The Future of Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

Teaching Pre-Service Teachers Integrating Unplugged Computational Thinking into Elementary Social Studies

Esra Özcan, TED University (Turkey)


Computational thinking skills can be used to solve complex problems and are included in international standards and curricula [4]. Unplugged computational thinking activities are low-cost approaches that help students understand computer science concepts and grasp computational thinking skills without using computers, digital devices, or specific hardware [3]. Social studies courses are very important in solving real-life problems that students will face in society [1][2].

This study aims to reveal that unplugged computational thinking practices can be integrated into primary school social studies courses to develop pre-service teachers' competencies in this field and to learn their opinions about computational thinking. The research was designed as a case study. For this purpose, a program that includes activities that pre-service teachers can use in their daily and professional lives was developed. 28 pre-service primary school teachers who had previously received programming and computational thinking training for one semester participated in this program, which consisted of unplugged computational thinking activities. Throughout the study, a 6-week program, including 2 weeks of warm-up and 4 weeks of practice activities, was carried out, including interactive, hands-on activities and discussions, in addition to the experiences of presenting the lesson plans they prepared in the classroom, reminding the pre-service teachers' knowledge of computational thinking steps. During the implementation process, pre-service teachers prepared a lesson plan that included the experience they had gained.

At the end of the implementation, a semi-structured interview was conducted with the pre-service teachers about computational thinking and its integration into social studies courses. The lesson plans were evaluated with rubrics, and the pre-service teachers' opinions were evaluated through content analysis. The findings were encouraging, with the lesson plans prepared by the pre-service teachers showing a commendable level of implementation. Semi-structured interviews revealed that pre-service teachers were eager and enthusiastic about integrating such practices into their social studies courses. They stated that it was useful for them to realize that social studies courses are suitable for using new methods and techniques.



Computational thinking, Unplugged computational thinking, Elementary social studies, Teacher education



[1] Güven, İ. ve Gülbahar, Y. (2020). Integrating computational thinking into social studies. The Social Studies, 111(5), 234-248.

[2] Hammond, T. C., Oltman, J., & Manfra, M. M. (2020). Computational thinking and social studies teacher education: What, why, and how. In S. Keengwe (Ed.), Handbook of Research on Integrating Computer Science And Computational Thinking in K–12 Education (pp. 1–16). IGI Global.

[3] Kite, V., & Park, S. (2022). Preparing in-service science teachers to bring unplugged computational thinking to their students. Teaching and Teacher Education, 120, 103904.

[4] Yadav, A., Zhou, N., Mayfield, C., Hambrusch, S., & Korb, J. T. (2011). Introducing computational thinking in education courses. In Proceedings of the 42nd ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education (pp. 465–470). ACM.



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