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The use of computer-based programming environments as computer modelling tools in early science education : the cases of textual and graphical program languages

[journal article]

Louca, Loucas; Zacharia, Zacharias C.

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Please use the following Persistent Identifier (PID) to cite this document:http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0168-ssoar-132283

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Abstract This is an interpretive case study seeking to develop detailed and comparative descriptions of how two groups of fifth grade students used two different Computer-Based Programming Environments (CPEs) (namely Microworlds Logo and Stagecast Creator) during scientific modelling. The primary sources of data that were used in this four-month-long study include videotaped students' group work and whole-class discussions, and the instructors’ reflective journals. For the data analysis contextual inquiry was used in conjunction with analysis of student conversation in order to gain better insight in students’ activity and conversation patterns while working with CPEs. Findings highlight the differences in the ways that the students used the two CPEs in the context of developing models of natural phenomena with respect to three distinct phases that emerged from data analysis that include student approaches to (i) planning, (ii) writing and debugging code and (iii) using code to represent the phenomenon under study. Lastly, findings highlight which aspects of students work during the three phases can be productive for scientific modelling, proposing possible relationships between student work and CPE features.
Classification Curriculum, Teaching, Didactics; Interactive, electronic Media
Free Keywords science education; model-based learning; elementary school; program languages
Document language English
Publication Year 2008
Page/Pages p. 287-323
Journal International Journal of Science Education, 30 (2008) 3
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09500690601188620
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)