Computing education in K-12 schools: A review of the literature

Abstract. During the last few years, the focus of computer science education (CSE) in primary and secondary schools (shortly K-12) have reached a significant turning point. This study reviews the published papers on the field of K-12 computing education in order to summarize the findings, guide future studies and give reflections for the major achievements in the area of CSE in K-12 schools. 47 peer-reviewed articles were collected from a systematic literature search and analyzed, based on a categorization of their main elements. Programming tools, educational context, and instructional methods are the main examined categories of this research. Results of this survey show the direction of CSE in schools research during the last years and summarized the benefits as well as the challenges. In particular, we analyzed the selected papers from the perspective of the various instructional methods aiming at introducing and enhancing learning, using several programming tools and educational context in K-12 CSE. Despite the challenges, the findings suggest that implementing computing lessons in K-12 education could be an enjoyable and effective learning experience. In addition, we suggest ways to facilitate deep learning and deal with various implications of the formal and informal education. Encouraging students to create their own projects or solve problems should be a significant part of the learning process.

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