Episode 188: Computational Thinking in Social Studies with Meghan Manfra, Tom Hammond, & Robert Coven

In episode 188, Dan and Michael chat with Meghan Manfra, Tom Hammond, and Robert Coven about their study published in Theory & Research in Social Education, “ Assessing computational thinking in the social studies.”


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Books, Articles and Other Amazing Resources

  1. Manfra, M. M., Hammond, T. C., & Coven, R. M. (2022). Assessing computational thinking in the social studies. Theory & Research in Social Education, 50(2), 255-296.
    1. Data-Pattern-Rules heuristic
  2. Koehler, M., & Mishra, P. (2009). What is technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPACK)? Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 9(1), 60-70.
  3. Hammond, T. C., Oltman, J., & Manfra, M. M. (2019). Geo-computational thinking in the third grade: Making computational thinking truly “for everyone, everywhere.” In A. Magdy (Ed.), Proceedings of the 1st ACM SIGSPATIAL international workshop on geo-computational thinking in education (GeoEd’19). Association for Computing Machinery. https://doi.org/10.1145/ 3356393.3365369 
  4. Hammond, T. C., Oltman, J., & Manfra, M. M. (2020). Computational thinking and social studies teacher education: What, why, and how. In S. Keengwe (Ed.), Handbook of research on integrating computer science and computational thinking in k–12 education (pp. 1–16). IGI Global.
  5. https://www.gapminder.org/
  6. https://www.wikipedia.org/
  7. The Geography of Slavery data base from the Virginia Center for Digital History (http://www2.vcdh.virginia.edu/gos/); “The Story of Aaron” is an activity drawing a set of advertisements from this source (search for name = “Aaron” and subscriber = “Randolph”). This activity is sometimes used in teacher education or professional development settings to introduce sourcework and the construction of historical accounts. 
  8. Episode 87: Data Visualization & Literacy in Social Studies with Tamara Shreiner
  9. The resource for the economic data: James E. Rogers, A history of agriculture and prices in England: From the year after the Oxford parliament (1259) to the commencement of the continental; war (1793).  I believe it was originally published in 1863.


Meghan McGlinn Manfra (PhD) is a Professor of Social Studies Education in the Department of Teacher Education and Learning Sciences in the College of Education at North Carolina State University. She attended Elon College as a North Carolina Teaching Fellow and began her career as a high school history teacher. She completed a master’s degree (MA) in history at the University of North Carolina -Greensboro and received her doctorate (PhD) in education at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill.  Dr Manfra’s research focuses on social studies teacher education, teacher professional learning, and the integration of digital technologies into instruction. Her recent grants include a Spencer Foundation research grant and the Library of Congress Consortium Partner grant.  She is the author of Action Research for Classrooms, Schools, and Communities and editor of the Handbook of Social Studies Research. She can be contact at: meghan_manfra@ncsu.edu

Tom Hammond (PhD) taught middle and high school social studies for 10 years before completing a doctorate in Instructional Technology at the University of Virginia. He is currently Associate Professor of Teaching, Learning, and Technology in Lehigh University’s College of Education. He sometimes posts computational thinking materials on his university website – Check it out! 

Robert Coven (PhD) ​​has been a college and high school history teacher for the past 25+ years. Prior to that he worked in international economics and architecture.  Robert received a B.A. in international business relations from U.C. Berkeley, a master’s in architecture from U.W. Milwaukee, a master’s in the history of industrial societies from U. Delaware, and a certificate of advanced research and a master’s in American cultural history from U. Chicago,. He completed a PhD in curriculum and instruction at NCSU.  Robert teaches a  wide range of high school courses at Cary Academy, including the history of science and technology, cliometrics, urban history, art history, ancient world history, American history, philosophy, and architecture. Most recently I developed a course in which students explore multiple modes of inquiry—ones that are used in the arts, humanities, social sciences, business, and STEM fields—in pursuit of independent projects. He can be contacted at robert_coven@caryacademy.org

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