Research focus

MASCOT is an interdisciplinary, collaborative and innovative research collaboration that aims to develop knowledge about teaching, learning and assessment processes of computational thinking in teacher education and school. The project is an international collaboration.

Computational thinking (CT) is considered a universal 21st century competence. As a generic skill, it aims at fostering students’ analytical and critical thinking, creativity, problem-solving and scientific literacy practices. These skills are crucial to learning and democratic participation.

While CT is not a new term, originating in Papert’s work from the eighties, CT has recently acquired a more prominent status through inclusion in compulsory schooling in several countries, and has recently been introduced in Nordic curricula (in Norway from 2020). Despite this widespread anchoring of CT in school, there remains a lack of shared understanding as to what CT entails.

MASCOT (Mathematics, Science and Computational Thinking) aims to develop systematic knowledge about research and policy of CT, as well as knowledge about teaching, learning and assessment processes in Nordic teacher education and schools, primarily focusing on CT in Mathematics and Science. MASCOT aims to use the gained knowledge to develop new educational practices and means of assessment. It is a goal to make sure that knowledge gained from research in schools and teacher education programmes mutually inform each other in order to improve professional educational practices and assessment in both arenas.

MASCOT is organised as a research practice partnership, focussing on long-term collaborations between teachers, students and researchers. The overall research approach in MASCOT is design-based research. MASCOT intervenes directly in teacher education programmes as well as schools across the participating Nordic institutions, emphasizing collaboration between the project partners to gain insight from each other. MASCOT aims to develop comprehensive introduction of CT (as a professional competence) in teacher education, focussing on applications in mathematics and science. In addition, in close collaboration with the schools, it aims at developing research-based teaching and assessment practices.

MASCOT is a collaborative interdisciplinary research project which brings together a consortium of experts from leading Nordic teacher education institutions in Norway, Finland and Denmark and involves 5 partner schools in Norway and Finland.

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