Computational Thinking in Classrooms: A Study of a Professional Development for STEM Teachers in High Needs Schools


  • Qing Li Towson University
  • Laila Richman Towson University
  • Sarah Haines Towson University
  • Scot McNary Towson University



Computational thinking, professional development, in-service teachers, enactivism, mixed-methods


This study explores the influence of a professional development (PD) model aiming to build teacher capacities for K-12 schools. It examines the impact of this PD on teachers’ learning of content and pedagogical knowledge related to computational thinking. It also investigates the lessons learned during the implementation process.

This mixed-methods study examined 25 teachers who participated in the PD. The pre- and post-tests analysis showed positive outcomes of this PD in helping teachers learn CT skills. The thematic analysis of the qualitative data identified themes to answer the second, third and fourth research questions. Learner-centered approaches, differentiated learning, and unplugged activities were three main themes identified in teacher-created lesson plans.

Author Biographies

Qing Li, Towson University

Professor, Dept. of Educational Technology and Literacy

Laila Richman, Towson University

Associate Dean and Associate Professor

Sarah Haines, Towson University


Scot McNary, Towson University

Associate Professor


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