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Defining Procedures in Early Computing Education

Kalas, I; Benton, L; (2018) Defining Procedures in Early Computing Education. In: Tatnall, A and Webb, M, (eds.) Tomorrow's Learning: Involving Everyone. Learning with and about Technologies and Computing: 11th IFIP TC 3 World Conference on Computers in Education, WCCE 2017, Dublin, Ireland, July 3-6, 2017, Revised Selected Papers. (pp. pp. 567-578). Springer: Cham, Switzerland. Green open access

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Abstract

From the early years of educational programming researchers considered procedural abstraction a key instrument of computational thinking and tried to understand the cognitive difficulties encountered through this concept. Defining procedures is promoted in renewed computing curricula in several countries. And yet, it is rarely acknowledged by more recent educational research. In this paper, we consider the fact that the delayed implementation of a mechanism for building procedures (known as definitions) within Scratch, a widely used programming environment for children, may have negatively impacted the focus within curricular content on this powerful idea. In our research, which is a part of a broader ScratchMaths (SM) research project, we set out to explore which factors play a role in upper primary pupils understanding and utilizing the concept of defining procedures as a common and inherent instrument of their programming. We present our observations from the project design schools and demonstrate how they guided the development of our SM pedagogic strategy for definitions.

Type: Proceedings paper
Title: Defining Procedures in Early Computing Education
Event: WCCE: IFIP World Conference on Computers in Education, Dublin, Ireland, 3-6 July 2017
ISBN-13: 9783319743097
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-74310-3_57
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-74310-3_57
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Primary computing education, Procedure, Abstraction, ScratchMaths
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Culture, Communication and Media
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10052584
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