Advertisement

Cognitive Effects of Learning to Program in Logo: A One-Year Study With Sixth Graders

  • Erik De Corte
  • Lieven Verschaffel
  • Hilde Schrooten
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (volume 84)

Abstract

In this contribution we report a study that aimed at the development of a powerful Logo environment for the acquisition and transfer of four thinking skills. The investigation was carried out in three sixth-grade classes according to the pretest-posttest design with control group. A 60-hour Logo course, involving the explicit training of a systematic programming strategy, was taught in two experimental classes (E1 and E2). In E2 additional explicit instruction for transfer was given. The results show that the Logo knowledge and programming skills were mastered fairly well, and that positive transfer effects were obtained for three out of the four thinking skills. Starting from our own findings on the one hand, and the results of other recent successful investigations concerning the cognitive effects of learning to program on the other, some crucial characteristics of powerful learning environments are identified and suggestions for future research are formulated.

Keywords

Logo programming thinking skills transfer 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    Bransford, J. D., & Stein, B. S. (1984). The ideal problem solver. New York: Freeman.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Carver, S. (1986). Transfer of Logo debugging skill: Analysis, instruction and assessment. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Department of Psychology, Carnegie-Mellon University, Pittsburg, PA.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Carver, S. (1988). Learning and transfer of debugging skills: Applying task analysis to curriculum design and assessment. In R. E. Mayer (Ed.), Teaching and learning computer programming. Multiple research perspectives (pp. 259–297 ). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Carver, S., & Klahr, D. (1986). Assessing children’s Logo debugging skills with a formal model. Journal of Educational Psychology, 75, 1051–1058.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Clements, D. H. (1990). Metacomponential development in a Logo programming environment. Journal of Educational Psychology, 82, 141–149.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Collins, A., Brown, J. S., & Newman, S. E. (1989). Cognitive apprenticeship: Teaching the craft of reading, writing and mathematics. In L. B. Resnick (Ed.), Knowing, learning, and instruction. Essays in honor of Robert Closer (pp. 453–494 ). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    De Corte, E. (1990a). Towards powerful learning environments for the acquisition of problem-solving skills. European Journal of Psychology of Education, 5 (1), 5–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    De Corte, E. (1990b). Acquiring and teaching cognitive skills: A state-of-the-art of theory and research. In P. J. D. Drenth, J. A. Sergeant & R. J. Takens (Eds.), European perspectives in psychology. Volume 1 (pp. 237–263 ). London: Wiley.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    De Corte, E., & Verschaffet, L. (1986). Effects of computer experience on children’s thinking skills. Journal of Structural Learning, 9, 161–174.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    De Corte, E., & Verschaffet, L. (1989). Logo, a vehicle for thinking. In B. Greer & G. Mulhern (Eds.), New directions in mathematics education (pp. 63–81 ). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    De Corte, E., Verschaffet, L., & Schrooten, H. ( 1990, March). Cognitive effects of computer-oriented learning. Paper presented at the Seventh International conference on Technology and Education, Brussels, Belgium.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    De Corte, E., Verschaffet, L., Hoedemaekers, E., Schrooten, H., & Indemans, I. ( 1988, April). Acquiring planning skills in Logo: An exploratory study with sixth graders. Paper presented at the annual conference of the International Association for Computing in Education, New Orleans.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    De Corte, E., Verschaffet, L., Schrooten, H., Indemans, R., & Hoedemaekers, E. (1990). Logo als springplank voor het verwerven van denkvaardigheden bij zesdeklassers [Logo as a spring-board for the development of thinking skills in sixth graders]. Leuven: Acco.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Delclos, V. R., & Bums, M. S. ( 1989, March). Mediational elements in computer programming instruction. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Francisco.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Lehrer, R., Guckenberg, T., & Sancilio, L. (1988). Influences of Logo on children’s intellectual development. In R. E. Mayer (Ed.), Teaching and learning computer programming. Multiple research perspectives (pp. 75–110 ). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Leron, U. (1985). Logo today: Vision and reality. The Computer Teacher, 26–32.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Littlefield, F., Delclos, V. R., Lever, S., Clayton, K. N., Bransford, J. D., & Franks, J. J. (1988). Learning Logo: Method of teaching, transfer of general skills, and attitudes toward school and computers. In R. E. Mayer (Ed.), Teaching and learning computer programming. Multiple research perspectives (pp. 111–135 ). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Littlefield, J., Delclos, V. R., Bransford, J. D., Clayton, K. N., & Franks, J. J. (1989). Some prerequisites for teaching thinking: Methodological issues in the study of Logo programming. Cognition and Instruction, 6 (4), 331–366.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Mayer, R. E. (Ed.) (1988). Teaching and learning computer programming. Multiple research perspectives. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum Google Scholar
  20. 2.
    Milojkovic, J. D. (1983). Children leraning computer programming: Cognitive and motivational consequences. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Stanford University, Department of Psychology.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Palumbo, D. B. (1990). Programming language/problem-solving research: A review of relevant issues. Review of Educational Research, 60, 65–89.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Papert, S. (1980). Mindstorms. Children, computers, and powerful ideas. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Pea, R. D. (1985). Transfer of thinking skills: Issues for software use and design. Paper presented at the National Conference on “Computers and Complex Thinking” at the National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Pea, R. D., & Kurland, D. M. (1983). On the conitive effects of learning computer programming (Technical Report No. 9 ). New York: Bank Street College of Education, Center for Children and Technology.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Perkins, D. N., & Salomon, G. (1989). Are cognitive skills context-bound? Educational Researcher, 18 (1), 16–25.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Resnick, L. B. (1987). Instruction and the cultivation of thinking. In E. De Corte, H. Lodewijks, R. Parmentier, & P. Span (Eds.), Learning and instruction. European research in and international context. Volume 1 (pp. 415–442 ). Oxford/Leuven: Pergamon Press/Leuven University Press.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Salomon, G., & Perkins, D. N. (1987). Transfer of cognitive skills from programming: When and how? Journal of Educational Computing Research, 3, 149–169.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Scardamalia, M., Bereiter, C., McLean, R. S., Swallow, J., & Woodruff, E. (1989). Computer-supported intentional learning environments. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 5, 51–68.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Sowder, L. (1988). Children’s solutions of story problems. Journal of Mathematical Behavior, 7, 227–238.Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Swan, K. (1989). Logo programming and the teaching and learning of problem solving. Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education, 1 (1), 73–92.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Swan, K., & Black, J. B. (1987). The cross-contextual transfer of problem-solving skills (CCT Report 87 - 3 ). New York: Columbia University, Teachers College, Department of Communication, Computing and Technology.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Erik De Corte
    • 1
  • Lieven Verschaffel
    • 1
  • Hilde Schrooten
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Instructional Psychology and Technology (CIP&T)University of LeuvenLeuvenBelgium

Personalised recommendations