Quantitative Measurement and Analysis to Computational Thinking for Elementary Schools in Japan
In Japan, programming education has been made compulsory in elementary schools since 2020. The Programming Education Guide (GPE) explains the purpose of programming education and the abilities that can be fostered through programming education. In addition, the “Portal Site for Programming Education Focusing on Elementary Schools” introduces various examples of programming education. However, there is little information measuring whether programming classes are effective in improving OTWP (Objective Thinking as a Way of Programming) abilities based on CT (Computational Thinking), except for reports of improvement after simple statistical analysis. Therefore, we prepared 30 CT questions, 12 basic and 18 applied, for the CT test considering four key techniques, decomposition, pattern recognition, abstraction, and algorithms, of which 14 questions were pre-test and seven questions were assessment test. In the experiment, 18 elementary school students from grades 1st to 6th were given a short workshop only once, and the analysis of the effect was done statistically, considering their habituation to the problems. The results of the experiment showed that there was no effect of the one-time workshop, unlike other reports of improvement that used simple statistical methods. It became clear that the CT ability was not improved by the short education. On the other hand, a new finding is that females may be inferior to males in three techniques: decomposition, algorithm, and abstraction.
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