Tokyo Gakugei University (JAPAN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2018 Proceedings
Publication year: 2018
Pages: 8495-8505
ISBN: 978-84-697-9480-7
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2018.2059
Conference name: 12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 5-7 March, 2018
Location: Valencia, Spain
Programming education was recently added to the national curriculum of Japanese primary schools, which will be enforced in 2020. The purpose is to foster logical thinking, which is necessary to make computers perform intendedly processing functions, through programming experience. However, due to the difficultly of teaching pupils programming education using the existing teaching system, it is necessary to cooperate with regional communities to assist with the introduction.

On the other hand, to actualize fully learning and fostering qualities and abilities, “schools that work as a team” needs to be created by taking advantage of people's specialties and cooperating with not only teachers but also local people as volunteers.

Thus, we considered that these kinds of practices can benefit from university students that can provide learning opportunities to pupils, who live near the universities, by taking advantage of their specialty majored in the university. Therefore, they are able to closely facilitate pupils' learning on a one-to-one basis, which is not easy for only one teacher. In other words, we assumed that student volunteers can continually monitor a pupils’ learning condition and assess their growth and learning outcomes by providing an opportunity for programming education in cooperation with schools and regional communities.

Therefore, we performed two methods of programming education that take advantages of student volunteers.

An after-school care program is a place for pupils to stay and play after school. In after-school care programs, we assume that it is important to provide an opportunity to pupils who are motivated to learn programming and encourage and foster a variety of talents and abilities including programming thinking. Therefore, we performed programming education sessions for the pupils in an after-school care program using “Scratch”. Specifically, we had student volunteers facilitate pupils' learning on a one-to-one basis and to continually understand their learning condition with the aim of fostering the abilities required for programming education in primary school. Eight pupils and nine student volunteers participated in these sessions. We planned eight programs that were divided into four phases.

A university festival is one of the important places to develop regional communities and in work in cooperation with schools and the regional community. Therefore, we performed sessions in which pupils could experiment with programming at a university festival as one of the events in cooperation with the schools and the regional community to enhance pupils’ interests in programming and to motivate pupils toward continued learning of programming. 254 pupils (aged 3-12 years old) participated in these sessions. Each pupil received a 20-minute session, with multiple sessions running in parallel, during the period of the university festival. We decided the course for each pupil from four courses depending on their developmental stage using “Scratch” or “ScratchJr”.

From the evaluation results of both methods, it was suggested that pupils thought positively about our one-to-one facilitation. These methods led to the fostering of pupils' abilities required for programming education in primary school and to pupils themselves realizing their own growth through the sessions. In the near future, we hope that our methods for programming education in primary schools will be performed in various countries.
Programming education, computational thinking, scratch, student volunteers, cooperation with regional community.