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Programming Pedagogy in Primary Schools: Developing Computing Teaching

Investigate a range of pedagogical approaches suitable for teaching programming to primary school pupils (aged 5 to 11 years old).

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Educators are currently active on this course

A collage of key illustrations that appear throughout the course representing the topic of Primary Pedagogy, including a teacher and students

Learn how to run a successful computer programming class

On this four-week course, you’ll examine a range of teaching methods suitable for teaching programming, particularly block-based programming languages, to primary school pupils.

You’ll look at general pedagogical concepts like Bloom’s verbs, semantic waves and cognitive load, as well as programming specific approaches such as Parson’s Problems or designing lessons using levels of abstraction.

You’ll have the chance to reflect on your current teaching practices, and how you can adapt your own lessons to take advantage of these approaches.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 2 seconds Are you a teacher who wants to develop your pedagogical knowledge to create more effective programming lessons? What taxonomies and learning theories can you use to teach programming to primary school pupils aged 5 to 11? How can you model a learning sequence as a semantic wave? This free course will teach you about pedagogical concepts like Bloom’s Taxonomy, cognitive load theory, Use-Modify-Create, and Parsons problems. You’ll take part in practical activities to design lessons using levels of abstraction, guided exploration, and targeted tasks. This four-week course also contains peer-led discussions, trainer interaction, and feedback on your knowledge as you progress. You can learn whenever and wherever you want.

Skip to 0 minutes and 40 seconds So if you’re an educator looking to improve how you teach programming in your school, this course will help you to understand the principles of primary programming pedagogy. Sign up now at rpf.io/primarypedagogy. [CLICK]

What topics will you cover?

  • Pedagogical Content Knowledge
  • Bloom’s taxonomy and SOLO
  • Semantic Waves
  • Instructivist and constructivist learning theories
  • Continuum of scaffolding
  • Levels of abstraction
  • Programming concepts: sequence, repetition, variables & selection.
  • Using guided exploration and targeted tasks
  • Teaching programming using “Use, Modify, Create”

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

If you'd like to take part while our educators are leading the course, they'll be joining the discussions, in the comments, between these dates:

  • 3 May 2022 - 27 May 2022

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Describe a range of pedagogical approaches, including unplugged approaches, 'Use-Modify-Create', and Parson's Problems
  • Investigate the key programming concepts of sequence, variables, selection, and iteration, and how these can be taught
  • Model a learning sequence as a semantic wave
  • Apply different pedagogies into a lesson plan
  • Evaluate the use of these pedagogical approaches in your classroom

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for teachers and subject leaders responsible for teaching programming to primary school children (5-11 years old).

You will need some basic programming knowledge but the course does revise the key programming concepts of sequence, variables, selection and iteration.

Who will you learn with?

I am a Learning Manager for the Raspberry Pi Foundation. In addition to creating educational resources, I enjoy looking at birds, clouds, stars or anything else in the sky.

I work for the Raspberry Pi Foundation on the Primary team delivering educator support through the National Centre for Computing Education.

Who developed the course?

Raspberry Pi Foundation

The Raspberry Pi Foundation works to put the power of digital making into the hands of people all over the world, so they are capable of understanding and shaping our increasingly digital world.

National Centre for Computing Education

This course is part of our professional development teacher programme for the National Centre for Computing Education (NCCE). Our nationally-recognised certificates cater for all levels of teaching.

Funded by the Department for Education and supporting partners, we aim to transform the way computing is taught in schools across England, and enable more young people to benefit from studying this important subject.

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  • Discuss your learning in comments
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Buy this course

$49

One-off payment

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  • Access to this course
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
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