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MCTIG - Computational Thinking in Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

About the project

We are a team of researchers and educators at CCTD working to design, implement, and explore Computational Thinking in high school teaching. We focus on subjects in the humanities, arts and the social sciences where modelling and computational thinking is not as common as in math and science.

We do this by educating teachers in developing, implementing, and assessing the use of CT in their teaching. It is also the intention that these teachers may serve as CT front runners and lay the ground for follow-up projects. The project primarily uses NetLogo as a programming environment for coding models.

Project goals

The project, running from fall 2018 to summer 2020, focuses on teacher professional development in designing, coding, and using modelling and Computational Thinking in classrooms. The long term goal is to develop Computational Thinking skills for all high school students and teachers.

The project addresses two important questions: First, how do we develop curricular classroom activities that support students in developing computational thinking practices; and, second, how do we develop programs that can scale up and multiply across the entire education sector. Results and experiences from this project will augment future work in this area done by CCTD.

We focus on three main approaches.

The first is to combine content knowledge, computer modelling, and coding in an approach we call CMC (Content-Modelling-Coding). This approach has been tested in other CCTD projects and allows the teachers to use their professional knowledge in combination with modelling and coding.

The second is to use an approach called Use-Modify-Create. This approach has been devised by various researchers and builds on the assumption that some skills related to Computational Thinking are best taught from a top-down perspective. Teachers are encouraged to let students use the model before the same students make smaller – and, eventually, maybe larger - modifications and ultimately create extensions or new models.

The third approach is to use Agent Based Modelling. This approach to modelling, which is native to the Netlogo platform, focuses on the interaction between agents and systems. This allows teachers to model complicated phenomena using relatively simple models and to study emergent behaviour. It also supports critical thinking about the assumptions and the scope of the model.

Finally, the project will secure that the region's high schools gain a leading position in the field, in line with one of the intentions of the region's Technology Pact.

Funding Partner

Central Denmark Region (Region Midtjylland)

Project Operator

Egaa Gymnasium        

Publication Category

Results will be relevant for STEM researchers, educators, developers, and high school teachers.

A teaching manual (en didaktik) for using the CMC-approach can be found here.

CMC-teaching sequences developed and tested by teachers for use in high school classes: https://library.ct-denmark.org/

Research Areas

CT, CS, LS, HCI, and PD. 

Contact project lead

Niels Olof Bouvin

Associate Professor Department of Computer Science

Marianne Graves Petersen

Professor Department of Computer Science

Project Participants

Keld Nielsen

Associate Professor Emeritus/Emerita Department of Mathematics - Science Studies