Development of Computational Thinking In Brazilian Schools With Social And Economic Vulnerability: How To Teach Computer Science Without Machines

Main Article Content

Christian Puhlmann Brackmann
Dante Augusto Couto Barone
Rafael Marimon Boucinha
Janice reichert


Computational Thinking (CT) has been placing the focus of educational innovation as a set of troubleshooting skills. Unfortunately, there is not a consensus if the teaching methodology and the available materials attend the expectations of the lecturers. To prove the impact that CT training has in primary school, we attempted to evaluate primary school students with a Quasi-Experimental approach and taking Unplugged CT classes in Brazilian Schools with Social and Economic Vulnerabilities. The research happened in two schools to prove if the activities are effective for students who live in areas where there are no electronic devices, Internet or even electrical power can be also benefited. The results show statistically significant improvement. Our study finds shows that we are able to reinforce the claim that CS unplugged is an effective approach and it is an alternative for students who live in unprivileged areas.


Download data is not yet available.


Metrics Loading ...

Article Details

How to Cite
Christian Puhlmann Brackmann, Dante Augusto Couto Barone, Rafael Marimon Boucinha, & reichert, J. (2019). Development of Computational Thinking In Brazilian Schools With Social And Economic Vulnerability: How To Teach Computer Science Without Machines. International Journal of Innovation Education and Research, 7(4), 79-96.


[1] BBC Learning, B. “What is computational thinking?”, 2015. Retrieved from Access: 01/04/2019.

[2] Bell, T., Witten, I. H., & Fellows, M. Computer Science Unplugged... - Off-line activities and games for all ages (draft) (1st ed.), 1997, pp. 1- 240.

[3] Bell, T., Witten, I. H., & Fellows, M. “Computer Science Unplugged”, 2015, pp. 1-243. Retrieved from Access: 01/04/2019.

[4] Mec. Base Nacional Comum Curricular (BNCC), 2018. Retrieved from Access: 5/2/2019.

[5] Brackmann, C., Barone, D., Casali, A., Boucinha, R., & Munoz-Hernandez, S. “Computational thinking: Panorama of the Americas”. IEEE, 2016, pp.1-6.

[6] Brackmann, C. P., Román-González, M., Robles, G., Moreno-León, J., Casali, A., & Barone, D. “Development of Computational Thinking Skills through Unplugged Activities in Primary School”, ACM Press, 2017, pp. 65-72.

[7] Brennan, K., & Resnick, M. “New frameworks for studying and assessing the development of computational thinking”. In Proceedings of the 2012 annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Vancouver, Canada, 2012, pp. 1–25. Retrieved from Access: 5/2/2019.

[8] Campos, G., Cavalheiro, S., Foss, L., Pernas, A., Piana, C., Aguiar, M., … Reiser, R. “Organização de Informações via Pensamento Computacional: Relato de Atividade Aplicada no Ensino Fundamental”. 20º. Workshop de Informática Na Escola (WIE 2014), 2014, pp. 390-399.

[9] CODE.ORG. Instructor Handbook - Code Studio Lesson Plans for Courses One, Two, and Three. CODE.ORG, 2015. Retrieved from Access: 5/2/2019.

[10] Curzon, P. “cs4fn and computational thinking unplugged”, ACM Press, 2013, pp. 47–50.

[11] Curzon, P., McOwan, P. W., Plant, N., & Meagher, L. R. “Introducing teachers to computational thinking using unplugged storytelling”, Presented at the WiPSCE, ACM Press, 2014, pp. 89–92.

[12] Engelberg, M., & Thinkfun. Code Master Programming Logic Game. Thinkfun. 2015. Retrieved from Access: 5/2/2019.

[13] Feaster, Y., Segars, L., Wahba, S. K., & Hallstrom, J. O. “Teaching CS unplugged in the high school (with limited success)” , Proceedings of the 16th Annual SIGCSE Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education, ITiCSE, Darmstadt, Germany, June 27-29, 2011, pp. 248-253.

[14] Franklin, D., Skifstad, G., Rolock, R., Mehrotra, I., Ding, V., Hansen, A., … Harlow, D. “Using Upper-Elementary Student Performance to Understand Conceptual Sequencing in a Blocks-based Curriculum”, ACM Press, pp. 2017, pp. 231–236.

[15] Grover, S., & Pea, R. “Computational Thinking in K-12: A Review of the State of the Field”, Educational Researcher, 42, (1), 2013, pp. 38–43.

[16] Grover, Shuchi, & Basu, S. “Measuring Student Learning in Introductory Block-Based Programming: Examining Misconceptions of Loops, Variables, and Boolean Logic”, ACM Press, 2017, pp. 267–272.

[17] Hammer, O., Harper, D. A. T., & Ryan, P. D. “Past: Paleontological Statistics Software Package for Education and Data Analysis”, Palaeontologia Electronica, 4(1), 2001, pp. 1-9.

[18] Kalelioglu, F., Gülbahar, Y., & Kukul, V. “A Framework for Computational Thinking Based on a Systematic Research Review”, Baltic Journal of Modern Computing, 4(3), 2016, pp. 583–596.

[19] Kologeski, A., Silva, C., Barbosa, D., Mattos, R., & Miorelli, S. “Desenvolvendo o Raciocínio Lógico e o Pensamento Computacional: Experiências no Contexto do Projeto Logicando”, Revista Novas Tecnologias Na Educação (RENOTE), 14(2), 2016, pp. 1-10.

[20] Lambert, L., & Guiffre, H. Computer science outreach in an elementary school. Journal of Computing Sciences in Colleges, 24(3), 2009, pp. 118–124.

[21] Liukas, L. Hello Ruby: adventures in coding. Feiwel & Friends, 2015, pp. 112.

[22] Nishida, T., Kanemune, S., Idosaka, Y., Namiki, M., Bell, T., & Kuno, Y. “A CS Unplugged Design Pattern”, New York, NY: ACM, 2009, pp. 231–235. Retrieved from

[23] Rodriguez, B., Stephen, K., Rader, C., & Camp, T. “Assessing Computational Thinking in CS Unplugged Activities”, In Proceedings of the 2017 ACM SIGCSE Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, Seattle, Washington, USA: ACM, 2017, pp. 501–506.

[24] Román-Gonzáles, M., Moreno-León, J., & Robles, G. “Complementary Tools for Computational Thinking Assessment”, Presented at the International Conference on Computational Thinking Education 2017 (CTE 2017), Hong Kong: In press, 2017.

[25] Román-Gonzáles, M., Pérez-González, J.-C., & Jiménez-Fernández, C. “Which cognitive abilities underlie computational thinking? Criterion validity of the Computational Thinking Test”, Computers in Human Behavior, 72, 2017, pp. 678–691.

[26] Román-González, M. “Computational Thinking Test: Design Guidelines and Content Validation”, In Proceedings of the 7th Annual International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies (EDULEARN 2015), Barcelona, Spain: IATED, 2015, pp. 2436–2444

[27] Román-González, M. “Codigoalfabetización y Pensamiento Computacional en Educación Primaria y Secundaria: Validación de un Instrumento y Evaluación de Programas”. Tesis Doctoral. Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia, Madrid, Spain, 2016, pp. 1-720.

[28] Román-González, M., Pérez, J. C., & Carmen Jiménez-Fernández. Test de Pensamiento Computacional: diseño y psicometría general, Octubre 14-16, 2015, Madrid, ESPAÑA III Congreso Internacional sobre Aprendizaje, Innovación y Competitividad (CINAIC 2015) , 2015.

[29] Scaico, P., Mychelline, H., Cunha, F., & Alencar, Y. “Um Relato de Experiências de Estagiários da Licenciatura em Computação com o Ensino de Computação para Crianças”, Revista Novas Tecnologias Na Educação, (RENOTE), 10(3), 2012, pp. 1-10.

[30] Taub, R., Ben-Ari, M., & Armoni, M. “The effect of CS unplugged on middle-school students’ views of CS”, ACM Press, 2009, pp. 99.

[31] UNESCO. Institute for Statistics. Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in Education in Asia: A comparative analysis of ICT integration and e-readiness in schools across Asia. Information paper; 22. UNESCO Institute for Statistics, 2014.

[32] UNESCO. Institute for Statistics. Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in Education in sub-Saharan Africa: A comparative analysis of basic e-readiness in schools. Information Paper No. 25. UNESCO Institute for Statistics, 2015.

[33] Unnikrishnan, R., Amrita, N., Muir, A., & Rao, B. “Of Elephants and Nested Loops: How to Introduce Computing to Youth in Rural India”, ACM Press, 2016, pp. 137–146.

[34] Valente, J. A. “Integração do Pensamento Computacional no Currículo da Educação Básica: Diferentes Estratégias Usadas e Questões de Formação de Professores e Avaliação do Aluno”, Revista e-Curriculum, v. 14, n. 3, 2016, pp. 864-897.

[35] Wing, J. M. “Computational thinking”, Communications of the ACM, 49(3), 2006, pp. 33-35.