Skip to main content

What are we doing when we teach programming?

Fincher, Sally (1999) What are we doing when we teach programming? In: FIE'99 Frontiers in Education. 29th Annual Frontiers in Education Conference. Designing the Future of Science and Engineering Education. Conference Proceedings. IEEE. ISBN 0-7803-5643-8. (doi:10.1109/FIE.1999.839268)

Abstract

The academic discipline of computer science uniquely prepares students for future study by teaching the fundamental construct of its practice-programming- before anything else. The disciplinary argument seems to run that if a student is not versed in the practicalities, then they cannot appreciate the underlying concepts of the discipline. This may be true. However an analogous simulation would be if it were thought necessary for architecture students to be taught bricklaying before they could appreciate the fundamentals of building design. This argument is clearly flawed when compared to endeavours such as the study of English Literature, which makes no claim to teach the practice of producing work before the study of the products of others work. It is possible that this is an argument of disciplinary maturity-that all disciplines have passed through a similar phase. This paper examines the emergent approaches being defined, all of which address the central concern of the teaching of programming and its relationship to the learning of computer science. It examines: the "syntax-free" approach of Richard Bornat and Russel Shackelford, the "problem-solving" approach of David Barnes (et al.), the "literacy" approach of Peter Juliff and Owen Astrachan and the "computation-as-interaction" approach of Lynn Andrea Stein. These approaches are discussed both in their own terms, and also placed in a preliminary taxonomic framework for the teaching of programming.

Item Type: Book section
DOI/Identification number: 10.1109/FIE.1999.839268
Uncontrolled keywords: education; computer science; vehicles; laboratories
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics (inc Computing science) > QA 76 Software, computer programming,
Divisions: Faculties > Sciences > School of Computing > Computing Education Group
Depositing User: Mark Wheadon
Date Deposited: 08 Sep 2009 15:37 UTC
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2019 10:33 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/21750 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Fincher, Sally: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7347-108X
  • Depositors only (login required):

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year