ERIC Number: ED249919
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Jan
Reference Count: 0
On the Cognitive Effects of Learning Computer Programming: A Critical Look. Technical Report No. 9.
Pea, Roy D.; Kurland, D. Midian
This paper provides an historical and empirical critique of the claim that learning to program will promote the development of general higher mental functions. A developmental perspective on learning to program is provided which incorporates cognitive science studies of mental activities involved in programming, and highlights the importance of programming contexts, instructional contexts, and a student's relevant background knowledge and reasoning skills for the task of learning to program. The following topics are discussed: claims for cognitive effects of learning to program; the developmental role of contexts in learning to program; the programming environment; the instructional environment; what constitutes skilled programming; levels of programming skill development; cognitive constraints on learning to program; and evidence for cognitive effects of programming. Types of transfer outcomes expected from each of the different levels of programming skill development are described, and a concluding statement and a 14-page list of references are included. (Author/THC)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Spencer Foundation, Chicago, IL.; National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Bank Street Coll. of Education, New York, NY. Center for Children and Technology.
Note: For related documents, see IR 011 340, IR 011 353, and IR 011 359.