A1 Journal article (refereed)
The pedagogy of multiliteracies as a code breaker : A suggestion for a transversal approach to computing education in basic education (2021)

Mertala, P. (2021). The pedagogy of multiliteracies as a code breaker : A suggestion for a transversal approach to computing education in basic education. British Journal of Educational Technology, 52(6), 2227-2241. https://doi.org/10.1111/bjet.13125

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Mertala, Pekka

Journal or series: British Journal of Educational Technology

ISSN: 0007-1013

eISSN: 1467-8535

Publication year: 2021

Volume: 52

Issue number: 6

Pages range: 2227-2241

Publisher: Wiley

Publication country: United Kingdom

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/bjet.13125

Publication open access: Openly available

Publication channel open access: Partially open access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/76198


While computing has been (re)introduced into the basic education curricula in various countries, its actual implementation appears to be inconsistent. There are schools in which computing education is commonplace, while the implementation seems to be lagging behind in others. There is emerging evidence that some teachers do not consider computing education relevant, meaningful and important and, thus, intentionally neglect its provision. This is problematic as understanding the principles of code and computing is crucial for agentic citizenship in the post-digital era. This paper argues that one main reason for these teachers' reluctance is the economy-driven discursive framing of computing education, which is in contrast with the socialization-oriented manner in which teachers approach their work. To contribute to resolving this issue, the present paper introduces a transversal approach to computing education. It conceptualizes code as a sociomaterial text with social and societal histories and consequences. Theoretically and conceptually, the approach draws on the pedagogy of multiliteracies. The leading idea is that digital technologies are examined with students from functional and critical dimensions and through micro and macro perspectives. The use of wearable sports technologies, such as activity wristbands, are used as practical examples to put the theoretical ideas into context.

Keywords: primary and lower secondary education; curriculum subjects; programming; algorithms; pedagogy; multiliteracy

Free keywords: algorithm; coding; computing; education; multiliteracies; pedagogy; school

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Preliminary JUFO rating: 2

Last updated on 2021-22-10 at 10:50