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18
On the cognitive effects of learning computer programming
 New Ideas in Psychology
, 1984
"... Abstract—This paper critically examines current thinking about whether learning computer programming promotes the development of general higher mental functions. We show how the available evidence, and the underlying assumptions about the process of learning to program fail to address this issue ade ..."
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Cited by 49 (1 self)
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Abstract—This paper critically examines current thinking about whether learning computer programming promotes the development of general higher mental functions. We show how the available evidence, and the underlying assumptions about the process of learning to program fail to address this issue adequately. Our analysis is based on a developmental cognitive science perspective on learning to program incorporating developmental and cognitive science considerations of the mental activities involved in programming. It highlights the importance for future research of investigating students ’ interactions with instructional and programming contexts, developmental transformation of their programming skills, and their background knowledge and reasoning abilities. There are revolutionary changes afoot in education, in its contents as well as its methods. Widespread computer access by schools is at the heart of these changes. Throughout the world, but particularly in the U.S.A., educators are using computers for learning activities across the curriculum, even designing their own software. But virtually all educators are as anxious and uncertain about these changes and the directions to take as they are optimistic
Representing Knowledge of LargeScale Space
, 1977
"... This dissertation presents a model of the knowledge a person has about the spatial structure of a largescale environment: the "cognitive map." The functions of the cognitive map are to assimilate new information about the environment, to represent the current position, and to answer route ..."
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Cited by 42 (9 self)
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This dissertation presents a model of the knowledge a person has about the spatial structure of a largescale environment: the "cognitive map." The functions of the cognitive map are to assimilate new information about the environment, to represent the current position, and to answer routefinding and relativeposition problems. This model (called the TOUR model) analyzes the cognitive map in terms of symbolic descriptions of the environment and operations on those descriptions. Knowledge about a particular environment is represented in terms of route descriptions, a topological network of paths and places, multiple frames of reference for relative positions, dividing boundaries, and a structure of containing regions. The current position is described by the "You Are Here" pointer, which acts as a working memory and a focus of attention. Operations on the cognitive map are performed by inference rules which act to transfer information among different descriptions and the "You Are Here"...
Microelectronics and the personal computer
 Scientific American
, 1977
"... Imagine having your own selfcontained knowledge manipulator in a portable package the size and shape of an ordinary notebook. How would you use it if it had enough power to outrace your senses of sight and hearing, enough capacity to store for later retrieval thousands of pageequivalents ..."
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Cited by 26 (0 self)
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Imagine having your own selfcontained knowledge manipulator in a portable package the size and shape of an ordinary notebook. How would you use it if it had enough power to outrace your senses of sight and hearing, enough capacity to store for later retrieval thousands of pageequivalents
Implementing mathematical investigations with young children
 In
, 2001
"... Engaging children in mathematical investigations is advocated as a means of facilitating mathematical learning. However there is limited guidance for teachers on ways to support young children engaged in investigations. This study provides insights into the mathematical literacy required by sevento ..."
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Engaging children in mathematical investigations is advocated as a means of facilitating mathematical learning. However there is limited guidance for teachers on ways to support young children engaged in investigations. This study provides insights into the mathematical literacy required by seventoeightyearold students undertaking investigations. Examples of difficulties are described in relation to problem solving, representation, manipulation, and reasoning. While mathematical investigations can enhance young children’s learning, teachers need to provide guidance to address necessary skills and knowledge.
Center for Connected Learning and ComputerBased Modeling
"... There has been a body of emerging research describing students ’ understanding of complex systems. This research has primarily studied students understanding of complex phenomena in science. However, complex phenomena are also pervasive in everyday life. Children observe and participate in them dail ..."
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There has been a body of emerging research describing students ’ understanding of complex systems. This research has primarily studied students understanding of complex phenomena in science. However, complex phenomena are also pervasive in everyday life. Children observe and participate in them daily. How do they reason about such ordinary complex phenomena? In this study, we investigate students’ reasoning about everyday complex phenomena. We report on interviews and a classroom participatory simulation with ten sixthgrade students about ordinary events that could be construed as emergent, such as social situations in which the social pattern emerges from the participating students ’ individual actions. We have observed a widespread studentinitiated strategy for making sense of complex phenomena. We call this strategy “mid level construction, ” the formation of small groups of individuals. Students form these midlevel groups either by aggregating individuals or by subdividing the whole group. We describe and characterize this midlevel strategy and relate it to the students ’ expressed understanding of “complex systems” principles. The results are discussed with respect to (a) students ’ strengths in understanding everyday complex social systems; (b) the utility of midlevel groups in forming an understanding of complex systems; (c) agentbased and aggregate forms of reasoning about complex systems.
Promoting Social Justice In and Through the Mathematics Curriculum: Exploring the Connections with Epistemologies of Mathematics
"... This article rehearses the argument that being a critical mathematics educator is associated with a particular epistemological stance, one which views the truths of mathematics as historically located, influenced by the knower and mutable. Case study data, collected in England, is offered which exem ..."
