Using Scratch to facilitate mathematical thinking
Calder, N. S. (2018). Using Scratch to facilitate mathematical thinking. Waikato Journal of Education, 23(2), 43–58. https://doi.org/10.15663/wje.v23i2.654
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/13108
This article reports on a research project that examined the ways that 10-year-old students, who were using Scratch for coding, engaged with mathematical ideas. Interactive software is emerging that has cross-curricula implications and facilitates thinking in rich, problem-solving environments. Scratch, a free-to-use graphical programming environment provides opportunities for creative problem solving. When students process mathematics through digital technologies, the digital pedagogical media influences the learning process and students’ understanding emerges in distinctive ways. The children used Scratch to create mathematical digital learning objects, including games. An interpretive approach was undertaken, with the data collected over a two-week research period. The students wrote daily blogs articulating their progress and reflections. Students and the teacher were interviewed, and classroom observations (both written and photographic) were recorded. The findings suggest that mathematical thinking, including geometry and problem-solving processes, was facilitated through this process. Together, these findings indicate that teachers should not only use Scratch in primary school classroom programmes to develop coding skills but also be aware of its potential to facilitate thinking in other related areas.
Wilf Malcolm Institute of Educational Research
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