Promises and perils of computational thinking: A discussion piece

Research output: Contribution to conference - NOT published in proceeding or journalConference abstract for conferenceResearchpeer-review


Proponents of computational thinking use the concept to account for what they perceive as important generalizable aspects of human thought (Wing 2011, National Research Council USA 2010, 2011). Simultaneously, the concept is employed to designate an ambitious pedagogical programme, in which computational thinking can be taught as a skill for the digitally literate 21st century (ibid.). As such, CT is seen both as an innate human capacity and a programme for developing future oriented skills - both for individuals and for populations at large.
This paper explores what we perceive as conceptual slippage within the computational thinking concept, as it moves between the descriptive and promotional modes described above. We consider the implications of this slippage through various conceptual apparatuses available within STS – since these approaches are already critical of distinctions between the innate vs the learned, the normative and the descriptive. This exercise sets out the ground for considering CT – its promises and perils - as a growing arena for research in which the analytic techniques of STS are both needed and challenged.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date27 May 2015
Publication statusPublished - 27 May 2015
Event 2nd Nordic Science and Technology Studies (STS) Conference - Aalborg University Copenhagen , Copenhagen, Denmark
Duration: 27 May 201529 May 2015
Conference number: 2


Conference 2nd Nordic Science and Technology Studies (STS) Conference
LocationAalborg University Copenhagen
Internet address

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