University of Oulu

Learning and teaching programming skills in finnish primary schools : the potential of games

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Author: Hiltunen, Tuomas1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, Department of Information Processing Science, Information Processing Science
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 2 MB)
Persistent link: http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:oulu-201605221873
Language: English
Published: Oulu : T. Hiltunen, 2016
Publish Date: 2016-05-25
Physical Description: 62 p.
Thesis type: Master's thesis
Tutor: Molin-Juustila, Tonja
Reviewer: Molin-Juustila, Tonja
Iivari, Netta
Description:

Abstract

Teaching and learning of programming skills is becoming a mandatory part of Finnish primary school curriculum in the fall of 2016. Teaching of these skills will start from the grade one. The decision of starting teaching programming skills for 6–12 year old students is creating a new situation to the field of basic education in Finland. The current situation is creating challenges for teachers, students and for the planning of the new curriculum. It seems that currently there is not much existing official information and material for Finnish class- teachers considering teaching programming skills. In this study I am trying to map out the new situation from the point of view of teachers. The main research question of this study is: What is the role and importance of teaching and learning programming skills in Finnish primary schools?

For this thesis I have reviewed existing literature on the learning and teaching of programming for school children. As a research method I have used qualitative content analysis for analyzing the results of the interviews with teachers. I have mapped out their opinions and suggestions considering the teaching of programming skills, why it is important and how it could be taught. The role of games or game-based environments has been strongly recognized in this study. I have also tried to clarify the position of programming as a learning subject in Finnish basic education. In this study, I am concentrating on learning and teaching of programming skills at grades 1–6 at Finnish primary schools. As results, I will point out that the teaching and learning of programming skills in basic education can be beneficial for society and for the development of children’s cognitive skills, but there are also many challenges involved. In addition, I am introducing two frameworks based on the gathered data.

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Copyright information: © Tuomas Hiltunen, 2016. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.