Learning to Teach or Teaching to Learn?

The educational promise, Scratch, affordances and challenges, as seen through the eyes of children and their (student)teachers
Rory McGann

Most children today are proficient at playing games on their mobile phones or communicating with their friends on social networks. So are student teachers. But what about creating an interactive game, story, or music experience? What about harnessing the power of technology to create meaningful educational challenges and in turn stimulate and develop higher order reasoning abilities? This project, involving 51 pre-service primary teachers and in excess of 200 primary children, provided experiences engaging in programming environments. Student teachers were introduced to and explored Scratch – a visual, block-based programming language developed at MIT. These same pre-service teachers then spent 8 weeks in local primary schools supporting 5th and 6th class primary children engaging in Scratch programming experiences. In the presentation we discuss the educational promise, the affordances and the challenges provided by Scratch, as seen through the eyes of primary children and their (student) teachers.