Co-evolving Watershed Education and Programmable Media Concepts in Middle-School Classrooms: An Implementation of the Creative Thinking Spiral

Regina Katherine Smith


Creative thinking spiral-imagine→create→play→share→reflect→imagine —is an important new paradigm to test, implement, and mainstream integrative learning. The spiral is particularly relevant in middle school education, where students are learning important new concepts in STEM areas, that usually evolve are unlinked strands. Current curricula in elementary and middle schools are often fragmented and students are left with an understanding of separate subjects but with no way to connect them. For example, environmental education, where interlinked concepts ranging from math, science, geography, and computation have the potential to enrich integrative learning, yet a paper-and-pencil approach to learning the water cycle limits the kinds of questions that the students can ask and explore. My current research, through a targeted pilot project, takes a deliberate step to redress these gaps in k-12 education. As part of an interdisciplinary student and faculty research team, a workshop was developed for middle school students. We took environmental education as the focal context, and integrated computational thinking in an engaged learning environment using Scratch.


Computational Learning; Integrative Learning

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