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  • 1. Dagiene, V.
    et al.
    Mannila, L.
    Poranen, T.
    Rolandsson, Lennart
    KTH, School of Education and Communication in Engineering Science (ECE), Learning, Teknikdidaktik.
    Stupuriene, G.
    Reasoning on children’s cognitive skills in an informatics contest: Findings and discoveries from Finland, Lithuania, and Sweden2014In: Informatics in Schools. Teaching and Learning Perspectives: 7th International Conference on Informatics in Schools: Situation, Evolution, and Perspectives, ISSEP 2014, Istanbul, Turkey, September 22-25, 2014. Proceedings, Springer, 2014, p. 66-77Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this paper, we present the results from a multi-national study of students’ results in the international IT contest “Bebras”. Be-bras provides motivating and game-like tasks in the format of multiple-choice questions and interactive problems to students in grades 2-12. Our study focuses on the results of nearly 8 000 students aged 10-13 in Finland (n=852), Sweden (n=201) and Lithuania (n=7 022), using gender, task and country as the underlying variables. In addition to presenting the overall results of the three student groups, we also analyse a subset of tasks in common according to Bloom's taxonomy and put forward detailed results for these tasks with regard to gender and country. The results show that there is no difference in performance between boys and girls in this age group. Our findings also indicate that there was a slight mismatch between the difficulty level of the tasks used in the contest and students’ actual abilities; finding more efficient and trustworthy ways of evaluating difficulty levels upfront and choosing a suitable task set is hence important for upcoming contests.

  • 2. Dagiene, V.
    et al.
    Mannila, L.
    Poranen, T.
    Rolandsson, Lennart
    KTH, School of Education and Communication in Engineering Science (ECE), Learning, Teknikdidaktik.
    Söderhjelm, P.
    Students'performance on programming-related tasks in an informatics contest in Finland, Sweden and Lithuania2014In: ITICSE 2014 - Proceedings of the 2014 Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education Conference, 2014, p. 153-158Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The ways in which informatics is covered in K-12 education vary among European countries. In Finland and Sweden, informatics is not included in the core curriculum, whereas, for example, in Lithuania, all students are exposed to some informatics concepts starting in the fifth grade. Bebras is an annually arranged international informatics contest for K-12 level, resulting in a large collection of data about contestants and their results. In this paper, we analyse contest data from the Finnish, Swedish and Lithuanian 2013 contests, focusing on students'performance on tasks related to algorithmic thinking. Our findings suggest that despite coming from different educational systems, students perform rather similarly on the tasks. The same tasks are difficult and the thinking behind picking an incorrect answer seems rather similar throughout the countries. The analysis also points out that there is a lack of easy questions - this needs to be fixed in order to not risk scaring students away.

  • 3. Mannila, L.
    et al.
    Dagiene, V.
    Demo, B.
    Grgurina, N.
    Mirolo, C.
    Rolandsson, Lennart
    KTH, School of Education and Communication in Engineering Science (ECE), Learning, Teknikdidaktik.
    Settle, A.
    Computational thinking in K-9 education2014In: ITiCSE-WGR 2014 - Working Group Reports of the 2014 Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education Conference, 2014, p. 1-29Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this report we consider the current status of the coverage of computer science in education at the lowest levels of education in multiple countries. Our focus is on computational thinking (CT), a term meant to encompass a set of concepts and thought processes that aid in formulating problems and their solutions in different fields in a way that could involve computers [130]. The main goal of this report is to help teachers, those involved in teacher education, and decision makers to make informed decisions about how and when CT can be included in their local institutions. We begin by defining CT and then discuss the current state of CT in K-9 education in multiple countries in Europe as well as the United States. Since many students are exposed to CT outside of school, we also discuss the current state of informal educational initiatives in the same set of countries. An important contribution of the report is a survey distributed to K-9 teachers, aiming at revealing to what extent different aspects of CT are already part of teachers' classroom practice and how this is done. The survey data suggest that some teachers are already involved in activities that have strong potential for introducing some aspects of CT. In addition to the examples given by teachers participating in the survey, we present some additional sample activities and lesson plans for working with aspects of CT in different subjects. We also discuss ways in which teacher training can be coordinated as well as the issue of repositories. We conclude with future directions for research in CT at school.

