NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Back to results
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ918139
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Feb
Pages: 23
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1946-6226
Difficulties in Learning Inheritance and Polymorphism
Liberman, Neomi; Beeri, Catriel; Kolikant, Yifat Ben-David
ACM Transactions on Computing Education, v11 n1 Article 4 Feb 2011
This article reports on difficulties related to the concepts of inheritance and polymorphism, expressed by a group of 22 in-service CS teachers with an experience with the procedural paradigm, as they coped with a course on OOP. Our findings are based on the analysis of tests, questionnaires that the teachers completed in the course, as well as on observations made during the course. The article suggests that the difficulties are mostly caused by the learners' ignorance about a programming model for inheritance and polymorphism. Such a model is presented in the appendix. The article offers a classification of the difficulties into the following four clusters: (1) alternative (partial) models, (2) analogies to the use of inheritance and conversion in day-to-day life or in imperative programming, (3) lack of understanding of hierarchies and their role in inheritance, and (4) difficulties due to approaches to teaching, and their impact on the students understanding, as well as, with difficulties that arose in previous stages of learning OOP and have yet not been resolved. (Contains 1 figure and 2 footnotes.)
Association for Computing Machinery. 2 Penn Plaza Suite 701, New York, NY 10121. Tel: 800-342-6626; Tel: 212-626-0500; Fax: 212-944-1318; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Israel
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A