Designing Equitable Computational Thinking Learning Opportunities in Under-Resourced Elementary Mathematics Classrooms
David Weintrop

About the research


NAEd/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship

Award Year



University of Maryland, College Park

Primary Discipline

Computation is changing our world. In order to prepare learners to succeed in an increasingly digital landscape, it is important that all students have meaningful computational learning experiences early in their K-12 educational careers. The approach I take with this work is to integrate computational thinking into elementary mathematics classrooms in a way that empowers learners to draw on their Funds of Knowledge while also working within the constraints of the public education system. This project was co-developed through a researcher-practitioner partnership with an urban school district and is designed to align with the district�s mission of joyful and equitable learning while using resources already present within the district. The primary contribution of this study will be in documenting how an integrated approach can be used to provide meaningful and equitable computational thinking learning opportunities for young students. Further, this work will advance our understanding of the nature of computational thinking for elementary learners and provide examples for how to design equitable computational thinking learning experiences that fit within the constraints of public classrooms. In doing so, this project advances the goal of bringing computational thinking to all learners in an effective, equitable, and actionable way.
About David Weintrop
David Weintrop is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Teaching & Learning, Policy & Leadership in the College of Education with a joint appointment in the College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland. His research focuses on the design, implementation, and evaluation of accessible, engaging, and equitable computational learning experiences. He is also interested in the use of technological tools in supporting exploration and expression across diverse contexts including STEM classrooms and informal spaces. His work lies at the intersection of design, computational thinking education, and the learning sciences. David has a Ph.D. in the Learning Sciences from Northwestern University and a B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Michigan. He spent one year as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Chicago studying computer science learning in elementary classrooms prior to joining the faculty at the University of Maryland. Before starting his academic career, he spent five years working as a software developer at a pair of start-ups in Chicago.

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