Computational Thinking Nurtures Future-Ready Students

Chan Sui Ki (La Salle) Primary School joined the CoolThink@JC programme four years ago, offering coding education to both teachers and students. Aiming to train students’ computational thinking abilities, the school has turned a new page in coding education. In addition to support from local and international scholars and experts on teaching resources, teacher training and lesson support, the school also received a one-off subsidy and thus established the CoolThink@JC studio. How did the school pull off such successful coding education in only four years? Ms Lin Chan, vice-principal of Chan Sui Ki (La Salle) Primary School, and her team shared their teaching strategies and suggestions.

Teamwork Improves Teaching Effectiveness

Ms Lin said that the computational thinking course incorporates a lot of logical thinking training. Teachers need to ask questions and come up with activities that inspire thinking to help students master problem-solving skills. Therefore, the school has re-arranged its timetable and increased the lesson time for Mathematics, General Studies and Computer Literacy subjects. At some grade levels, students have extra double lessons for them to develop STEM and computational thinking skills. In addition, teachers of different subjects have lesson preparation together, and jointly design teaching plans that cater student needs according to their professional areas. Ever since they have received STEM education, her students, once shy and timid, have become more confident and willing to try new, which is very rewarding for teachers.

Students learnt to code for tablet with App Inventor 2

According to Ms Lin, computational thinking abilities involves multiple areas. Teachers of different should get prompt exposure to coding education so that it can be incorporated into different subjects more effectively. The school puts an emphasis on teacher professional development, allowing teachers of different subjects, such as English and Mathematics, to participate in refresher courses.

Planning the Way Forward

Teachers from Chan Sui Ki (La Salle) Primary School are awarded in CoolThink@JC Commendation Scheme

To her, computational thinking is a skill one must possess in the 21st century, and those can master it will thrive. For the teaching of computational thinking to be implemented successfully, the whole school must get involved. While the amount of information available is overwhelming nowadays, the problems in our daily lives will have to be solved with technology, and students will have to deal with similar problems in future. Computational thinking is just a subject; it is also an ability, an attitude and a way to acquire knowledge. Only when computational thinking is integrated with different subjects can students learn to apply it in different areas, which is key to the successful nurturing of future talents.