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Constructivism in Computer Science Education
Article

, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel

JCMST Volume 20, Number 1, ISSN 0731-9258 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Waynesville, NC USA

Abstract

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.

Citation

Ben-Ari, M. (2001). Constructivism in Computer Science Education. Journal of Computers in Mathematics and Science Teaching, 20(1), 45-73. Norfolk, VA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved August 10, 2020 from .

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