Like many Computing curricula around the world, the English National Curriculum emphasises the importance of teaching Computing through a range of content so that pupils can express themselves and develop their ideas using digital tools. Our ‘Teaching Approach’ project builds on research grounded in sociocultural learning theories that suggest teaching approaches that encourage collaboration and use a variety of contexts can make Computing a more inclusive subject for all learners. Within this project, we are running three different interventions, each with learners of different ages.
Evidence indicates that gender stereotypes around Computing develop early (1). Therefore we designed a trial — the first of its kind in England — to explore a storytelling approach for teaching Computing with younger children (6- to 7-year-olds). A small body of research suggests that using storytelling as a learning context for Computing can be engaging for both boys and girls. Research results indicate that:
Teaching computing through storytelling and story-writing is effective for motivating 11- to 14-year-old girls to learn programming
Children who write computer programs to tell stories see Computing as a subject that is equally as easy or difficult for both boys and girls
In a non-formal learning space, primary-aged girls are more likely to choose a storybook beginner electronics activity rather than open-ended beginner electronics free play
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