Session 04 – Part 1: Arnold Pears (Sweden)

Arnold Pears (Sweden)

Why Computing Education, and Especially CT, Needs a Broader Perspective! - Arnold Pears (Sweden)

Computing education has focussed on introductory programming, nearly to the exclusion of all other CS content, a mistake that plagues the discipline. Computational Thinking (CT) runs the risk of making a parallel error by focussing on aspects of computation unique to the imperative programming paradigm and sequential execution. An inordinate focus on loops, sequences and alternation runs the risk of impoverishing the computing discipline, and by ignoring vital areas such as concurrency and data parallelism, runs the risk of educating future generations in an obsolete programming tradition.

Arnold Pears is Professor and Chair of the Department of Learning in Engineering Sciences at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden. He also holds a professorship in Computer Science at Uppsala University, Sweden. Professor Pears received his BSc(Hons) in 1986 and PhD in 1994, both from La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia.

In the late 1990’s, Together with colleagues Dr. Berglund and Prof. Daniels, Prof. Pears established the UpCERG research group in computing and engineering education research at Uppsala University. As foundation professor at KTH he has lead research in all areas of technical and engineering education since 2017. His recent work includes several articles on computing in schools. He has published over 100 articles in leading Computing and Engineering education journals and conferences. He has delivered a number of keynote addresses, and is well known as a computing and engineering education researcher through his professional activities in the ACM, and IEEE.

Contributions to the academic and professional community include his roles as a member of the Board of Governors of the IEEE Computer Society 2012-2014, where he is active coordinating education conferences; serving on the steering committee of the Frontiers in Education Conference and as Chair of the Special Technical Community (STC) for Education. In addition, he is a Director of CeTUSS (The Swedish National Center for Pedagogical Development of Technology Education in a Societal and Student Oriented Context, and the IEEE Education Society Nordic Chapter. He also serves as a reviewer for a number of major journals and conferences, including the Computer Science Education Journal (Taylor and Francis), the ACM SIGCSE and ITiCSE and Koli Calling International Computer Science Education conferences.

Recent publications include „Does Quality Assurance Enhance the Quality of Computing Education?“, in the Proceedings of the 12th Australasian Computer Science Education Conference, 2010, and models for research driven education in Computing, „Conveying Conceptions of Quality through Instruction“, in the 7th International Conference on the Quality of Information and Communications Technology, 2010.

Prior appointments include, lecturer and senior lecturer at La Trobe University between 1991 and 1998. Since 1999 senior lecturer at Uppsala University, Sweden where he was awarded the Uppsala University Pedagogy Prize in 2008, and promoted to Associate Professor of Computing Education Research in May 2011, and Professor in 2017. Roles at Uppsala University include appointment to the University Academic Senate, Programme Director for the IT Engineering programme, member of the selection committee for the Uppsala University Pedgogy prize and as member of the educational advisory board of the Faculty of Technology and Natural Sciences.

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