ERIC Number: ED319373
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Dec
Language-Independent Conceptual "Bugs" in Novice Programming. Technical Report No. 31.
Pea, Roy D.
Persistent conceptual bugs exist in how novices, from primary school to college age, program and understand programs. These bugs are not specific to a given programming language but appear to be language-independent. The three different classes of bugs are: (1) parallelism, the assumption that different lines in a program can be active at the same time or in parallel; (2) intentionality, the attribution of goal directedness or foresightedness to the program; and (3) egocentrism, the assumption that there is more of the programmer's meaning for what he or she wants to accomplish in the program than is actually present in the code he or she has written. All of these bugs appear to derive from the idea that there is a hidden mind in the programming language that has intelligent, interpretive powers. Each of the three types of bugs is described and exemplified using student errors, and the implications for programming instruction are addressed. (23 references) (Author/MES)
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.