Visiting scholar at Monash University, Australia

By Nisanka Rajapakse Mohottige Somaratne

I’m delighted to pen down some highlights of my current research stay at Monash University, Australia. I arrived here end of January and will be here until last week of April. It has been a truly wonderful experience so far, both academically and personally. I’m thankful to my faculty host at Monash, Professor Neil Selwyn for agreeing to host me and guiding me to get the best out of my time at Monash. 

In Australia, they have implemented a technologies curriculum which consists of two distinct but interrelated subjects- digital technologies and design technologies. Computational thinking (CT) is one of the topics in the digital technologies curriculum. During my research stay, I got to observe some digital technologies classes both at bachelor’s and master’s level teacher education programmes which gave me the opportunity to get a broader understanding about the content and pedagogy in this subject. I also got to visit Monash Tech School where they primarily offer STEM technology focused workshops to school students aiming to enhance their design thinking skills and knowledge about latest technologies. 

Computational thinking with Lego

It has been a rewarding experience to get to know some other visiting scholars from Europe who were visiting Monash and I got to discuss about my project with some of them and also learn about their work. I’m in contact with academics from both digital education, science education and mathematics education research groups and discussed about my project with some of them and learnt about their ongoing research. Also, I contacted some academics from several other universities in Melbourne and Sydney who work on CT research. All these discussions turned out to be insightful and thought-provoking, taking me a step further in my research. It was indeed a delight to get to know some other PhD students from Monash involved in different educational research. 

This research stay enabled me to learn about other strategies of integrating CT into school curricula and teacher education than those practiced in Norway, broadening my understanding about CT integration. My heartfelt gratitude goes to Oslo Metropolitan University for providing funding for this three-month long research stay. 



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