Computational Thinking in Junior Classrooms in New Zealand


  • Jeanette Marie Margaret Irons Massey University
  • Maggie Hartnett Masse University



Computational thinking, technology curriculum, professional development, New Zealand, junior teachers, K-12


From 2020, the New Zealand technology curriculum will include computational thinking. The new curriculum content is being introduced to students from five-years-old onwards. In preparation for its introduction, online resources have been developed for teachers, including junior teachers (who teach new entrants to year three), that contain progress outcomes, lesson plans, exemplars and assessments. However, it is unclear whether New Zealand junior teachers are sufficiently prepared to teach computational thinking and what factors influence their preparedness to teach the new curriculum. This research explored the experiences of a small group of junior school teachers in the year prior to the official introduction of the technology curriculum. Research findings highlight that factors including professional development, assessment, schoolwide support, and time availability influence the uptake of the computational thinking curriculum by teachers in New Zealand junior classrooms.

Author Biographies

Jeanette Marie Margaret Irons, Massey University

Jeanette Irons is a Master of Education in E-Learning graduate and an experienced primary school teacher. She is a marking assistant for Massey University's postgraduate digital education programme.

Maggie Hartnett, Masse University

Dr Maggie Hartnett is a senior lecturer at Massey University where she teaches in the areas digital education. She is programme coordinator for the postgraduate digital education programmes and is associate editor of the New Zealand based Journal of Open, Flexible and Distance Learning. Her research interests include motivation and engagement in digital environments, digital inclusion, teaching and learning with digital technologies, learner support, and digital spaces for learning.