A Computational Thinking Curriculum and Teacher Professional Development in South Korea

  • Soohwan Kim
  • Hae Young Kim


Changes in industry caused by the development of information and communication technology (ICT) have affected all areas of society, including educational environments. In this age of the “Fourth Industrial Revolution” (Schwab 2016), new technologies continue to integrate the physical, digital and biological worlds, thereby changing the economy, the demands of the workplace, and the educational needs of our youth. In Korea as elsewhere, educational policymakers have come to see that sofeware and computing education are no longer options but basic competencies that students must learn in order to succed in twenty-first century. Many nations (e.g., Korea, United Kingdom, United States, China, Japan, France) have prioritized computational thinking education, that is, education that teaches coding, algorithm, or digital literacy for K-12 students (Bocconi et al. 2016; ISTE and CSTA 2011; NRC 2010; Naace 2014; KICE 2015). As Corporate Vice-President of Microsoft Research Jeanette Wing noted, “Everyone can benefit from thinking computationally. My grand vision is that computational thinking will be a fundamental skill—just like reading, writing, and arithmetic—used by everyone by the middle of the 21st Century.” (Wing 2008). The changes in computing education in Korea from 2005 to 2015 reflect the government’s recognition of the importance of computing education. Accordingly, it has continuously pursued measures designed to give students the ability to apply technology in their daily lives and use it to make a better future for society ( 2018; KICE 2015; MoE 2015; MoE et al. 2016; P21 2011).


Curriculum reform Concern-Based Adaptation Model Computational thinking Computing education Pre-service teacher 


The 2015 Korean curriculum reform mandated that all elementary through high school students learn computing education by 2018. One of the primary aims of teaching computing education is to develop students’ computational thinking (CT) in order to equip them with skills that will help them gain success in a technology-based society. Yet, two important tasks must be accomplished before this goal can be achieved: curriculum development and teacher professional development. In considering these needs, we first provide a brief background to computing education and recent curriculum changes in South Korea. Next, using the framework of the Concern-Based Adaptation Model we provide findi and stagengs from our study of teacher perceptions of computing education as well as issues related to teacher professional development. Finally, we provide insights into the current needs of teachers and suggestions for the design of effective professional development for computing education.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Soohwan Kim
    • 1
  • Hae Young Kim
    • 2
  1. 1.Chongshin UniversitySeoulSouth Korea
  2. 2.Independent Research ConsultantSeoulSouth Korea

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