Programming is more than just writing a code. It is a process through which students develop computational thinking. Jeannette Wing claims that computational thinking is a fundamental skill for everyone and not just for computer scientists, because it is based on problem-solving, system designing and understanding of human behaviour, using basic computer concepts. It includes a series of thought processes that reflect the width of the computer area.
In the diploma thesis, we were interested if the didactic approach based on problem-based learning through programming in Scratch allows, in accordance with the research literature, the development of basic concepts of computational thinking. Specifically, we were interested in whether specific problem-based approaches, such as programming maze-games, are allowing the integration of students with the different prior knowledge, the development of projects of different complexity and progression in their computational thinking.
We carried out 2 workshops where we were teaching students the basic concepts of computational thinking. In the workshops, that lasted from 3 to 6 hours, participated in total 24 students, from the second three-year cycle, with different background programming knowledge. Students were making games in Scratch on the topic maze.
In the empirical part, we presented the course of workshops and the results of the quantitative analysis of the students’ projects. We analysed the project codes through the prism of the development of computational thinking in accordance with a scientific article published in 2012 by researchers and developers of Scratch, Resnick, and Brennan, and with the open-source web application Dr. Scratch. The analysis of the cognitive development of students' thinking during programming is based on the Neopiagets' theory described in the theoretical part.