Programming Education to Preschoolers: Reflections and Observations from a Field Study

Alaaeddin Swidan; Felienne Hermans

In recent years, there has been a rise in methods and tools dedicated to programming education for chil- dren of primary school age. In this paper, we present our experience of providing five programming ses- sions to a group of eleven children between four and six years. Our sessions followed problem-solving and game-playing themes and featured two newly-developed tools: the unplugged Robot Turtles, and the robotic Ozobot. The activities embed programming concepts such as the order of operations, sym- bolic representations, and functional abstraction. The observations show that children understood and applied concepts such as sorting, sequential operations, and functional abstraction. However, children struggle with giving directions to the object which highlights a spatial awareness limitation. Finally, we link the observations to Piaget’s theory and his limitations to thoughts for children in this age. We find that some of Piaget’s limitations such as egocentrism can explain a few observed behaviors. However, a few limitations contradict our observations such as the irreversibility and transductive reasoning.

Type of Publication: Paper
Conference: PPIG 2017 - 28th Annual Conference
Publication Year: 2017
Paper #: 7
TitleProgramming Education to Preschoolers: Reflections and Observations from a Field Study
Publication TypePaper
AuthorsSwidan, A, Hermans, F
PPIG Workshop: