STUDENTS' ATTITUDES TOWARD COMPUTER SCIENCE IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (CROATIA)
About this paper:
Conference name: 9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 3-5 July, 2017
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:Digital competence belongs to a group of eight key competencies that modern educated person should possess. The presence of digital competence is evident in the private and business environment of human life. Today's students belong to the generation of digital students that devote private time to use different software applications which indicates that among today's digital students there is great interest in digital technology. Although modern students are intrinsically motivated to acquire knowledge and skills in the digital sphere, digital competence cannot be developed only through informal learning. Its importance was recognized by employers who feel that employees should be formally trained for digital competence needed in their future work. Permeation of the private student's interests with the requirements of the modern labor market, created an adequate basis for the formalization of the subject that train contemporary students for successful mastering of digital knowledge and skills. Digital competence is primarily acquired through the school subject computer science. However, despite the requirements arising under the student's personal interests and the interests of contemporary employers, school subject computer science in Croatian elementary school still does not have the status of compulsory school subject. In the lower grades of elementary school (1st to 4th grade) school subject computer science belongs in extracurricular activities which student can enroll if he/she has interest in this topic. Curriculum is developed through 35 school hours on an annual basis, which means that a student in elementary school enrolled in school subject computer science listens to one hour per week. In the higher grades of elementary school (5th to 8th grade) school subject computer science is an elective school subject which means that the student chooses from offered various elective school subjects. Curriculum is developed through 70 teaching hours per year, which means that the student in higher grades of elementary school enrolled in school subject computer science listens two school hours per week. If the student has no interest in this subject he is not obligatory to enroll it and during the elementary school student does not have to attend any lessons from computer science. This paper presents research about students’ attitudes toward school subject computer science Survey was conducted on 94 students enrolled in various studies for future teachers in primary and secondary education on Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences University of Zagreb. Students have declared the importance of this school subject, classification of knowledge and skills that students need for future professional work and their opinions about appropriate amount of school hours dedicated for teaching curriculum of school subject computer science.
Keywords: Digital comptence, computer science, elementary school, elementary school students, university students.