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This article rehearses the argument that being a critical mathematics educator is associated with a particular epistemological stance, one which views the truths of mathematics as historically located, influenced by the knower and mutable. Case study data, collected in England, is offered which exemplifies this connection between epistemology and openness to equity issues in the thinking of some beginning secondary mathematics teachers. Teachers ' responses are analysed around four themes: their beliefs about the nature of mathematics, how those beliefs affect their pedagogy, how they explain student failure, and their views on initial teacher education. These are linked to their commitment to social justice in and through mathematics. The links between subject studies in teacher education and equity issues in the classroom are discussed. The Status of Mathematical Knowledge The conventional view of the nature of mathematics, which has an entrenched position in mainstream contemporary Western culture, rests on a takenforgranted understanding of the nature of mathematical knowledge which accords it the
1 SITUATING PROGRAMMING ABSTRACTIONS IN A CONSTRUCTIONIST VIDEO GAME
"... Research on the effectiveness of introductory programming environments often relies on posttest measures and attitudinal surveys to support its claims; but such instruments lack the ability to identify any explanatory mechanisms that can account for the results. This paper reports on a study design ..."
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Research on the effectiveness of introductory programming environments often relies on posttest measures and attitudinal surveys to support its claims; but such instruments lack the ability to identify any explanatory mechanisms that can account for the results. This paper reports on a study designed to address this issue. Using Noss & Hoyles ’ constructs of webbing and situated abstractions, we analyze programming novices playing a programtoplay constructionist video game to identify how features of introductory programming languages, the environments in which they are situated, and the challenges learners work to accomplish, collectively affect novices ’ emerging understanding of programming concepts. Our analysis shows that novices develop the ability to use programming concepts by building on the suite of resources provided as they interact with the computational context of the learning environment. In taking this approach, we contribute to computer science education design literature by advancing our understanding of the relationship between rich, complex introductory programming environments and the learning experiences they promote.
Mathematics Education, Utrecht, Holland. Difficulties Confronting Young Children Undertaking Investigations
"... One approach to providing a mathematically rich curriculum is to involve young children in mathematical investigations in which they engage in the exploration of meaningful problems, and problem posing. However, there is limited research on how teachers can facilitate young children’s learning throu ..."
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One approach to providing a mathematically rich curriculum is to involve young children in mathematical investigations in which they engage in the exploration of meaningful problems, and problem posing. However, there is limited research on how teachers can facilitate young children’s learning through investigations. This study explored the difficulties seventoeight year old students experienced when they began an investigatory program. We present examples of specific difficulties students confronted in conceptualising and conducting investigations, as well as general difficulties that they experienced which hindered their investigations, such as limited observation skills. Our contention is that mathematical investigations can enhance young children’s learning provided that their difficulties are addressed. Background The importance of providing students with opportunities to work as mathematicians has held credence for at least the past three decades (e.g., Papert, 1972; Wells, 1985) and has recently been strongly advocated (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, 1998, 1999). As mathematical investigations are central to the work of mathematicians (e.g., Hoffman, 1998), they are fundamental to children’s work as young mathematicians (Baroody & Coslick, 1998; Wells, 1985). Investigations are defined as “something more than solving the problem ” in which “there will be questions to
Developing Methods to Assess Innovative Curricula for Women and NonMajors in Computer Science
, 2003
"... Computer science educators are aware that they have a problem in motivating and engaging students, especially nonCSmajors and women, who are withdrawing or failing introductory computing courses at an alarming rate, or simply avoiding computing entirely. There are several innovative efforts to add ..."
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Computer science educators are aware that they have a problem in motivating and engaging students, especially nonCSmajors and women, who are withdrawing or failing introductory computing courses at an alarming rate, or simply avoiding computing entirely. There are several innovative efforts to address this problem. For example, CMU has made great progress on increasing the percentage of women in their undergraduate program. We at Georgia Tech have had a successful trial offering of a course in Introduction to Media Computation aimed at nonCS majors. By conventional assessment, such as retention and WFD rates, the course was quite successful at its goals. 121 students enrolled—2/3 women. 89 % of the class earned an A, B, or C in the course. 60 % of the respondents on a final survey indicated that they would like to take a second course on the topic.
Connected Mathematics  Building . . . with Mathematical Knowledge
, 1993
"... The context for this thesis is the conflict between two prevalent ways of viewing mathematics. The first way is to see mathematics as primarily a formal enterprise, concerned with working out the syntactic/formal consequences of its definitions. In the second view, mathematics is a creative enterpri ..."
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The context for this thesis is the conflict between two prevalent ways of viewing mathematics. The first way is to see mathematics as primarily a formal enterprise, concerned with working out the syntactic/formal consequences of its definitions. In the second view, mathematics is a creative enterprise concerned primarily with the construction of new entities and the negotiation of their meaning and value. Among teachers of mathematics the formal view dominates. The consequence for learners is a shallow brittle understanding of the mathematics they learn. Even for mathematics that they can do, in the sense of calculating an answer, they often can't explain why they're doing what they're doing, relate it to other mathematical ideas or operations, or connect the mathematics to any idea or problem they may encounter in their lives. The aim of this thesis is to develop alternative ways of teaching mathematics which strengthen the informal, intuitive and creative in mathematics. This research develops an approach to learning mathematics called "connected mathematics" which emphasizes learners’ negotiation of mathematical meaning. I have