The next generation of programmers: 6-10 year olds in Phitsanulok master computational thinking with The Foos


Computational thinking is a set of skills for solving problems based on principles from computer science.

Over the last few years educators and governments have recognised the relevance of computational thinking and begun to introduce computational thinking as a component of high school curriculums. More recently, some educators have been introducing computational thinking to younger audiences, and even into primary schools. With 22 iPads and a team of eager computer science students from Naresuan University, we spent 3 weeks at Wat Dhammakaset School in Phitsanulok undertaking an experiment with 6-10 year olds. The iPad application we used is called The Foos by codeSpark, and it is specifically designed to help young children explore basic programming concepts in a fun game-like way. We spent an hour each week with 4 different groups of students using The Foos and the results were impressive. Overall there was a 20% increase in the areas of computational thinking that were tested. The youngest students made an average 40% improvement in tasks relating to sequencing and navigation.

MCL has published a research report containing the full results of the experiment entitled Teaching computational thinking with iPads in Thai primary schools: The Foos case study.

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