Author ORCID Identifier

https://orcid.org/ 0000-0002-6791-8954

Year of Publication

2022

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ded)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

College

Education

Department/School/Program

STEM Education

First Advisor

Margaret Mohr-Schroeder

Abstract

Due to the rise of careers in STEM-related fields, there is a growing need for schools to produce people to fill these positions. One area of STEM that is growing is computer science/coding. Due to this demand, schools need to be intentional about exposing students to computer science/coding. There are a variety of new tools to introduce students to this field. One growing belief is that knitting can teach computer science/coding to students.

The goal of this study was to see if knitting can serve as an introduction to teach students computation skills. Kitting has historically been used to code information, and numerous statements have been made that knitting can teach computer coding. The rationale behind this thought is that both fields have similar components and can serve to make coding more accessible to a broader audience. Suppose students that generally would not identify with computer science/coding due to perceived social norms develop an interest in knitting. In that case, they could use what they learned as a foundation to develop an interest in computer coding. This is based on Scollon's Nexus of Practice (2001), which studies how practices are linked together. This theory believes that combining different practices makes a possible crossover from one practice to another. As a result, what may not have been accessible at first due to biases or identity, may become more accessible. This study will focus on whether knitting can teach students computational skills and change students’ identity towards computer science/coding.

There is limited research on the relationship between knitting and coding. This case study attempted to determine if knitting could teach coding. The research was conducted during two three-week summer enrichment programs. Results revealed that teaching computer coding through knitting was comparable to traditional instruction. While not necessarily better, this shows that knitting can teach computation skills and improve identity. This could be important for encouraging students that would not typically study computer science/coding to enter the field.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

https://doi.org/10.13023.99

Funding Information

This study was supported by the Turner Thacker Research Fund in 2020-2021

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