Examining the Role of Parents in Promoting Computational Thinking in Children: A Case Study on one Homeschool Family (Fundamental)

June 15th, 2019 | RESEARCH

Computational Thinking (CT) is an often overlooked, but important, aspect of engineering thinking. This connection can be seen in Wing’s definition of CT, which includes a combination of mathematical and engineering thinking required to solve problems. While previous studies have shown that children are capable of engaging in multiple CT competencies, research has yet to explore the role that parents play in promoting these competencies in their children. In this study, we are taking a unique approach by investigating the role that a homeschool mother played in her child’s engagement in CT. This qualitative case study of a homeschool family is comprised of a mother and her six-year-old daughter. They engaged in two STEM+C activities designed by our research team. The parent first utilized the integrated STEM+C+literacy curriculum at home, and then visited a local science center. During their visit, both the parent and child interacted with an exhibit designed to promote engineering and computational thinking among children. Their engagement in both activities was video- and audio-recorded. Interviews regarding their experience were also conducted at the end of each activity (curriculum and exhibit participation). In this study, we employed a video analysis approach to examine child-parent interactions and utilized a thematic analysis approach to analyze the interviews. Our findings suggest that homeschool parents are integral to supporting children’s understanding of CT.



Team Members

Hoda Ehsan, Author, Purdue University
Abeera Rehmat, Author, Purdue University
Hayaam Osman, Author, Purdue University
Carson Ohland, Author, Purdue University
Ibrahim Yeter, Author, Purdue University
Monica Cardella, Principal Investigator, Purdue University


Publication: ASEE 2019 Annual Conference


Funding Source: NSF
Funding Program: STEM+C
Award Number: 1543175

Related URLs

Integrated STEM and Computing Learning in Formal and Informal Settings for Kindergarten to Grade 2


Audience: Elementary School Children (6-10) | Families | Learning Researchers | Museum | ISE Professionals | Parents | Caregivers
Discipline: Computing and information science | Engineering
Resource Type: Conference Proceedings | Reference Materials
Environment Type: Exhibitions | Informal | Formal Connections | Museum and Science Center Exhibits

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This material is supported by National Science Foundation award DRL-2229061, with previous support under DRL-1612739, DRL-1842633, DRL-1212803, and DRL-0638981. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations contained within InformalScience.org are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of NSF.

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