One of the central goals of the Raspberry Pi Computing Education Research Centre (RPCERC) is to make our research available to everyone. In the past year, our team have published several papers on different themes that might be useful to teachers and researchers. In this post, we highlight a few of these to give you a flavour of what we’re working on. We’re always keen to collaborate so if any of this work strikes a chord with you, please get in touch!

AI education in school

One theme of our writing is AI education in schools. For those in computing education research, you will know that this is a busy space right now. While it takes some time for papers to be published, we started working on this a few years ago and have now published a systematic literature review on AI in K–12 education, focusing on actual empirical studies, and an analysis of a huge bank of resources available for teaching AI to children.

As part of this work, we developed the SEAME framework, an acronym which stands for the different areas of AI education: Socio-ethical dimensions, Applications, Models and Engines. Particularly pertinent to the machine learning area of AI, this framework is a useful way of understanding the hierarchy of content that is available to learn AI. While it’s generally regarded as useful for young people to understand the socio-ethical aspects of AI, such as how AI may impact fairness and justice in our society, for better or worse, there is less consensus on whether it’s appropriate to teach the technical aspects of AI, as they may be more difficult to unpack and distil in an age-appropriate way. While this debate still ensues, the SEAME model provides a framework for the discussion which has added a useful dimension for researchers in this space to use.

In addition, our PhD student Salomey Addo presented a poster at the Human-Centred AI Education and Practice conference, looking specifically at teachers’ motivation to teach AI, which is another focus of RPCERC. Although we focus specifically on teaching the concepts and skills of AI, another related topic is how AI may be used in the teaching and learning of computing, and RPCERC is interested in this too. We are delighted that Veronica Cucuiat and Jane Waite will be presenting a paper at the ITiCSE conference in Milan this year on their work on teachers’ perceptions of the feedback given by generative AI in programming tools. 

Recent publications in this topic area:

Pedagogy and programming education

Another area where we have some interesting and innovative work being published is pedagogy and programming education. Laurie Gale’s PhD focuses on how lower secondary students debug their programs, including the emotional and attitudinal factors. His first paper was presented at the UKICER conference in September last year, and describes correlations between emotional aspects and attitudinal factors of debugging. For example, we can see that self-efficacy (confidence) around programming skills aligns with emotional aspects such as joy and frustration. The paper also shows that those students identifying as female have a lower self-efficacy in debugging than their male counterparts.

Jane Waite and colleagues’ work around semantic wave theory led to a publication at Koli Calling conference, showing how semantic waves, an aspect of legitimation code theory (LCT), can be useful in constructing feedback to learners to be delivered within online environments, in this case, Ada Computer Science. Jane delivered several talks at the international LCT conference in South Africa with her PhD supervisor, Paul Curzon from Queen Mary’s London. LCT is a cross-disciplinary field which has great potential to be used further in computing education – watch this space!

Recent publications in this topic area:

Culturally responsive computing teaching

From 2021 onwards, we’ve had a range of projects in the broad area of culturally relevant pedagogy and culturally responsive teaching, with funding from Google and Cognizant. Through our work on these projects, we created a framework that might help teachers bring culturally responsive teaching into their own context. Teachers can use these ten Areas of Opportunity to explore or reflect on their practice. These prompts include getting to know learners, empowering learners with choices and agency, and tailoring contexts to align with learners’ interests and backgrounds

In another thread of work, we used the Areas of Opportunity to help analyse UK teachers’ perspectives of their own classroom practices. We used the sociological theories of Bourdieu and Friere to develop a number of themes: rapport building, adaptation of content/context, review of practice and integration of social justice. Of these, it seemed that talking about social justice issues was least likely to be discussed by teachers as a form of culturally responsive computing teaching. We need further research to find out why this might be, but this could be linked as much to the curriculum and pedagogical expectations embedded in the English context as to teachers’ perceptions of how they can make their teaching more culturally responsive. This published paper has more details, or you can read this technical report for a shorter summary. 

We’ve also worked with primary schools to adapt published sets of lessons to make them more culturally relevant for their contexts. This is ongoing work: we’ve published one area of it but there is more to come!

Recent publications in this topic area:

General computer science education

Finally, we’ve undertaken several studies in the field of general computing education, focusing mainly on research to practice, as well as computing education around the world.

Recent publications in this topic area:

Edited book: Sentance, S., Barendsen, E., Howard, N. R., & Schulte, C. (Eds.). (2023). Computer science education: Perspectives on teaching and learning in school. Bloomsbury Publishing. Second Edition. (edited book). Available at:

Hear more about our research

The RPCERC research team includes researchers from the University of Cambridge and the Raspberry Pi Foundation. RPCERC was formally launched in 2022, so we are a young research centre and growing (here’s an opportunity to work with us!). You can stay in touch with us by subscribing to our quarterly newsletter: