Developing children’s computational thinking through physical computing lessons

Sun Hee Min, Min Kyeong Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


In this study, we designed and applied physical computing lessons for elementary 6th-grade students based on the software education guidelines in the Korean 2015 Revised National Curriculum (Ministry of Education, 2015a). The participants of this study were ten 6th-grade students of an elementary school in Gyeonggi-do province in Korea. The physical computing lessons used in this study supported the active interaction of the digital world and the physical world by constructing a physical model using specific media, and controlling it with a program. In order to understand the changes in the students’ computational thinking after the class, we analyzed these changes in terms of computational concept, computational practice, and computational perception. Research has shown that physical computing lessons materialize students’ computational concepts through computational practices, and improve their computational perspectives through the use of authentic contexts. We expect that the physical computing lessons and analysis tools developed through this study will provide educational implications for future software education.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-198
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Electronic Journal of Elementary Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Published by KURA Education & Publishing.


  • Computational Concepts
  • Computational Perspectives
  • Computational Practices
  • Computational Thinking
  • Elementary Education
  • Physical Computing


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