Teaching Tools, Teachers' Rules: ScratchJr in the Classroom.
Lee, Melissa Su Ching.
Abstract: ScratchJr is an introductory graphical programming language that was jointly created by Tufts University's Developmental Technologies Research Group, MIT's Lifelong Kindergarten Group and the Playful Invention Company. Over the past five years, the ScratchJr research team has collaborated with families and schools in order to understand how children use and understand ScratchJr. However,... read morecreating a developmentally appropriate technological tool like ScratchJr only addresses part of the experience that creates opportunities for children to learn. This thesis looks at how kindergarten teachers use ScratchJr in their classes and how teaching styles impact student learning. This thesis examined teaching styles in three dimensions: 1) class-room management, 2) instructional methods, and 3) amount of programming taught in class. Student learning outcomes were assessed on four dimensions: 1) engagement, 2) attentiveness, 3) collaboration, and 4) programming scores on ScratchJr "Solve-It" assessments. Results suggest that highly structured classrooms, student-led instructional methods, and high amounts of programming may lead to higher student learning scores. The findings also have implications for how teachers in early childhood education can integrate technology in their classrooms.
Thesis (M.A.)--Tufts University, 2015.
Submitted to the Dept. of Child Development.
Advisor: Marina Bers.
Committee: Benjamin Shapiro, and David Henry Feldman.
Keyword: Early childhood education.read less