Volume 14 · Number 3 · Pages 360–372
Early Programming Education Based on Concept Building

Jiří Vaníček

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Context: The main context of this study is the shift of programming education from professional development to general education. Problem: The article deals with methods, environments and approaches to teaching programming to everyone. Method: Conceiving programming education as concept building by creating pupils’ mental models in selected didactical environments that are constructed to allow pupils to focus on the given problem and, at the same time, to have the structure of a set of similar short tasks of increasing difficulty with the same underlying concept. Design-based research on the evaluation of curricular materials created according to this method. Results: Specified principles of creation of appropriate materials for teaching programming, intervention conducted with these materials and experience from a pilot research study of teaching that contains signals of how difficult it would be to change teachers’ minds to make them willing to accept and implement this approach in their teaching. Implications: The article focuses on applying the theory from mathematics education to a different field. The results could be beneficial for programming curricula education creators; a qualitatively new generation of textbooks on programming education for pupils from an early age could be created using this approach. Future research could focus on teachers’ beliefs and the changes to these beliefs when teaching programming in this way. Constructivist content: The theory used has its origin in mathematical constructivism and is based on the work of Papert and Hejn. It could bring experience in applying a proven theory originally used in another discipline. Key words: Computer science, programming education, junior high school, concept building, Scratch.


Vaníček J. (2019) Early programming education based on concept building. Constructivist Foundations 14(3): 360–372. https://constructivist.info/14/3/360

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