«Informatics – A Fundamental Discipline for the 21st Century»

Michael Caspersen

Aarhus University

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Informatics may be considered a fourth type of language on par with spoken language, written language and mathematics. Using informatics for discovery, expression and problem solving is changing the practice of all disciplines. The European Commission’s Digital Education Action Plan has among other things a focus on inclusive high-quality informatics education at all levels of education, and earlier this year the Informatics for All coalition published their Informatics Reference Framework for School. We give an overview of these current developments with a particular emphasis on the two-tier strategy – informatics as a discrete subject and informatics integrated into other subjects – and we provide examples of how the integration of informatics into other subjects (e.g., natural science education) may be a driver for disciplinary renewal.


Michael E. Caspersen is Managing Director at It-vest – networking universities and Honorary Professor at the Department of Computer Science at Aarhus University. He holds a PhD in Computer Science from Aarhus University; his research interests are in the areas of informatics/computing education, computational thinking, programming education, programming methodology, and object-oriented programming. He is member of the Board of Informatics Europe and member of the Steering Committee for the coalition Informatics for All established jointly by ACM Europe and Informatics Europe, joined by CEPIS and IFIP.  He is Chair of the European Informatics for All reference framework for School task force. Since 2008, Michael has been heavily involved in development of the new informatics subject for Danish upper secondary school (curriculum development and teacher training).  In 2018, by personal invitation from the Minister of Education, he was co-chair of the expert group developing a new informatics subject for primary and lower secondary school. He currently serves as special adviser to Executive Vice-President of the European Commission, Margrethe Vestager, on digital education and skills. In 2013, Michael was recognised as Distinguished Member of the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) for advancing the science, engineering, and education of computing, and highlight the widening role that computing plays in a range of disciplines and domains around the globe.


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