GENERATING NEW COLLABORATIVE LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS IN PRIMARY EDUCATION USING SCRATCH
1 Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM) (SPAIN)
2 Educational methodology adviser (SPAIN)
3 Colegio Internacional SEK-Santa Isabel, Madrid (SPAIN)
4 Didactics and Educational Theory Department (UAM) (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2012 Proceedings
Publication year: 2012
Conference name: 5th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 19-21 November, 2012
Location: Madrid, Spain
Abstract:Since 2007, Spanish compulsory education, based on the education law (Ley Orgánica de Educacion or LOE), has implemented the concept of basic skills as a result of the project DeSeCo (definition and selection of basic skills). Education has the challenge of integrating “knowing” and “doing”. Our challenge as teachers of the 21st century is to stimulate change in the classroom scene provoking the jump from transmission teaching to strategic teaching, centered in the student. The student is the protagonist of his learning and should become an active participant in it. In these lines, we present a classroom experience performed on 9-12 year old grade school students (primary school grades 4th to 6th) from the private school - Colegio Internacional SEK-Santa Isabel, Madrid, Spain. For the purpose of method development we begin with the following hypothesis: It is possible to foster a degree of basic skills acquisition and stimulate creativity in grade school students by incorporating Scratch. Scratch is an open source software tool designed and developed at the MIT Media Lab, Massachusetts, USA. It was designed for introducing, in an attractive and simple way, programming language to both children and adults. This tool, based on the theory of constructionism of Seymor Papert (1980), when transformed into an educational resource takes on a great potential. It permits us to work with teaching principles such as significant learning, socialization, active interpersonal learning, practical research, the evaluation of the teaching-learning process and globality. It also provides the perfect framework to promote the “creative thinking spiral” theory proposed by Mitchel Resnick (2007). Always keeping in mind the importance of creating and establishing an environment of affection and trust (Palou, 2004); which in turn contributes and promotes a sense of security in the student and permits him to work in an area free from fear of rejection or making mistakes and create a bond with his peers and the teacher.
This experience was developed during the second semester of the 2011-2012 school year. We did a double evaluation of both the process and the end product. To evaluate the teaching aspect, the following aspects were taken into account: degree whereby the objectives where reached, time optimization, materials and space optimization, adequacy of the planned activities. The degree of student satisfaction was evaluated by way of a questionnaire filled up by all the students who participated (n: 172) and a statistical analysis later performed on the answers.
Keywords: Scratch, primary education, constructionism, basic skills, computational thinking, programming language, animation, LEGO WeDo, collaborative PBL, robotics.