TU Wien Informatics

20 Years

Towards an Integrated Informatics Curriculum

  • 2019-12-13
  • Talk
  • Event
  • Education Outreach

Stefan Pasterk (University of Klagenfurt) presents ideas, concepts and evaluation methods to broadly introduce a continuous Informatics curriculum.

Children exploring algorithmic thinking in our Abenteuer Informatik workshops.
Children exploring algorithmic thinking in our Abenteuer Informatik workshops.
Picture: Amélie Chapalain / TU Wien Informatics

Informatics is becoming more and more important in the digital society and its fields of application are constantly extended. This is not yet reflected in the Austrian education in this field. The curriculum of the AHS currently foresees 2 hours in the 9th grade for the subject “Informatik”. In 2018, with the introduction of “Digitale Grundbildung”, a subject was created for the lower level which, although mandatory, leaves form and scope open for autonomous school planning. Although there are programmes from third-party providers for elementary and primary schools, there is a lack of universal concepts for teaching and for the training of pedagogues. In an international comparison, countries such as Switzerland or Australia already start at kindergarten with an integrated curriculum for the subjects of “Medien und Informatik” or “Digital Technologies.

In 2014, the Sparkling Science project “Informatics - A piece of cake” started with the missing concepts in primary and lower secondary education. With the aim of creating a playful and exciting approach, workshops for different age groups were developed and carried out during the project. These workshops were based on a previous curriculum, which was designed for different duration (2 to 4 years) and intensity (4 to 6 workshops per semester). This set the first course for a curriculum covering primary school.

From 2016 onwards, international curricula for informatics-related subjects in elementary and primary level were compared and analyzed. Using a graph-based approach, structural features of the curricula and central elements were identified. In addition, the possibility was created to generate learning paths that consider the necessary prior knowledge for specific learning goals. Based on these results, the internationally award-winning joint project “Digitaler Kindergarten” with the “Lakeside Science & Technology Park” and the local kindergarten “Bunte Knöpfe” was created. For this purpose, a tailored learning path with corresponding activities was developed and tested.

This talk will take up the steps described here with the goal of a continuous informatics curriculum and support them with examples and excerpts.

About Stefan Pasterk

Stefan Pasterk works as a university assistant at the University of Klagenfurt and is writing his dissertation in the field of informatics didactics. Already during his teacher training for the subjects informatics and mathematics he was involved in the conception and realization of the “Informatik-Werkstatt” at the University of Klagenfurt. In the Sparkling Science project “Informatik – Ein Kinderspiel” he developed a two-year plan for the contents of informatics in primary and lower secondary level as well as workshop units following the plan, which were also tested several times with pupils. After completing his studies in 2015, he completed his teaching internship and began working as a university assistant at the Institute of Informatics Didactics. In his dissertation he stores national and international curricula and standards for informatics as graphs in a graph database, merges them into a generic graph and thus automatically determines learning paths for specific target competencies. In 2019, his work in cooperation with the “Lakeside Science & Technology Park” and the kindergarten “Bunte Knöpfe” led to the internationally award-winning project “Digital Kindergarten”.

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