Theses Doctoral

The Implementation of Emerging Knowledge in K-12 Schools: The Challenge of Computational Thinking

Azeka, Steven

This dissertation examines the response of a group of educators to a state mandate to integrate computational thinking (CT) into all levels of the curriculum. It explores the historical development of CT and its significance within the broader context of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics education, emphasizing the rapid growth and evolving nature of this interdisciplinary field. By examining the challenges and potential strategies for incorporating CT into K-12 curricula, the research highlights the critical role of school leadership in navigating the complexities associated with this integration. Utilizing Everett Rogers’s Diffusion of Innovation theory, the dissertation explores how new knowledge is integrated into schools and examines the pivotal role of educational leaders in steering this endeavor.

A mixed-methods research design was used to gather the attitudes and perceptions of school leaders toward CT, identifying key factors that influence the adoption and implementation of CT in schools. The study reveals that leadership awareness, involvement, and support are pivotal in overcoming obstacles to CT integration. It also underscores the importance of developing a shared understanding of CT among educators and administrators, aligning CT initiatives with school priorities, and providing adequate resources and professional development opportunities to ensure effective implementation.

The findings of the dissertation offer valuable insights for policymakers, educators, and educational leaders, suggesting that a comprehensive approach to integrating CT into K-12 education requires strategic planning, collaboration, and sustained support. By addressing the gaps in current research and practice, this dissertation contributes to the discourse on effective strategies for embedding CT within the educational curriculum, with the goal of enhancing students’ preparedness for an increasingly computational world. This research sheds light on the challenges and opportunities of CT integration and contributes to the development of a roadmap for future efforts to integrate new bodies of knowledge into the K-12 curriculum.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Mathematics, Science, and Technology
Thesis Advisors
Meier, Ellen B.
Degree
Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University
Published Here
May 22, 2024