OECD Education Working Papers

This series is designed to make available to a wider readership selected studies drawing on the work of the OECD Directorate for Education. Authorship is usually collective, but principal writers are named. The papers are generally available only in their original language (English or French) with a short summary available in the other.

English, French

The state of the field of computational thinking in early childhood education

Computer programming and associated Computational Thinking (CT) skills are essential to thriving in today’s academic and professional world. There has been a growing focus globally on fostering CT skills as well as on introducing computer programming concepts and languages beginning as early as kindergarten and pre-primary school. Tools, curriculum, and frameworks to promote CT in the early years must be designed and implemented in ways that engage children who cannot yet read and write, who learn through play, and who have a short attention span and limited working memory but also strong natural curiosity. This review summarises empirical and theoretical literature on the state of the field of CT as it relates to early learning and development, a time when young children are being introduced to foundational skills, such as literacy and numeracy, which can carefully be complemented by an exploration of CT.


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