Tom Stokke

Date of Award

January 2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Teaching & Learning

First Advisor

Gail Ingwalson


Computational thinking, or learning to address problems in a systematic manner such that the problem could be solved using a computer, is a skill that can be applied not just to computer science, but to other areas of study. Given the ubiquitous nature of computing as a critical component of innovation in many fields, learning to use a computer as a problem-solving tool could be viewed as a required skill for today’s students. There have been many initiatives promoting the introduction of computational thinking into a classroom, such as the “Hour of Code” (Wilson, 2015), yet the inclusion of such content into curricula at the time of this study was limited. Part of the problem is likely to be that learning to use a computer as a problem-solving device is something that is rarely taught to educators, whether as pre-service teachers or in professional development classes for teachers already working in the field. Nonetheless, it is likely that there are other deterrents as well. The purpose of this study was to use a cross-sectional survey employing both closed ended (quantitative) and open-ended (qualitative) questions to collect data from K-5 teachers regarding perceived barriers to implementation of computational thinking content into their curricula.