The Future of the Computing Curriculum: How the Computing Curriculum Instills Values and Subjectivity in Young People.

  • Benjamin S Wohl Highwire CDT Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK
  • Sophie Beck Highwire CDT Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK
  • Lynne Blair School of Computing & Communications Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK
Keywords: computing curriculum, education research, subjectivity, computer science education, Schwartz’s basic values, Computational thinking



In these early stages of implementation of the English computing curriculum policy reforms, there are uncertainties with regards to the intentions of computing to young people. To date, research regarding the English computing curriculum has been mostly concerned with the content of the curriculum, its delivery and surrounding pedagogy. In contrast this paper seeks to explore the underlying motivation and values embedded in the computing curriculum. We propose that this curriculum has been driven by the needs of industry and the economy. We use Schwartz’s values to examine how the teaching of computing has been primarily embedded within the value of self-enhancement.  We conclude, that by looking at this context and the underlying value structure, we can reflect on the dramatic effects of the narrative and discourse around the content, delivery and purpose of teaching computing to young people. We propose the narratives of curriculum, influence pedagogy and this in turn, has a powerful impact on the young people’s view of themselves and the world we want to equip them to create.

Keywords: computing curriculum, education research, subjectivity, computer science education, Schwartz’s values.                                                                                                        


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Author Biographies

Benjamin S Wohl, Highwire CDT Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK
I am a Phd Student at Lancaster University. My research is looking at the response of KS3 pupils to the computing curriculum.
Sophie Beck, Highwire CDT Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK
Sophie is a Phd student at Lancaster University, she is studying the values systems of STEM education in the UK.
Lynne Blair, School of Computing & Communications Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK

Lynne Blair is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Computing and Communications at Lancaster University. She is also the director of Lancaster's Computing At School Regional Centre. Her current research interests lie within the area of Human Computer Interaction, particularly consideration of the human, social and environmental impact of the digital economy, as well as wider issues of sustainability.





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How to Cite
Wohl, B. S., Beck, S., & Blair, L. (2017). The Future of the Computing Curriculum: How the Computing Curriculum Instills Values and Subjectivity in Young People. International Journal of Computer Science Education in Schools, 1(1), 21 - 29.