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Developing Computational Thinking Competencies through Constructivist Argumentation Learning: A Problem-Solving Perspective

Xin Pei Voon, Su Luan Wong, Lung-Hsiang Wong, Mas Nida Md. Khambari, and Sharifah Intan Sharina Syed-Abdullah

Abstract—Argumentation is a scientific literacy practice focused on developing scientific thinking skills associated with problem-solving. As computing has become an integral part of our world, computational thinking skills are requisite for successful problem-solving. The significant effect of computational thinking applications on the efficacy of scientific literacy practices is increasingly acknowledged. In this article, we propose a framework that conceptualizes the constructivist argumentation as a context for problem-solving by applying five computational thinking dimensions, viz. algorithmic design, decomposition, abstraction, evaluation, and generalization. The framework emphasizes two aspects, students’ problem-solving capability and quality of argumentation. Drawing from the literature on scientific argumentation and problem-solving, we argue that the application of computational thinking dimensions in science learning is currently overlooked in the instructional environment. To nurture higher order thinking skills and to engage effective problem-solvers, our framework incorporates four Computational Thinking-Argumentation design principles to support instructional innovation in the teaching and learning of science at the secondary school level, viz. 1) developing problem-solving competencies and building capability in solving uncertainties throughout scientific inquiry; 2) developing creative thinking and cooperativity through negotiation and evaluation; 3) developing algorithmic thinking in talking and writing; 4) developing critical thinking in the processes of abstraction and generalization.

Index Terms—Argumentation, computational thinking, computational thinking competencies, constructivist, problem-solving.

Xin Pei Voon, Su Luan Wong, Mas Nida Md. Khambari, and Sharifah Intan Sharina Syed-Abdullah are with Universiti Putra Malaysia, Malaysia (e-mail: xinpeivoon@gmail.com, suluan@upm.edu.my, khamasnida@upm.edu.my, sharifahintansharina@upm.edu.my).
Lung Hsiang Wong is with Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (e-mail: lhwong.acad@gmail.com).

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Copyright © 2022 by the authors. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

General Information

  • ISSN: 2010-3689 (Online)
  • Abbreviated Title: Int. J. Inf. Educ. Technol.
  • Frequency: Monthly
  • DOI: 10.18178/IJIET
  • Editor-in-Chief: Prof. Dr. Steve Thatcher
  • Executive Editor: Ms. Nancy Y. Liu
  • Abstracting/ Indexing: Scopus (Since 2019), INSPEC (IET), UGC-CARE List (India), CNKI, EBSCO, Electronic Journals Library, Google Scholar, Crossref, etc.
  • E-mail: ijiet@ejournal.net

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