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Creators/Authors contains: "Recker, M."

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  1. This study examines how a rural-serving school district aimed to provide elementary level computer science (CS) by offering instruction during students’ computer lab time. As part of a research-practice partnership, cross-context mathematics and CS lessons were co-designed to expansively frame and highlight connections across – as opposed to integration within – the two subjects. Findings indicated that most students who engaged with the lessons across the lab and classroom contexts reported finding the lessons interesting, seeing connections to their mathematics classes, and understanding the programming. In contrast, a three-level logistic regression model showed that students who only learned about mathematics connections within the CS lessons (thus not in a cross-context way) reported statistically significant lower levels of interest, connections, and understanding 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 9, 2024
  2. This study examines how a rural-serving school district aimed to provide elementarylevel computer science (CS) by offering instruction during students’ computer lab, a class taught by paraprofessional educators with limited background in computing. As part of a researchpractice partnership, cross-context mathematics and CS lessons were co-designed to expansively frame and highlight connections across – as opposed to integration within – the two subjects. Findings indicate that the paraprofessionals teaching the lessons generally reported positive experiences and understanding of content; however, those less comfortable with the content reported lower student interest. Further, most students who engaged with the lessons across the lab and classroom contexts reported finding the lessons interesting, seeing connections to their mathematics classes, and understanding the programming. In contrast, students who only learned about mathematics connections within the CS lessons (thus not in a cross-context way) reported significantly lower levels of interest, connections, and understanding. 
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  3. The paper draws on data collected during an inquiry-oriented instructional approach in which students learn to program a sensor-based physical computing system to collect and display meaningful data from the world around them. As part of one instructional unit (Sensor Immersion Unit) students debug their system when it does not work as they expect it to. We present a case study of how one teacher (Gabrielle) acted as a caring collaborator with students as they addressed hardware and software problems. This included modeling and articulating a regular systematic approach to becoming “unstuck,” which we map in analysis. Gabrielle’s approach to supporting students, or her debugging pedagogy, positions debugging as core computing practice rather than as a means to overcome failure. 
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  4. Abstract: This paper reports on a study of the dynamics of a Research-Practice Partnership (RPP) oriented around design, specifically the co-design model. The RPP is focused on supporting elementary school computer science (CS) instruction by involving paraprofessional educators and teachers in curricular co-design. A problem of practice addressed is that few elementary educators have backgrounds in teaching CS and have limited available instructional time and budget for CS. The co-design strategy entailed highlighting CS concepts in the mathematics curriculum during classroom instruction and designing computer lab lessons that explored related ideas through programming. Analyses focused on tensions within RPP interaction dynamics and how they were accommodated when RPP partners were designing for co-design activities, a critical component that leads to curricular co-design itself. We illustrate these tensions with examples of clusters of activity that appeared repeatedly among the research and practice team members when “designing for co-design”. 
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  5. This paper presents findings from a study of middle school science teachers’ professional learning activities designed to support the development of their debugging pedagogies. In two iterations of a professional learning activity, teachers worked to find bugs planted by facilitators in physical computing systems they were learning to integrate into their middle school science classrooms. We examine how teachers navigated the tension between developing their own troubleshooting skills versus supporting students’ skills in resolving inconsistencies between what they expect of the DaSH and what it actually does. We conclude with implications for the design of PL activities for supporting teachers’ debugging pedagogies. 
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  6. This article describes a professional development (PD) model, the CT-Integration Cycle, that supports teachers in learning to integrate computational thinking (CT) and computer science principles into their middle school science and STEM instruction. The PD model outlined here includes collaborative design (codesign; Voogt et al., 2015) of curricular units aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) that use programmable sensors. Specifically, teachers can develop or modify curricular materials to ensure a focus on coherent, student-driven instruction through the investigation of scientific phenomena that are relevant to students and integrate CT and sensor technology. Teachers can implement these storylines and collaboratively reflect on their instructional practices and student learning. Throughout this process, teachers may develop expertise in CT-integrated science instruction as they plan and use instructional practices aligned with the NGSS and foreground CT. This paper describes an examination of a group of five middle school teachers’ experiences during one iteration of the CT-Integration Cycle, including their learning, planning, implementation, and reflection on a unit they codesigned. Throughout their participation in the PD, the teachers expanded their capacity to engage deeply with CT practices and thoughtfully facilitated a CT-integrated unit with their students. 
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  7. null (Ed.)
    This article describes a professional development (PD) model, the CT- Integration Cycle, that supports teachers in learning to integrate computational thinking (CT) and computer science principles into their middle school science and STEM instruction. The PD model outlined here includes collaborative design (codesign; Voogt et al., 2015) of curricular units aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) that use programmable sensors. Specifically, teachers can develop or modify curricular materials to ensure a focus on coherent, student-driven instruction through the investigation of scientific phenomena that are relevant to students and integrate CT and sensor technology. Teachers can implement these storylines and collaboratively reflect on their instructional practices and student learning. Throughout this process, teachers may develop expertise in CT-integrated science instruction as they plan and use instructional practices aligned with the NGSS and foreground CT. This paper describes an examination of a group of five middle school teachers’ experiences during one iteration of the CT- Integration Cycle, including their learning, planning, implementation, and reflection on a unit they codesigned. Throughout their participation in the PD, the teachers expanded their capacity to engage deeply with CT practices and thoughtfully facilitated a CT-integrated unit with their students. 
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