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Department of Computer Science and Technology

  • Director of the Raspberry Pi Computing Education Research Centre

The Raspberry Pi Computing Education Research Centre was established in July 2021 and is based in the Department of Computer Science and Technology at the University of Cambridge. The Centre is a joint initiative between the University and the Raspberry Pi Foundation and offers an exciting opportunity to combine expertise from across both institutions to deliver a step-change in computing education. The Centre seeks to achieve long-term impact by conducting original research as well as working with its partners to turn new research results into practice, including by working closely with the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s educational programmes.

The aim of the Centre is to increase our understanding of teaching and learning computing, computer science, and associated subjects, with a particular focus on young people who are from backgrounds that are traditionally under-represented in the field of computing or who experience educational disadvantage.

More information about the Centre can be found at http://computingeducationresearch.org. I'm excited to be leading this new initiative and look forward to enabling it to grow.

Biography

In addition to my role as Director of the Raspberry Pi Computing Education Research Centre I am also Chief Learning Officer at the Raspberry Pi Foundation, where I act as a senior advisor on teaching, learning and research activities. Since gaining a PhD in Artificial Intelligence in Education in 1993, I have worked as a secondary teacher, teacher trainer, university lecturer and researcher. I played a leading role in the DfE-funded National Centre for Computing Education, particularly around the development of the Teach Computing Curriculum, Isaac Computer Science, and online teacher professional development courses. I am also the strategic lead (PI) for the £2m DfE-funded Gender Balance in Computing research programme, for which we'll be publishing results in 2022. In my own research, I developed an approach to structuring programming lessons called PRIMM (Predict-Run-Investigate-Modify-Make), which has proved useful to many teachers around the UK and beyond. 

 

Research

My research interests are:

  • Computing education for K-12 (school-aged children)
  • Teaching and learning of programming
  • Making computing inclusive and accessible to all
  • AI education for young people
  • Teacher professional development for computing

I am interested in supervising PhD students in these areas.

