An Investigation of Italian Primary School Teachers' View on Coding and Programming

Isabella Corradini 1 Michael Lodi 2 Enrico Nardelli 3
2 FOCUS - Foundations of Component-based Ubiquitous Systems
CRISAM - Inria Sophia Antipolis - Méditerranée , DISI - Dipartimento di Informatica - Scienza e Ingegneria [Bologna]
Abstract : This paper reports the results of an investigation involving almost a thousand primary school teachers in Italy, to explore their views on the terms "coding" and "programming", and how they are related to their ideas on "computational thinking". When directly asked "if coding is different from writing programs", roughly 2 out of 3 teachers answered "no". Among the teachers who answered "yes", almost 160 tried to motivate the difference: a few of them gave admissible explanations, while the others showed various misunderstandings , which we classify and discuss. By contrast, when asked about their idea of "what coding is", only 4 out of 10 of the teachers explicitly linked coding to programming, but an additional 2 out of 10 cited an information processing agent executing instructions. The remaining part of the sample did not provide explicit or implicit links between coding and programming. Our investigation shows that untrained teachers hold misconceptions regarding CS and its related terms. Given the general public and media attention on "coding" in schools, currently taught by existing teachers-mostly not appropriately trained, professional development actions fo-cusing on CS scientific principles and methods are therefore a top priority for the effectiveness of CS education in schools.
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Isabella Corradini, Michael Lodi, Enrico Nardelli. An Investigation of Italian Primary School Teachers' View on Coding and Programming. Informatics in Schools. Fundamentals of Computer Science and Software Engineering - 11th International Conference on Informatics in Schools: Situation, Evolution, and Perspectives, ISSEP 2018, Oct 2018, St. Petersburg, Russia. pp.228--243, ⟨10.1007/978-3-030-02750-6_18⟩. ⟨hal-01913059⟩

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