  • 4.
    Rolandsson, Lennart
    KTH, School of Education and Communication in Engineering Science (ECE), Learning, Teknikdidaktik.
    Changing Computer Programming Education; The Dinosaur that Survived in School An explorative study about educational issues based on teachers' beliefs and curriculum development in secondary school2013In: 2013 Learning And Teaching In Computing And Engineering (LATICE 2013), IEEE , 2013, p. 220-223Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    According to teachers, the computer programming education dependence on students' logical and analytical abilities (even before the course starts). A majority of teachers also perceive their pedagogy as non-sufficient for students' learning. The paper unravels two types of instruction at upper secondary school; one which emphasizes individual work with programming languages assisted by a teacher, and one which emphasizes students' experiences of learning concepts. Two types of instruction that corresponds to the existence of two groups of teachers during the 1980s; the defenders who perceived learning as based on repeating sequences in a behavioristic manner, and partisans who perceived learning as based on discovery and self-teaching. The paper suggests that instructional design has remained the same, since the beginning of the 1970s, which could be the rationales for the difficulties in learning and teaching computer programming.

  • 5.
    Rolandsson, Lennart
    KTH, School of Education and Communication in Engineering Science (ECE), Learning.
    Changing Computer Programming Education; The Dinosaur that Survived in School: An explorative study of educational issues based on teachers' beliefs and curriculum development in secondary school2012Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    With the intention to contribute to research in computer programming education the thesis depicts the mind-set of teachers and their beliefs in relation to the early enactment of the informatics curriculum in Swedish upper secondary school. Two perspectives are covered in the thesis. Based on original documents and interviews with curriculum developers, the enactment of the informatics/programming curriculum during the 1970s and 1980s is explored (Paper 1). This historical perspective is supplemented with a perspective from the present day where current teaching practice is explored through teachers’ statements (seminars with associated questionnaires) regarding their beliefs about teaching and learning programming (Paper 2).

    The historical data reveals that experimental work within the informatics curriculum was initiated in the mid-1970s. In the early stages of the curriculum development process a contemporary post gymnasium programme in computing was used as a blueprint. The curriculum relied on programming as well as system development, wherefore a question of importance was raised early in the process; should the subject matter of informatics, be taught by ‘regular’ Natural Sciences and Mathematics teachers or by contemporary vocational education teachers in ADP? The question was initially solved using stereotypical examples of how to apply system development, which was later suggested as a replacement for programming activities. The initial incitement to offer informatics education during the 1970s was discovered in the recruitment of a broader group of students within the Natural Science Programme and the perception that it would contribute to the development of students’ ability to think logically and problem solving skills.

    The thesis unravels an instructional dependence among today’s teachers where students’ logical and analytical abilities (even before the courses start) are considered crucial to students’ learning, while teachers question the importance of their pedagogy. Teachers in the study commonly express the belief that their instructions hardly matter to the students’ learning. Instead these teachers perceive learning programming as an individual act. The inquiry also discover two types of instruction; a large group putting emphasis on the syntax of programming languages, and a smaller group putting emphasis on the students’ experiences of learning concepts of computer science (not necessarily to do with syntax), which corresponds with the existence of two groups of teachers during the 1980s; the partisans who perceived learning as based on repeating sequences in a behaviouristic manner, and defenders who perceived learning as based on discovery and self-teaching.

    In summary the inquiry depicts an instructional tradition based on teachers’ beliefs where the historical development of the subject sets the framework for the teaching. Directly and indirectly the historical development and related traditions govern what programming teachers in upper secondary school will/are able to present to their students.

