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Computational Thinking

Computational concepts, computational practices, learning approaches

Computational thinking is a set of concepts and practices that draw on ideas from the world of computing. There has been a growing recognition of the importance of computational thinking for understanding and solving problems in a wide range of contexts, not only in the field of computer science. Programming can serve as an important context for the cultivation of computational thinking. In our work, we take an explicitly design-based learning approach to understanding computational thinking concepts and practices through programming.

This handout describes computational concepts:


  • sequence 
  • loops 
  • parallelism 
  • events 
  • conditionals 
  • operators 
  • variables 
  • lists 
computational practices:
  • incremental/iterative 
  • testing/debugging 
  • abstraction/modularization 
  • reuse/remix 


and learning approaches:

  • design
  • interests
  • collaboration
  • reflection
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