ERIC Number: ED249931
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983
Reference Count: 0
On the Cognitive Prerequisites of Learning Computer Programming. Technical Report No. 18.
Pea, Roy D.; Kurland, D. Midian
This report explores the complex agenda of issues, promise, and problems that building a developmental science of programming entails and emphasizes the need to highlight different types of programming and programmers, the different cognitive subtasks involved in programming, and the social character of many programming efforts. An introduction discusses microcomputer use in schools, and problems with questions of the "cognitive demand of programming." Background issues addressed include the definition of computer programming, levels of programming skill development, the demands of learning to program, and programming as a cognitive activity. Theories of cognitive subtasks involved in programming are summarized, and the following subtasks are specifically discussed: understanding the problem, designing/planning the program, coding a program, and comprehending and debugging a program. Studies are reviewed that relate to programming skills development, the definition of a core of programming knowledge, and programmer aptitudes and abilities. Conclusions point out the narrow forces of existing research, the impossibility of separating "demand" questions from goals, the necessity of focusing on goals of computer education, individual versus social aspects of programming skills, and the limits of instructability of programming concepts/actions. A 37-page bibliography is included. (LMM)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: 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 011 338, IR 011 340, and IR 011 353.