Stories from the field: locating and cultivating computational thinking in spaces of learning

Michelle Hoda Wilkerson, Cynthia M. D’Angelo, Breanne K. Litts

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialpeer-review


There is considerable debate and ambiguity around what constitutes “computational thinking” (CT). In contrast to Computer Science which is generally treated as a distinct field of study, CT as a construct highlights the integral relationship between computing and other fields. Many recent efforts seek to map computational thinking by making high-level connections to other school disciplines. We argue that while these efforts may help identify specific curricular areas in which computing is likely to take place, they do not sufficiently capture the specificity and dynamism that is characteristic of meaningful computational integration. Worse, they exclude generative examples of computing integration that exist outside of the traditional STEM context or researcher-led efforts. In this special issue, we offer a counterproposal to one-size-fits-all frameworks of CT by exploring in detail how local, emergent definitions of CT develop across a diversity of spaces of learning. Reflecting on these examples can help researchers and educators alike cultivate an awareness of the ways in which learners and educators leverage computing to think, create, and participate across a variety of spaces.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)264-271
Number of pages8
JournalInteractive Learning Environments
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2 2020


  • Computational thinking
  • computational integration
  • computational literacy
  • interdisciplinary computing
  • situated computing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications


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