Chris Proctor

Chris Proctor is a PhD candidate in Learning Sciences and Technology Design at Stanford's Graduate School of Education. His research is focused on critical computational literacies, a reframing of K-12 computer science which centers the worlds and concerns of marginalized youth. This work brings together perspectives from the fields of learning sciences and literacies. As a former secondary English and computer science teacher, Chris is developing the pedagogical content knowledge needed for interdisciplinary K-12 computer science pedagogy. In his dissertation research, Chris developed a literacy-based approach to teaching computer science using Unfold Studio, a web application for interactive storytelling.

How broad is computational thinking?

Computer science is becoming a mainstream school subject, yet we know very little about how children learn computer science or how to measure such learning. We conducted a three-year longitudinal study of students studying computer science in grades 6-8. We analyzed students' Scratch projects in terms of elaboration and computational thinking content, and modeled their association with performance on a summative open-ended assessment of computational thinking.

Modeling language games

Recent advances in natural language processing have led to technologies such as earbuds capable of real-time translation, voice interfaces to home automation, and automatic summarization of news articles. Yet the superficial theoretical assumptions these technologies make about linguistic meaning have limited their application to social sciences research.

Text and Code

Over the last 500 years, our interaction with print text--literacy--has transformed how we think, the kinds of identities we inhabit, and the structure of our societies. How might interaction with code and computational media like Facebook have similar effects? How might we design schools to support emergent computational literacies?