  • 6.
    Rolandsson, Lennart
    KTH, School of Education and Communication in Engineering Science (ECE), Learning.
    Informatics and Programming in Swedish Upper Secondary School: Visions and experimental work during the 1970s and 1980sArticle in journal (Other academic)
  • 7.
    Rolandsson, Lennart
    Forum för samverkan.
    Lärarpar: Ämnesexperter och lärare tillsammans2017Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [sv]

    Vi står inom några år inför en omfattande lärarbrist och den kommer inte gå att hantera bara genom att öka antalet platser på lärarutbildningarna – kompletterande lösningar behövs där en möjlighet är att få in ämnesexperter i klassrummen, personer som kanske saknar pedagogisk utbildning men kan ha djup kunskap i bristämnen som teknik. Samtidigt får programmering en framskjuten plats i läroplanen vilket leder till stora fortbildningsbehov av lärare. Uppsala universitet har genom pilotprojektet Lärarpar tagit ett grepp om båda dessa frågor.

    Upplägget i projektet går ut på att pedagogen/läraren får förstärkning i klassrummet av en så kallad ämnesexpert, i det här fallet civilingenjörsstudenter inom IT. Pedagogen och ämnesexperten bildar tillsammans ett Lärarpar. Pilotprojektet har genomförts under 2016 -2017 vid skolor i Uppsala. Totalt har cirka 100 elever i åk 4 till 6 deltagit.

  • 8.
    Rolandsson, Lennart
    KTH, School of Education and Communication in Engineering Science (ECE), Learning, Technical Science Education.
    Programmed or Not: A study about programming teachers’ beliefs and intentions in relation to curriculum2015Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In the intersection of technology, curriculum and intentions, a specific issue of interest is found in the gap between teachers’ intentions and implementations of curriculum. Instead of approaching curriculum and technology as something fait accompli, teachers are considered crucial in the re-discovery of what and how to teach. The thesis depicts the mind-set of teachers and their beliefs in relation to computing curriculum. Three perspectives are covered in the thesis. Based on original documents and interviews with curriculum developers, the enactment of the computing/programming curriculum during the 1970s and 1980s is explored (Paper 1). This historical perspective is supplemented with a perspective from the present day where current teaching practice is explored through teachers’ statements (seminars with associated questionnaires) regarding their beliefs about teaching and learning programming(Paper 2). Finally with a view from a theoretical perspective, teachers’perception of instruction is discussed in relation to a theoretical framework where their intentions in relation to theoretical and practical aspects of knowledge are revealed (Papers 3 & 4). The initial incitement to offer computing education during the 1970s was discovered in the recruitment of a broader group of students within the Natural Science Programme and the perception that it would contribute to the development of students’ ability to think logically and learn problem solving skills. Data concerning teachers’ beliefs about teaching and learning programming unravels an instructional dependence among today’s teachers where students’ logical and analytical abilities (even before the courses start) are considered crucial to students’ learning, while teachers question the importance of their pedagogy. The thesis also discover two types of instruction; a large group putting emphasis on the syntax of programming languages, and a smaller group putting emphasis on the students’ experiences of learning concepts of computer science (not necessarily to do with syntax). In summary the thesis depicts an instructional tradition based on teachers’ beliefs where the historical development of the subject sets the framework for the teaching. Directly and indirectly the historical development and related traditions govern what programming teachers in upper secondary school will/are able to present to their students. From deploying two theoretical approaches, phenomenography and logic of events, upon teacher’s cases it is shown that the intended object of learning (iOoL) is shaped by the teacher’s intentions (e.g., balancing the importance oftheory and practice, using different learning strategies, encouraging learning by trial-and-error and fostering collaboration between students for a deeper understanding). The teachers also present a diverse picture regarding what theoretical knowledge students will reach for.

  • 9.
    Rolandsson, Lennart
    KTH, School of Education and Communication in Engineering Science (ECE), Learning.
    Teachers' Beliefs Regarding Progamming Education2013In: Technology Teachers as Researchers, Sense Publishers, 2013, p. 285-309Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The paper explores the beliefs of today’s programming teachers from the following research question: What beliefs do programming teachers express regarding teaching and learning computer programming in upper secondary school? To answer that question four seminars were offered focusing on upper secondary programming education. At each seminar, a questionnaire designed to elicit teachers’ beliefs about aspects of importance for their instructional design and students learning was given to the teachers/informants.