Publications

Conference proceedings

  • Leonard, HC., Quinlan, O. and Sentance, S., 2021. Female pupils' attitudes to computing in early adolescence ACM International Conference Proceeding Series,
    Doi: 10.1145/3481282.3481289
  • Sentance, S. and Waite, J., 2021. Teachers' Perspectives on Talk in the Programming Classroom : Language as a Mediator ICER 2021 - Proceedings of the 17th ACM Conference on International Computing Education Research,
    Doi: 10.1145/3446871.3469751
  • Sentance, S., 2021. Teaching computing in school: is K-12 research reaching classroom practice? ACM International Conference Proceeding Series,
    Doi: 10.1145/3488042.3491040
  • Waite, J., Franceschini, A., Sentance, S., Patterson, M. and Sharkey, J., 2021. An online platform for teaching upper secondary school computer science ACM International Conference Proceeding Series,
    Doi: 10.1145/3481282.3481287
  • Martin, F., Lee, I., Lytle, N., Sentance, S. and Lao, N., 2020. Extending and evaluating the use-modify-create progression for engaging youth in computational thinking SIGCSE 2020 - Proceedings of the 51st ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education,
    Doi: 10.1145/3328778.3366971
  • Sentance, S., Singh, L. and Freitas, PD., 2020. Challenges facing computing teachers in guyana SIGCSE 2020 - Proceedings of the 51st ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education,
    Doi: 10.1145/3328778.3372613
  • Vivian, R., Quille, K., Mcgill, MM., Falkner, K., Sentance, S., Barksdale, S., Busuttil, L., Cole, E., Liebe, C. and Maiorana, F., 2020. An International Pilot Study of K-12 Teachers' Computer Science Self-Esteem Annual Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education, ITiCSE,
    Doi: 10.1145/3341525.3387418
  • Kallia, M. and Sentance, S., 2019. Learning to use functions: The relationship between misconceptions and self-efficacy SIGCSE 2019 - Proceedings of the 50th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education,
    Doi: 10.1145/3287324.3287377
  • Falkner, K., Sentance, S., Vivian, R., Barksdale, S., Busuttil, L., Cole, E., Liebe, C., Maiorana, F., McGill, MM. and Quille, K., 2019. An international benchmark study of K-12 computer science education in schools Annual Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education, ITiCSE,
    Doi: 10.1145/3304221.3325535
  • Falkner, K., Sentance, S., Vivian, R., Barksdale, S., Busuttil, L., Cole, E., Liebe, C., Maiorana, F., McGill, MM. and Quille, K., 2019. An international comparison of K-12 computer science education intended and enacted curricula ACM International Conference Proceeding Series,
    Doi: 10.1145/3364510.3364517
  • Falkner, K., Sentance, S., Vivian, R., Barksdale, S., Busuttil, L., Cole, E., Liebe, C., Maiorana, F., McGill, MM. and Quille, K., 2019. An international study piloting the measuring teacher enacted computing curriculum (METRECC) instrument Annual Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education, ITiCSE,
    Doi: 10.1145/3344429.3372505
  • Sentance, S., 2019. Moving to mainstream: Developing computing for all ACM International Conference Proceeding Series,
    Doi: 10.1145/3361721.3362117
  • Sentance, S., Waite, J. and Kallia, M., 2019. Teachers' experiences of using PRIMM to teach programming in school SIGCSE 2019 - Proceedings of the 50th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education,
    Doi: 10.1145/3287324.3287477
  • Quinlan, O., Sentance, S., Dickins, J. and Cross, R., 2019. The role of assessment and reward in non-formal computing settings (Work in progress) ACM International Conference Proceeding Series,
    Doi: 10.1145/3361721.3362111
  • Kallia, M. and Sentance, S., 2018. Are boys more confident than girls? The role of calibration and students' self-efficacy in programming tasks and computer science ACM International Conference Proceeding Series,
    Doi: 10.1145/3265757.3265773
  • Brown, NCC., Altadmri, A., Sentance, S. and Kölling, M., 2018. Blackbox, five years on: An evaluation of a large-scale programming data collection project ICER 2018 - Proceedings of the 2018 ACM Conference on International Computing Education Research,
    Doi: 10.1145/3230977.3230991
  • Waite, J., Curzon, P., Marsh, W. and Sentance, S., 2018. Comparing K-5 teachers' reported use of design in teaching programming and planning in teaching writing ACM International Conference Proceeding Series,
    Doi: 10.1145/3265757.3265761
