Published in KI - Künstliche Intelligenz, German Journal of Artificial Intelligence 2022
A case study.
This paper presents a case study of in situ activities in two Danish preschools. In the activities, learning computational thinking (CT) plays a central part. The participating 4- to 5-year-old children are invited by an external educator to employ tangibles, such as robots, for structured problem-solving tasks within an overall narrative framing. In accordance with elaborations on CT as a problem-solving strategy, it is examined how the children engage in CT as problem-solving.
The activities are part of a municipal initiative that involves preschools in a larger Danish city. The aim of this municipal initiative is to support young children’s understanding of technologies, coding and robotics as an element of twenty-first century skills. Based on video observations, the study provides a situated account of how the children engage in problem-solving in the observed activities. In empirical terms, the study shows how problem-solving tasks, such as programming a robot to move from A to B, merge with complex endeavors of engaging meaningfully with things and people in social situations. These empirical findings are analyzed by employing theoretical conceptualizations of problem-solving from a sociocultural perspective. This leads to a critical discussion regarding the relevance, potentials and pitfalls of introducing CT through problem-solving tasks with tangible tools in Danish preschool settings.
Odgaard, A.B. What is the Problem? A Situated Account of Computational Thinking as Problem-Solving in Two Danish Preschools. Künstl Intell (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13218-021-00752-4