    The analysis showed four themes in relation to teachers’ beliefs about learning and teaching: 1. Students’ individual connective time, 2. Teachers’ pedagogy, 3. Students’ abilities, 4. Students’ interest and motivation.

    The assessment process is crucial to teachers’ choice of instruction strategies. This is particularly valid in the beginners’ course, where collaboration among students (peer-learning) is often practiced, and where skills essential to working in groups are commonly considered not to be important. In conclusion it could be said that two distinctive instructional patterns exist among teachers; individual support, and instruction for experience of learning.

    A majority of the teachers in the study express a number of expectations concerning their students’ abilities; specific abilities such as logical and analytical thinking are emphasized as important for successful learning, while the ability to work in a group and to communicate is perceived as beneficial but not of any concern during the assessment process. The paper raises the question of whether teachers perceive abilities as fixed and inborn (naïve belief) or something that students could acquire with some effort (sophisticated belief). Findings suggest that a majority of the teachers hold a naïve belief. Findings also show that the teachers in the study focus on the individual, constructivist based learning which indicate that the teachers in the study commonly hold on to relativistic world-views. The concept of pedagogy were also discovered significant as many teachers question the importance of their pedagogy for students' learning.

  • 10.
    Rolandsson, Lennart
    et al.
    KTH, School of Education and Communication in Engineering Science (ECE), Learning, Teknikdidaktik.
    Skogh, Inga-Britt
    KTH, School of Education and Communication in Engineering Science (ECE), Learning, Teknikdidaktik.
    Programming in School: Look Back to Move Forward2014In: ACM Transactions on Computing Education, ISSN 1946-6226, E-ISSN 1946-6226, Vol. 14, no 2, p. 12:1-12:25Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this article, the development of the Swedish informatics curriculum during the 1970s, 1980s and 1990sis studied and described. The study’s design is inspired by the curriculum theory presented by Lindensj¨oand Lundgren [2000], who suggest using the concept of arenas (the arenas of enactment, transformationand realisation) when discussing curriculum development. Data collection in this study comprises activitiesand actors in the arenas of enactment and transformation. Collected data include contemporary articles,journals, reports, booklets, government documents and archived documents. Findings show that informaticseducation in Sweden evolved from primarily focusing on programming knowledge related to automatic dataprocessing and offered exclusively in vocational education (the 1960s and 1970s) to later (early 1980s) beingintroduced in the upper secondary school curriculum under the heading Datakunskap. The enactment of theinformatics curriculum in 1983 encompassed programming, system development and computing in relationto applied sciences and civics. Mathematics teachers did much of the experimental work. It is shown that thecompetencies of upper secondary school teachers at the time rarely corresponded to the demands of the subject(content knowledge, resources and pedagogical skills). Stereotypical examples were therefore developedto support teachers in instructing about the subject content. When implemented in the theoretical naturalscience-programme, system development/systemisation was transformed into a twofold issue, comprisingvocational attributes and societal aspects of computer programming. The implementation of today’s informaticseducation, including programming in the curriculum, should draw from lessons learned from history.For a successful outcome, this study emphasises the necessity to understand 1) the common incentives forintroducing computer programming in the curriculum, 2) the requirement for teachers’ pedagogical contentknowledge and 3) the stakeholders’ role in the curriculum development process.

  • 11.
    Rolandsson, Lennart
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education.
    Skogh, Inga-Britt
    KTH.
    Männikkö Barbutiu, Sirkku
    Stockholm University.
    Bridging a gap: in search of an analytical tool capturing teachers’ perceptions of their own teaching2017In: International journal of technology and design education, ISSN 0957-7572, E-ISSN 1573-1804, Vol. 27, no 3, p. 445-458Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Computing and computers are introduced in school as important examples of technology, sometimes as a subject matter of their own, and sometimes they are used as tools for other subjects. All in all, one might even say that learning about computing and computers is part of learning about technology. Lately, many countries have implemented programming in their curricula as a means to address society’s dependence on, and need for programming knowledge and code. Programming is a fairly new school subject without educational traditions and, due to the rapid technological development, in constant change. This means that most programming teachers must decide for themselves what and how to teach. In this study, programming teachers’ teaching is studied. With the aim of exploring the connection/possible gap between teacher’s intentions and the teacher’s instructional practice, an expansion of the conceptual apparatus of phenomenography and variation theory is tested. In the article, phenomenography and variation theory and the suggested supplementary theoretical tool (Georg Henrik von Wright’s model of logic of events) are briefly presented and then deployed upon one selected case. Findings reveal that teachers’ intentions (reflected in their actions) include an emphasis (of teachers’ side) on the importance of balancing theory and practice, using different learning strategies, encouraging learning by trial-and-error and fostering collaboration between students for a deeper understanding of concepts. In conclusion, logic of events interpretations proves to be useful as a complementary tool to the conceptual apparatus of phenomenography.

  • 12.
    Rolandsson, Lennart
    et al.
    KTH, School of Education and Communication in Engineering Science (ECE), Learning, Teknikdidaktik.
    Skogh, Inga-Britt
    KTH, School of Education and Communication in Engineering Science (ECE), Learning, Teknikdidaktik.
    Männikkö Barbutiu, Sirkku
    Stockholm University.
    Bridging a Gap: In search of an analytical tool capturing teachers’ perceptions of their own teachingManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Computing and computers are introduced in school as important examples of technology. Sometimes as a subject matter of their own, and sometimes they are used as tools, but in principle, learning about computers is part of learning about technology. Lately, the subject is being implemented in curricula to explain society’s dependence on programming knowledge and code. However, there are some considerations related to teaching programming, as the questions of what and how to teach highlight different aspects of the learning objective. In phenomenography, intended object of learning (OoL) is suggested to describe the teacher’s perspective on teaching and learning. There is, however, an analytical reduction made in phenomenography, which makes such a construction hard to distinguish in action. To find ways of bridging this reduction and deepen our understanding of teachers’ work, the article discusses the possibility of using von Wright’s theoretical model of logic of events as a complementary analytical tool in search for understanding of the intentions behind such a construction. Two theoretical approaches, phenomenography and logic of events, are deployed upon one teacher’s case to illustrate that the intended OoL is shaped by the teacher’s intentions, such as balancing the importance of theory and practice, using different learning strategies, encouraging learning by trial-and-error and finally fostering collaboration between students for a deeper understanding of the OoL. In conclusion, logic of events interpretations reveals the teacher’s intentions as being complementary to the principles of phenomenography. Understanding of teachers’ intentions contribute to the understanding of the OoL from a teachers’ perspective.

  • 13.
    Rolandsson, Lennart
    et al.
    KTH, School of Education and Communication in Engineering Science (ECE), Learning, Teknikdidaktik.
    Skogh, Inga-Britt
    KTH, School of Education and Communication in Engineering Science (ECE), Learning, Teknikdidaktik.
    Männikkö Barbutiu, Sirkku
    Stockholm University.
    Intentions and pedagogical actions: A study of programming teachers’ construction of a learning objectiveManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Teachers focus on one or several objects of learning (OoLs) in parallel. During the process of teaching and learning,students are invited to share the enacted object of learning (eOoL) as teachers shape the intended object of learning(iOoL). A gap is suggested in the steps going from the iOoL to the eOoL because students have differentprerequisites and ambitions. In laboratory work, theory and practice supposedly interplay to enhance students’learning. This study therefore considers that gap and addresses the following question: “What educational intentionsand expectations do programming teachers express when they (in retrospect) describe their teaching during anassignment on a principle from computer science?” Interviews were conducted with five teachers from differentsites (secondary and tertiary levels). A second-order perspective was used to unravel the expected OoL and theteachers’ intentions. The study reveals the existence of other OoLs in interplay with what is expected to be learnt.The teachers reveal a strong opinion regarding practice as a means for learning theory, as three qualitativelydifferent students’ actions will help the teacher to decide students’ theoretical understanding. Further work issuggested to explore the teachers’ reflections about what materialized in the classrooms and thus gain anunderstanding of the gap.

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