  • Kallia, M. and Sentance, S., 2017. Computing teachers⇔ perspectives on threshold concepts: Functions and procedural abstraction ACM International Conference Proceeding Series,
    Doi: 10.1145/3137065.3137085
  • Waite, J., Marsh, W., Curzon, P. and Sentance, S., 2017. K-5 teachers⇔ uses of levels of abstraction focusing on design ACM International Conference Proceeding Series,
    Doi: 10.1145/3137065.3137068
  • Sentence, S., Waite, J., Hodges, S., Macleod, E. and Yeomans, L., 2017. Creating cool stuff" - Pupils' experience of the BBC micro:bit Proceedings of the Conference on Integrating Technology into Computer Science Education, ITiCSE,
    Doi: http://doi.org/10.1145/3017680.3017749
  • Sentance, S. and Waite, J., 2017. PRIMM: Exploring pedagogical approaches for teaching text-based programming in school ACM International Conference Proceeding Series,
    Doi: 10.1145/3137065.3137084
  • Sentence, S. and Csizmadia, A., 2017. Professional recognition matters: Certification for in-service computer science teachers Proceedings of the Conference on Integrating Technology into Computer Science Education, ITiCSE,
    Doi: http://doi.org/10.1145/3017680.3017752
  • Sentance, S., Yeomans, L., Waite, J. and MacLeod, E., 2017. Teaching with physical computing devices: The BBC micro:Bit initiative ACM International Conference Proceeding Series,
    Doi: 10.1145/3137065.3137083
  • Curzon, JWP., Marsh, W. and Sentance, S., 2016. Abstraction and common classroom activities ACM International Conference Proceeding Series, v. 13-15-October-2016
    Doi: 10.1145/2978249.2978272
  • Li, Y., Li, Y., Gunopulos, D. and Guibas, L., 2016. Knowledge-based trajectory completion from sparse GPS samples GIS: Proceedings of the ACM International Symposium on Advances in Geographic Information Systems,
    Doi: http://doi.org/10.475/123_4
  • Sentance, S., Sinclair, J., Simmons, C. and Csizmadia, A., 2016. Teacher research projects in computing ACM International Conference Proceeding Series, v. 13-15-October-2016
    Doi: 10.1145/2978249.2978271
  • Gal-Ezer, J., Sentance, S. and Vahrenhold, J., 2015. From the conference chairs ACM International Conference Proceeding Series, v. 09-11-November-2015
  • Barendsen, E., Mannila, L., Demo, B., Grgurina, N., Izu, C., Mirolo, C., Sentance, S., Settle, A. and Stupuriene, G., 2015. Concepts in K-9 computer science education ITiCSE-WGP 2015 - Proceedings of the 2015 ITiCSE Conference on Working Group Reports,
    Doi: 10.1145/2858796.2858800
  • Sentance, S., Humphreys, S. and Dorling, M., 2014. The network of teaching excellence in computer science and master teachers ACM International Conference Proceeding Series,
    Doi: 10.1145/2670757.2670789
  • Brown, NCC., Kölling, M., Crick, T., Jones, SP., Humphreys, S. and Sentance, S., 2013. Bringing computer science back into schools: Lessons from the UK SIGCSE 2013 - Proceedings of the 44th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education,
  • Hodges, S., Scott, J., Sentance, S., Miller, C., Villar, N., -Grosche, SS., Hammil, K. and Johnston, S., 2013. NET Gadgeteer: A new platform for K-12 computer science education SIGCSE 2013 - Proceedings of the 44th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education,
  • Sentence, S., McNicol, A., Dorling, M. and Crick, T., 2012. Grand challenges for the UK: Upskilling teachers to teach computer science within the secondary curriculum ACM International Conference Proceeding Series,
    Doi: http://doi.org/10.1145/2481449.2481469
  • Sentence, S. and Schwiderski-Grosche, S., 2012. Challenge and creativity: Using .NET gadgeteer in schools ACM International Conference Proceeding Series,
    Doi: http://doi.org/10.1145/2481449.2481473
  • Schulte, C., Hornung, M., Sentence, S., Dagiene, V., Jevsikova, T., Thota, N., Eckerdal, A. and Peters, AK., 2012. Computer science at school/CS teacher education - Koli working-group report on CS at school Proceedings - 12th Koli Calling International Conference on Computing Education Research, Koli Calling 2012,
    Doi: http://doi.org/10.1145/2401796.2401800
  • Crick, T. and Sentance, S., 2011. Computing at school: Stimulating computing education in the UK Proceedings - 11th Koli Calling International Conference on Computing Education Research, Koli Calling'11,
    Doi: 10.1145/2094131.2094158
  • Sentance, S., 2011. Learning from students: Issues in computing education for 16-18 year olds Proceedings - 11th Koli Calling International Conference on Computing Education Research, Koli Calling'11,
    Doi: 10.1145/2094131.2094159
  • Journal articles

