teaching and learning activities. The fndings of this study can be drawn upon by teachers and other stakeholders in the integration of programming in K-12 education, and in the design of teaching and learning activities with programming.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer Nature, 2022
Keywords
Programming, Teaching and learning, K-12 education, Afordances, Teacher perspective
National Category
Computer and Information Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-43753 (URN)10.1007/s10639-021-10811-w (DOI)000719737100002 ()2-s2.0-85119180586 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2021-11-17 Created: 2021-11-17 Last updated: 2022-12-19Bibliographically approved
4. A conceptual model of what programming affords secondary school courses in mathematics and technology
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A conceptual model of what programming affords secondary school courses in mathematics and technology
2023 (English)In: Education and Information Technologies: Official Journal of the IFIP technical committee on Education, ISSN 1360-2357, E-ISSN 1573-7608, Vol. 28, no 8, p. 10183-10208Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Due to increased need of professionals on the future labour market with competence in programming, many countries have integrated programming in kindergarten to grade 12 (K-12) education. In 2017, programming was integrated in Swedish primary and secondary school curriculum and the courses of Mathematics and Technology. Research has highlighted challenges in integrating programming and other new technologies, and the need for better teacher support. The aim of the study was to examine what programming affords secondary school courses in Mathematics and Technology according to teachers that use programming in these two courses. The study was conducted with a qualitative approach and collected data through interviews with 19 teachers that use programming in secondary school courses of Mathematics and/or Technology. Thematic analysis with inductive-deductive approach was used to analyse the collected data. Theory of Affordances was used to identify themes of interests in the collected material and group these into categories. Ten programming affordances are identified in this study: 1) flexibility, 2) creativity, 3) efficiency, 4) visualisation, 5) fun, 6) curiosity, 7) play, 8) holistic views, 9) fearlessness, and 10) interdisciplinary collaborations. Through discussion and comparison with previous research, these programming affordances are found to relate to three aspects of teaching and learning in secondary school Mathematics and Technology: A) support course content and learning, B) facilitate engagement and motivation, and C) foster developmental skills. The study concludes with a suggestion for a conceptual model on what programming can afford school courses in Mathematics and Technology, based on the findings of the study. Findings can be used by teachers, policymakers and other stakeholders in the integration and design of programming in secondary education.

National Category
Computer and Information Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-46678 (URN)10.1007/s10639-023-11577-z (DOI)000919835300004 ()2-s2.0-85146779004 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2023-01-24 Created: 2022-12-19 Last updated: 2023-08-14Bibliographically approved
5. Making programming part of teachers' everyday life - Programming affordances and constraints for K-12 mathematics and technology
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Making programming part of teachers' everyday life - Programming affordances and constraints for K-12 mathematics and technology
2023 (English)In: The international journal of information and learning technology, ISSN 2056-4880, E-ISSN 2056-4899, Vol. 40, no 1, p. 98-112Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose The conducted examination of programming affordances and constraints had the purpose of adding knowledge and value that facilitate the on-going national curricula revision; knowledge that also could be of general interest outside the Swedish K-12 context. Design/methodology/approach With a qualitative approach, the study was conducted as a document analysis where submitted lesson plans were the base for a directed content analysis. Findings This study presents findings on how the involvement of programming in mathematics and technology have potential to foster engagement and motivation among students. Findings also indicate that the implementation of programming can develop important general skills that go beyond the boundaries of mathematics and technology. Moreover, the identified constraints could be valuable to improve the on-going curriculum development for K-12 mathematics and technology. Research limitations/implications This qualitative study was conducted on a relatively small number of teachers where the majority has taken the courses on a voluntary basis. An important complement would be to conduct a larger quantitative study with data from a more general sample of K-12 teachers. Practical implications Results and discussions provide guidance for K-12 teachers and other stakeholders who want to introduce programming as a complementary tool in teaching and learning activities. Social implications The study has a contribution to the on-going implementation of the Swedish national curricula for K-12 mathematics and technology. Originality/value During the last years, many studies have been published on teacher training in programming, and how the training can be improved. This study goes beyond the actual teacher training and examine aspects teachers translate to theirs daily work after completing the training.

Keywords
Programming, Lesson planning, Affordances, K-12 education, Mathematics, Technology
National Category
Didactics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-46348 (URN)10.1108/IJILT-03-2022-0069 (DOI)000868107400001 ()2-s2.0-85140127257 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2022-10-27 Created: 2022-10-27 Last updated: 2023-01-13Bibliographically approved

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