Toward a phenomenology of computational thinking in STEM education

Pratim Sengupta, Amanda Dickes, Amy Farris

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

64 Scopus citations


In this chapter, we argue for an epistemological shift from viewing coding and computational thinking as mastery over computational logic and symbolic forms to viewing them as a more complex form of experience. Rather than viewing computing as regurgitation and production of a set of axiomatic computational abstractions, we argue that computing and computational thinking should be viewed as discursive, perspectival, material, and embodied experiences, among others. These experiences include, but are not subsumed by, the use and production of computational abstractions. We illustrate what this paradigmatic shift toward a more phenomenological account of computing can mean for teaching and learning STEM in K-12 classrooms by presenting a critical review of the literature, as well as by presenting a review of several studies we have conducted in K-12 educational settings grounded in this perspective. Our analysis reveals several phenomenological approaches that can be useful for framing computational thinking in K-12 STEM classrooms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationComputational Thinking in the STEM Disciplines
Subtitle of host publicationFoundations and Research Highlights
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9783319935669
ISBN (Print)9783319935652
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Social Sciences


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