The Center for Learning Computational Thinking (CLCT) is established on the basis of the ever-increasing interest about the term Computational Thinking (CT) both societally and research wise.
This interest relates not least to the development of research-based ways to support learning with and from CT. It is reflected in the rapidly growing prevalence of CT in the education sector, eg. as a subject goal in The Danish Common Objectives developed by the Ministry of Education, and with the introduction of the subject Informatics as compulsory on HHX and elective courses on HTX and STX.
This spread makes it all the more important to relate critically, reflectively and pedagogically to both what CT is and what it can be used for in regards of learning.
Computational thinking (CT)
CT can be defined as the cognitive processes involved in the development of IT artifacts and programs to live in the world today. This must be understood broadly, so that critical consideration of the design and use of the IT artifacts is an integral part of their development.
CT includes algorithmic thinking, development of algorithmic models, computer visualizations and programming. It also includes algorithmic thinking in contexts other than programming, eg. in analog algorithm construction and bodily anchored algorithmic interaction.
In the broadest sense, CT is using problem-solving processes to enable humans to find creative solutions to the major societal problems facing the world today.
Center for Learning Computational Thinking (CLCT)
At SDU, we see that CT is justified in the humanities and social sciences as well as in the scientific, technical and health fields.
We have thus formed CLCT as a collaboration between the Department of Design and Communication (IDK) (Humanities) and the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science (IMADA) (Science). In this collaboration, we bring many angles into the search for good, research-based ways to involve CT at all levels of education. To strengthen this focus, CLCT also has a close cooperation with UC Syd.
The purpose of the Center is to:
- Conduct research in Computational Thinking (CT). There is a special focus on the development of CT didactics as well as on the involvement of the "computational things" in support of learning with and from CT
- Develop courses for further education in CT for the surrounding community through workshops, seminars, and out-of-house activities as well as through collaboration with local and national companies. The courses are initially aimed at teachers at several levels; in primary school, in upper secondary schools and at the university
- Help ensure that CT is integrated into the programs in general at SDU, preferably through specially organized further education courses for researchers and teachers, with the inclusion of analog and digital forms of CT in accordance with the professional needs
- Work to raise the general level of competence in society within CT
The four purposes are all perceived as integrated tasks.