Computational Thinking for a Computational World
Computers, smartphones, smart systems, and other technologies are woven into nearly every aspect of our daily lives. As computational technology advances, it is imperative that we educate young people and working adults to thrive in a computational world. In this context, the essential question for American education is: In a computational world, what is important to know and know how to do? This paper argues that computational thinking is both central to computer science and widely applicable throughout education and the workforce. It is a skillset for solving complex problems, a way to learn topics in any discipline, and a necessity for fully participating in a computational world. The paper concludes with recommendations for integrating computational thinking across K-12 curriculum.
This report draws from decades of research on computing education to describe how computational thinking is both central to computer science and widely applicable throughout education and the workforce. Computational thinking, which is complementary to coding and computer science, provides students a necessary skillset for solving complex problems.