Computational thinking, the notional machine, pre-service teachers, and research opportunities

Matt Bower, Katrina Falkner

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review

    13 Citations (Scopus)


    There is general consensus regarding the urgent and pressing need to develop school students' computational thinking abilities, and to help school teachers develop computational thinking pedagogies. One possible reason that teachers (and students) may struggle with computational thinking processes is because they have poorly developed mental models of how computers work, i.e., they have inadequate “notional machines”. Based on a pilot survey of 44 pre-service teachers this paper explores (mis)conceptions of computational thinking, and proposes a research agenda for investigating the use of notional machine activities as a way of developing pre-service teacher computational thinking pedagogical capabilities.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the 17th Australasian Computing Education Conference (ACE 2015)
    EditorsDaryl D'Souza, Katrina Falkner
    Place of PublicationSydney
    PublisherAustralian Computer Society
    Number of pages10
    ISBN (Print)9781921770425
    Publication statusPublished - 2015
    EventAustralasian Computing Education Conference (17th : 2015) - Sydney
    Duration: 27 Jan 201530 Jan 2015

    Publication series

    NameConferences in research and practice in information technology
    ISSN (Electronic)1445-1336


    ConferenceAustralasian Computing Education Conference (17th : 2015)


    • computational thinking
    • notional machine
    • teacher education
    • K-12


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