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Call for Papers: Special Issue on Computational Thinking from a Disciplinary Perspective from Journal of Science Education and Technology (JOST)

CALL FOR PAPERS – Special issue on Computational Thinking from a Disciplinary Perspective: Integrating Computational Thinking in K-12 Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education.
Journal of Science Education and Technology

Important Dates
  • Letter of interest are highly encouraged - deadline: April 1, 2018 (non-binding, 150-200 word description to help plan for reviewers)
  • Full paper submission deadline: June 15, 2018
  • Review decision: August 15, 2018
  • Final version submission:  October 15, 2018
Aims and Scope for the Special Issue
The field of K-12 computational thinking (CT) is relatively new. Yet in the second decade of the 21st century, CT is touted as an essential competence that should be included in every student’s skill set (Grover & Pea, 2018). CT has been acknowledged as a key scientific practice in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS Lead States, 2013) prompting many school districts and States to make wide-sweeping changes based on a limited research base (Stanton et al., 2018). The integration of CT into STEM classrooms is even newer. It is seen as having the potential to deepen science learning and student engagement by positioning students as young scientists who can marshall computational tools, resources, and methods to advance their understanding of scientific phenomena. Furthermore, by enabling students to engage in modern scientific practices that directly relate to the way modern scientists use computational techniques, educators are preparing students for future STEM pursuits and careers.

Recent attempts to integrate CT into science classrooms fall along a continuum from the addition of “coding” activities that provide little if any support of science learning; to the integration of CT to support science content knowledge as it currently exists in science textbooks; to the integration of modern uses of computation aligned with the work of STEM professionals. Computational thinking from a disciplinary perspective deals with the latter two integration examples and seeks to identify in what ways can CT be productively integrated in STEM classrooms to benefit science knowledge building while strongly linking to professional practices in STEM fields. In this context, disciplinary refers to both K-12 subject areas and scientific disciplines.

Given that computational practices will come to dominate many areas of STEM professional practice, it is important to provide science educators and researchers with an overview of recent work in this domain and to identify potential theoretical gaps and opportunities for future study. This special issue will provide that overview in the preface, present a framework for CT integration, and include articles that illuminate what CT looks like from a disciplinary perspective, the challenges inherent in integrating CT into K-12 STEM education, and new ways of measuring CT aligned more closely with disciplinary practices. The editors invite submissions that offer research-based and practitioner-grounded insights into recent work in CT integration and incite new ways of thinking about CT integration from researchers, practitioners, and research-practitioner partnerships. Among the authors for this proposed special issue are participants in NSF’s two-part “Workshop on Developing a Framework for Computational Thinking from a Disciplinary Perspective.” This special issue will provoke new ways of thinking about CT integration and generate international dialog on this topic.

The following are topics of interest (but not limited to) for this special issue:   Research (including case studies, empirical studies, design-based research, design-based implementation research, and theoretical papers) on the following topics:
  1. Strategies for CT integration
  2. Assessing CT from various disciplinary perspectives
  3. Motivation, barriers, interest, and identity issues addressed through CT-integrated STEM
  4. Teacher education and professional development
Authors should prepare manuscripts using instructions on the website of the Journal of Science Education and Technology.

Manuscripts should not exceed 30 pages (including figures, diagrams and references). The page limit refers to double-spaced pages. Manuscripts should be submitted using online submission system (

All papers will be peer-reviewed based on quality, originality, organization and clarity of writing, and evidence provided for assertions and conclusions. 

Guest Editors:   
Irene Lee, Massachusetts Institute of Technology,
Joyce Malyn-Smith, Education Development Center, Inc.,
Fred Martin, University of Massachusetts Lowell,
Shuchi Grover,
Michael A. Evans, North Carolina State University,
Sarita Pillai, Education Development Center, Inc.

Grover, S. & Pea, R. (2018). Computational Thinking: A competency whose time has come. In Computer Science Education: Perspectives on teaching and learning, Sentance, S., Carsten, S., & Barendsen, E. (Eds). Bloomsbury.

NGSS Lead States. (2013). Next Generation Science Standards: For States, By States. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

Stanton, J., Goldsmith, L., Adrion, W. R., Dunton, S., Hendrickson, K. A., Peterfreund, A., Yongpradit, P., Zarch, R., & Zinth, J. D. (2017). State of the states landscape report: State-level policies supporting equitable K–12 computer science education. Waltham, MA: Education Development Center, Inc.