1 University of Jyväskylä (FINLAND)
2 Ruhr West University of Applied Science (GERMANY)
3 Ellinogermaniki Agogi (GREECE)
4 Miksike OU (ESTONIA)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2021 Proceedings
Publication year: 2021
Pages: 6925-6930
ISBN: 978-84-09-34549-6
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2021.1563
Conference name: 14th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 8-9 November, 2021
Location: Online Conference
This study was carried out to understand the most common barriers to teaching computational thinking in Europe and find out what interventions teachers suggest to overcome those barriers. Forty-one teachers from Estonia, Finland, Germany, and Greece were interviewed on teaching Computational thinking (CT) and other computer-related skills.

Interviewee data show common barriers in all countries as well as barriers mentioned only in a specific country. Teachers have a perspective on the students' skills on CT and their colleagues' skills on teaching CT. Social media, teaching exhibitions, and other activities give a view on other schools and their way of teaching. This view can be reflected and compared to improve the teaching practices in the teacher's schools. In this study, teachers were interviewed on barriers and their views and ideas on overcoming those barriers. The main barrier categories were teachers' and students' personal barriers, institutional barriers, and technical barriers. The barrier data has been published earlier, and this paper concentrates on the interventions. There are no easy solutions; otherwise, the problems would be in the past. In this paper, the suggested interventions are presented, and their viability is discussed.

Suggested interventions for personal barriers include enhancing teacher training in universities and creating courses and material for active teachers. Different ways to boost teacher and student motivation were also suggested. Ensuring equal student skills in different primary schools creates an equal starting point for every student in middle school, where class sizes are more extensive and individual observation and assistance are more complicated.

Getting around institutional barriers often means getting over an economic hurdle. Increasing the number of teachers, reducing group sizes, and giving more time to teaching CT require shifting money towards teaching CT. In zero-sum budgeting, this would mean decreasing support from somewhere else. Interviewed teachers argue that government support is needed to keep teaching quality appropriate in today's world. With a well-planned curriculum and well-made material, the teaching quality can be improved without significant monetary investments.

Technological barriers can be overcome with intelligent procurement and via involving teachers in the procurement process. Planning the usage well in advance minimizes the need for devices. Designing classes and assigning maintenance tasks can save money and time in the class.

The results of this study can be implemented in schools and on nationwide scale.
Computational Thinking, Algorithmic thinking, Barriers, Teaching, Curriculum, Competences.