COMPUTATIONAL THINKING AS AN EDUCATIONAL TREND IN EDUCATION: SOME REFLECTIONS
1 University of Aveiro (PORTUGAL)
2 University of Lisbon (PORTUGAL)
3 Instituto Politécnico da Guarda (PORTUGAL)
4 Instituto Politécnico de Setúbal (PORTUGAL)
5 Associação de Professores de Matemática (PORTUGAL)
About this paper:
Conference name: 15th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 3-5 July, 2023
Location: Palma, Spain
Abstract:According to the Sustainable Development Goals proposed by the United Nations, we can only talk about quality education when we guarantee an inclusive and equitable education, capable of promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all. This global objective of ensuring quality education involves defining the student's profile at the end of compulsory schooling, not in the sense of an attempt to standardize, but rather in the sense of creating a reference framework that presupposes freedom, responsibility, appreciation of work, self-awareness, and family and community insertion. To achieve this, the Portuguese Ministry of Education proposed several curricular guidance documents on the planning, implementation and evaluation of the teaching and learning process, capable of contributing to the skills described in the student's profile. In the area of mathematics, such curricular guidance documents were conceived around the idea of 'Learning mathematics in the 21st century', where the concept of computational thinking is introduced'', as essential in mathematical activity. In this sense, the idea of ‘computational thinking’ arises as a logical, sequential, and systematic framework for thinking problems, which allows abstraction and decomposition practices, pattern recognition and algorithm definition, and the acquisition of debugging and optimization habits. The present paper reflects on the idea of ‘computational thinking’ as an educational trend in education, starting with the evolution of the concept in the last two decades, and exploring what we mean when we talk about computational thinking. Another aspect that deserves attention is the tendency to confuse computational thinking with programming. If on the one hand it is true that teaching programming can contribute to the development of computational thinking skills, it is also true that computational thinking goes further than the mere act of programming. On the other hand, it is not possible to address the issue of computational thinking and programming without talking about digital literacy and creativity. Finally, we propose a reflection on the continuous training of teachers, in the light of the theme of computational thinking in the Portuguese educational system.
Keywords: Computational thinking, mathematics, digital literacy, educational robotics, critical thinking.