To explore the role of design thinking in contemporary computer literacy education, this study aimed to examine the relationship between young students’ design thinking disposition and their computer programming self-efficacy. To assess students’ design thinking disposition, this study developed the Design Thinking Disposition Scale (DTDS) with a sample of 350 junior high school students who had computer programming experience in a STEAM course. A principle axis factor analysis with the promax rotation method was used to verify the DTDS’s construct under the four dimensions: empathize, define, ideate and prototype. The Cronbach’s alpha reliability was.90 for the overall scale. Correlation analyses results showed that all the four dimensions were significantly correlated with computer programming self-efficacy assessed by CPSES. A significant regression model was found in which the three factors, ideate, prototype and define, significantly predicted the overall computer programming self-efficacy. Meanwhile, except for the ideate subscale, no gender difference was found in the young students’ design thinking dispositions. The students’ self-directed programming learning experience was shown to benefit their design thinking disposition. The DTDS can be applied to design-thinking-embedded computer literacy curricula such as makers, STEAM, or robotics education. Several further studies are also suggested.
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