The introduction of computer science (CS) into primary and secondary education raises two questions for researchers and policymakers: What is the essence of computer science? And how might computing be broadly relevant across and beyond disciplines? Computational thinking (CT) has been tasked with answering both questions. This largely-theoretical project developed the construct of Computational Literacies, a more robust alternative.
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Minecraft Utopia is a weekly Minecraft workshop for children in late-elementary/early-middle to be held over the course of Summer 2021. The project is a collaboration between Dr. Dalia Antonia Caraballo Muller, Associate Professor of Latin American and Caribbean History at UB's College of Arts and Sciences, and Dr. Chris Proctor, Assistant Professor of Learning Sciences at UB's Graduate School of Education.
The central goal of this workshop is to design critical educational experiences for children which recognize the profound impact of computing on our lives. Dalia's prior work developing the Impossible Project, an afrofuturist/afropessimist critical pedagogy for UB undergraduates, led her to ask what an Impossible Project for children might look like. Chris's prior work on situated and critical perspectives in K-12 Computer Science education led him to ask how elementary computing education might orient toward different outcomes.
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This project is about building community understandings of what computer science is and designing the kind of CS they want in their schools. Funded by NSF CS For All RPP grant.
UB will be launching an inital/professional teacher preparation program for new teachers, as well as an advanced certificate for in-service teachers with backgrounds in different subjects. This program will be the context for research into CS pedagogical content knowledge and teacher education.