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dc.contributor.authorHuang, Wendyen
dc.contributor.authorLooi, Chee-Kiten
dc.identifier.citationHuang, W., & Looi, C.-K. (2020). A critical review of literature on “unplugged” pedagogies in K-12 computer science and computational thinking education. Computer Science Education. Advance online publication.
dc.descriptionThis is the final draft, after peer-review, of a manuscript published in Computer Science Education. The published version is available online at
dc.description.abstractBackground and Context: Computational thinking (CT) is considered as a valuable literacy for all students, and its inclusion in compulsory schooling could increase the numbers of historically underrepresented students who pursue computing-related careers. Off-computer activities such as the Computer Science Unplugged (CSU) had success in making computer science (CS) accessible to K–12 students in mainly outreach settings. Such “unplugged” approaches have potential to do the same in formal education. Objective: This review considers how research findings on unplugged pedagogies might advance CS/CT education priorities, while highlighting areas of unknown and tension. Method: We conducted a search in assorted academic databases using terms +unplugged "computer science" and +unplugged CT, and related terms, yielding an initial 81 publications, from which 40 publications were selected after exclusionary criteria were applied. Findings: We synthesized our review with existing ones to inform the priorities of CS-for-all and CT development. We critically discussed a selection of the literature to address four unexamined issues. We surfaced CSU's limitations to broaden access for underrepresented students and suggested a remedy through re-envisioning its content, pedagogy, and purpose. We proposed ten research questions that fill key gaps to support efforts that provide just access to quality CS/CT education.en
dc.subjectComputational thinkingen
dc.subjectComputer science educationen
dc.titleA critical review of literature on “unplugged” pedagogies in K-12 computer science and computational thinking educationen
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