Investigating attitudes towards learning computer science

Cutts, Q. and Donaldson, P. (2018) Investigating attitudes towards learning computer science. In: Sentance, S., Barendsen, E. and Schulte, C. (eds.) Computer Science Education: Perspectives on Teaching and Learning in School. Bloomsbury Academic: London, pp. 39-55. ISBN 9781350057111

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This chapter explores the attitudes of computer science learners towards learning, as well as those of their teachers and how teaching practices may affect these attitudes. The exploration is set in the context of Carol Dweck’s Mindset, a concept with which many readers will be familiar or will have at least read about (Dweck, 2008). Mindset concerns how learners’ beliefs about their ability to learn directly affect their learning outcomes, and Mindset-based interventions have been successfully applied in computing contexts, for example in our own study (Cutts et al., 2010). However, Mindset has subtle consequences for teachers, which are often lost. For, as we shall show, teachers’ own Mindsets and the practices they adopt are instrumental in the formation of their learners’ Mindsets. Teachers must explore their own attitudes and practices carefully and examine why their students may be getting blocked in their studies. As we move from being an optional or self-selected subject at late secondary or tertiary education to a mainstream school subject starting in primary level and taken by all, this exploration is ever more important if we are to expect success for our learners. An exercise is provided in the chapter to help the exploration, which tends to lead to a re-evaluation of our underlying understanding of how learning and skill development work, encouraging us to raise important questions about our own practices.

Item Type:Book Sections
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Cutts, Professor Quintin and Donaldson, Mr Peter
Authors: Cutts, Q., and Donaldson, P.
Subjects:L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1501 Primary Education
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1603 Secondary Education. High schools
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2361 Curriculum
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Computing Science
College of Social Sciences > School of Education
College of Social Sciences > School of Education > Pedagogy, Praxis & Faith
Research Group:Centre for CS Education
Publisher:Bloomsbury Academic
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