ERIC Number: ED286463
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-Apr
Educational Computing and Cognitive Skills: Curricular Issues and Prolog Prospects.
Johanson, Roger P.
Following a summary and critique of the research on the use of computers in education to develop higher-order thinking skills, this paper advances eight hypotheses regarding the failure of research to confirm expected positive effects, and makes two major claims. The hypotheses are as follows: (1) a cognitive chain of consequences of programming instruction exists, and students are not progressing to the end of the chain; (2) applications represent a more likely area than programming for the desired cognitive outcomes; (3) research on cognitive outcomes of programming has been poorly conceptualized; (4) such research has been unsophisticated and done at the wrong age level; (5) the anticipation of cognitive benefits constitutes a resurrection of the discredited concept of mental discipline; (6) problem-solving, higher-order thinking, and other goals of programming instruction are discontinuous with the regular curriculum; (7) problem-solving and higher-order thinking may be domain-specific; and (8) failure to find the desired effects of programming has been due to a lack of curricular sophistication, and objectives related to such outcomes have not been inherent in experimental treatments. The first major claim is that the principal weakness of research on the cognitive consequences of programming instruction very likely has been its inadequate consideration of curriculum issues. The second claim is that a relatively new declarative programming language, Prolog, which is radically different from procedural languages like BASIC and Logo, merits serious consideration for educational use. A brief introduction to Prolog concludes the paper. A list of 44 references is included. (MES)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Washington, DC, April 20-24, 1987).