A K-8 Debugging Learning Trajectory Derived from Research Literature
2:10 PM - 2:35 PM
Fri Mar 1, 2019
Millennium: Grand North (Lobby level)


Curriculum development is dependent on the following question: What are the learning goals for a specific topic, and what are reasonable ways to organize and order those goals? Learning trajectories (LTs) for computational thinking (CT) topics will help to guide emerging curriculum development efforts for computer science in elementary school. This study describes the development of an LT for Debugging. We conducted a rigorous analysis of scholarly research on K-8 computer science education to extract what concepts in debugging students should and are capable of learning. The concepts were organized into the LT presented within. In this paper, we describe the three dimensions of debugging that emerged during the creation of the trajectory: (1) strategies for finding and fixing errors, (2) types of errors, and (3) the role of errors in problem solving. In doing so, we go beyond identification of specific debugging strategies to further articulate knowledge that would help students understand when to use those techniques and why they are successful. Finally, we illustrate how the Debugging LT has guided our efforts to develop an integrated mathematics and CT curriculum for grades 3-5.

Katie Rich Curriculum Developer, University of Chicago
Carla Strickland Digital Curriculum Developer, UChicago STEM Ed
T. Andrew Binkowski The University of Chicago
Diana Franklin University of Chicago

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