Constructivism in Computer Science Education
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Ben-Ari, M. (2001). Constructivism in Computer Science Education. Journal of Computers in Mathematics and Science Teaching, 20(1), 45-73. Norfolk, VA: AACE.
Retrieved from http://www.editlib.org/p/8505.
Journal of Computers in Mathematics and Science Teaching
Volume 20, Issue 1, 2001
Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE) Norfolk, VA
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Constructivism is a theory of learning, which claims that stu-dents construct knowledge rather than merely receive and store knowledge transmitted by the teacher. Constructivism has been extremely influential in science and mathematics education, but much less so in computer science education (CSE). This paper surveys constructivism in the context of CSE, and shows how the theory can supply a theoretical ba-sis for debating issues and evaluating proposals. An analysis of constructivism in computer science education leads to two claims: (a) students do not have an effective model of a com-puter, and (b) computers form an accessible ontological real-ity. The conclusions from these claims are that: (a) models must be explicitly taught, (b) models must be taught before abstractions, and (c) the seductive reality of the computer must not be allowed to supplant construction of models.
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