  • Morrison, C., Villar, N., Hadwen-Bennett, A., Regan, T., Cletheroe, D., Thieme, A. and Sentance, S., 2021. Physical Programming for Blind and Low Vision Children at Scale Human-Computer Interaction, v. 36
    Doi: 10.1080/07370024.2019.1621175
  • Kallia, M. and Sentance, S., 2021. Threshold concepts, conceptions and skills: Teachers' experiences with students' engagement in functions Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, v. 37
    Doi: 10.1111/jcal.12498
  • Waite, J., Curzon, P., Marsh, W. and Sentance, S., 2020. Difficulties with design: The challenges of teaching design in K-5 programming Computers and Education, v. 150
    Doi: 10.1016/j.compedu.2020.103838
  • Kalelioglu, F. and Sentance, S., 2020. Teaching with physical computing in school: the case of the micro:bit Education and Information Technologies, v. 25
    Doi: 10.1007/s10639-019-10080-8
  • Hodges, S., Sentance, S., Finney, J. and Ball, T., 2020. Physical Computing: A Key Element of Modern Computer Science Education Computer, v. 53
    Doi: 10.1109/MC.2019.2935058
  • Sentance, S., Waite, J. and Kallia, M., 2019. Teaching computer programming with PRIMM: a sociocultural perspective Computer Science Education, v. 29
    Doi: 10.1080/08993408.2019.1608781
  • Sentance, S., Sinclair, J., Simmons, C. and Csizmadia, A., 2018. Classroom-Based research projects for computing teachers: Facilitating professional learning ACM Transactions on Computing Education, v. 18
    Doi: 10.1145/3171129
  • Sentance, S. and Waite, J., 2018. Computing in the classroom: Tales from the chalkface IT - Information Technology, v. 60
    Doi: 10.1515/itit-2017-0014
  • Sentance, S. and Humphreys, S., 2018. Understanding professional learning for Computing teachers from the perspective of situated learning Computer Science Education, v. 28
    Doi: 10.1080/08993408.2018.1525233
  • Sentance, S. and Csizmadia, A., 2017. Computing in the curriculum: Challenges and strategies from a teacher’s perspective Education and Information Technologies, v. 22
    Doi: 10.1007/s10639-016-9482-0
  • Dagiene, V., Sentance, S. and Stupuriene, G., 2017. Developing a Two-Dimensional Categorization System for Educational Tasks in Informatics Informatica (Netherlands), v. 28
    Doi: 10.15388/Informatica.2017.119
  • Brown, NCC., Sentance, S., Crick, T. and Humphreys, S., 2014. Restart: The resurgence of computer science in UK schools ACM Transactions on Computing Education, v. 14
    Doi: 10.1145/2602484
  • Holley, D. and Sentance, S., 2014. Mobile 'comfort' zones: Overcoming barriers to enable facilitated learning in the workplace CEUR Workshop Proceedings, v. 1154
  • Sentance, S., 1997. A rule network for english article usage within an intelligent language tutoring system International Journal of Phytoremediation, v. 21
    Doi: 10.1080/0958822970100205
  • Sentance, S., 1995. Book reviews: Sajavaara, K. and Takala, S., editors, 1993: Finns as learners of English: three studies. Jyväskylä Cross-Language Studies 16. Jyväskylä: University of Jyväskylä Second Language Research, v. 11
    Doi: 10.1177/026765839501100308
  • Waite, JL., Curzon, P., Marsh, W., Sentance, S. and Hadwen-Bennett, A., Abstraction in action: K-5 teachers' uses of levels of abstraction, particularly the design level, in teaching programming. International Journal of Computer Science Education in Schools, v. 2
    Doi: 10.21585/ijcses.v2i1.23
  • Book chapters

  • Dagienė, V. and Sentence, S., 2016. It’s computational thinking! bebras tasks in the curriculum
    Doi: http://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-46747-4_3
  • Sentance, S. and Humphreys, S., 2015. Online vs face-to-face engagement of computing teachers for their professional development needs
    Doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-25396-1_7
  • Sentance, S., Dorling, M. and McNicol, A., 2013. Computer science in secondary schools in the UK: Ways to empower teachers
    Doi: 10.1007/978-3-642-36617-8_2
  • Datasets

  • Sentance, S., Kirby, D., Quille, K., Cole, E., Crick, T. and Looker, N., UK and Ireland Computing Teacher Survey Dataset 1
  • Sentance, S., Tshukudu, E. and Quille, K., METRECC Africa 2020 data
    Doi: 10.17863/CAM.87121
  • Contact Details

    Room: 
    SN27
    Office phone: 
    (01223) 3-34613
    Email: 

    ss2600@cam.ac.uk