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PhD position in the Pedagogy of Computational Thinking

The Embodied Systems for Robotics and Learning (ESRL) section of the Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller Institute invites applications for a PhD Fellowship in the Pedagogy of Computational Thinking in
collaboration with the Department for the Study of Culture (IKV) - Media Studies. The topic of the PhD will be: "Comparative study of pedagogical patterns in primary school teaching of Computational Thinking: Asia and Scandinavia." The PhD student will be part of both ESRL and of the Media Studies group at IKV and will participate in research and teaching activities in both settings. The student will be based in Odense but is also expected to visit Asian countries (such as Japan and Taiwan) repeatedly during the duration of the project.

Main objective
Observe and catalogue pedogogical approaches in teaching Computational Thinking (CT) in and out of the class in Asia and Scandinavia and deploy qualitative methods outside Scandinavia.

In Asia, IT-related studies in education typically rely on quantitative approaches and, compared to Scandinavia, there is usually less focus on learning experiences and social engagement in the classroom as well as on the individual preferences of learners and teachers. Therefore, we intend that the student travel to study in situ, observing physical layout and class orchestration. Moreover,
thanks to our network of contacts we can leverage local assistance to overcome linguistic and cultural barriers.

A collection of best practices for teaching CT, i.e. typical patterns, taking advantage of qualitative methods: when data has been collected and analyzed the candidate will be able to compile a collection of typical patterns for teaching CT that are adaptive with respect to cultural differences such as those described by Hofstede's cultural dimensions. We also expect the PhD student to define, and test locally in Denmark, a kit of free tools and pedagogical patterns for teachers to sucessfully introduce CT to primary school classes.

The findings and publications will be made available in school web fora in English (and possibly also in Danish) better to support rapid dissemination of the results of the study to local partners.

Applicants for the position should hold an MSc degree (equivalent to a Danish master's degree) in engineering and ICT discipline and have demonstrated relevant technical skills. They should furthermore document their skills and previous experience with respect to:

  • programming and familiarity with children's programming environments such as Scratch or Blockly
  • user-centered design and interaction design, especially for children and in educational contexts
  • educational technology and learning theories: learning and pedagogy interests during their studies, and in the bachelor or master projects
Contact information
Further information is available from the Head of Section John Hallam at email:

Conditions of employment
Employment as a PhD fellow is a 3-year salaried position. Employment of a PhD fellow can only happen after members of the PhD Committee has approved the candidate for admission to the PhD school. The enrollment and employment will cease without further notice at the end of the 3-year period. Further information about salary and conditions of employment.

Employment is governed by the Protocol on PhD Research Fellows signed by the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations.

An employed PhD fellow cannot have other paid work during the employment.

Requirements for the position
To be considered for the position it is required that the applicant meets the requirements for enrollment in the PhD school. Applications are required to have a master’s degree (equivalent to a Danish master's degree) at the time of enrollment and employment. 

An assessment committee will assess all applications. Each applicant will receive his/her own assessment.

If shortlisting is used, only shortlisted applicants will be assessed by an assessment committee.

An interview might be part of the process.

Your application must be uploaded through the link “Apply Online”. Attached files must be in Adobe PDF. Please read guidelines for applicants.

All pdf-files must be unlocked and allow binding and may not be password protected.

In case you have more than one file per field you need to combine the pdf-files into a single file, as each field handles only one file.

Each box can only contain a single file of max. 10 Mb.

The application must be in English.

The applications must include as enclosures:

Completed application form
• Detailed Curriculum Vitae
• Verified diplomas and transcripts of exams (Bachelor and Master) - Danish or English translation 
The form for calculation of grade point average
• An official document describing the educational structure and the grading scheme of the awarding universities
• Verified written assessment of the thesis or dissertation project given by the programmes educational institution, if the thesis is evaluated by approved/not approved
• Cover letter stating reasons for applying. Please attach your motivated cover letter to “application material” under “Research Plan”.
• References, you're welcome to use this form
• List of publications and maximum 2 examples of relevant publications, if any. Please attach one pdf-file for each publication, a possible co-author statement must be part of this pdf-fil. 

The University wishes our staff to reflect the diversity of society and thus welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.

Further information about the PhD programme and for  international applicants about entering and working in Denmark can be found at:
The SDU PhD webpages
The faculty PhD webpages
The international Staff Office at SDU
Study in Denmark
Work in Denmark

Send application
Deadline 2019-Mar-24

You can apply for the job at Faculty of Engineering by completing the application form


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