Children's scientific thinking skills for programming a robotic car
Leuven : European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction (EARLI)
In17th Biennial Conference EARLI: Book of Abstracts and Extend Summaries, pp. 53
17th Biennal EARLI Conference for Research on Learning and Instruction (EARLI 2017) (Tampere, Finland, August 29th - September 2nd, 2017)
Article in monograph or in proceedings
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SW OZ BSI OLO
17th Biennial Conference EARLI: Book of Abstracts and Extend Summaries
SubjectLearning and Plasticity
Although the need and popularity for programming experiences in young children rapidly increase, it is by no means clear how children perform while programming. Moreover, very little empirical studies to date have focused on the widespread claim that programming is a rich learning environment to exercise scientific thinking skills. Such thinking entails the 21st century skills to discover, examine, and reflect during knowledge construction. The present study therefore examined (1) the learning processes while children collaboratively program a route for a Lego Mindstorms © car, and (2) how these processes relate to their scientific thinking. Scientific thinking skills were assessed in 292 children, who then programmed Lego Mindstorms© robots for a required route on a map. Children’s collaborative learning performances were recorded on process and outcome variables. Results indicate that children used different strategies of varying efficiency to program the robotic car, and that these strategies related to children’s executive control and scientific thinking skills.
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