Debating the OO debate: where is the problem?

Australian Computer Society
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Conferences in Research and Practice in Information Technology, Vol 68: Koli Calling Proceedings of the Seventh Baltic Sea Conference on Computing Education Research, 2008, pp. 171 - 174
Issue Date:
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Abstract: In this paper we discuss problems related to the teaching of object-oriented programming (OOP). We argue that more research on how the computer science teacher understands OOP would be beneficial. Our argument takes its point of departure in three sets of studies: (1) an ongoing study on how computer science teachers understand core concepts of OOP, (2) a study of how the teaching of OOP is discussed within the CS community, and (3) a set of studies that discuss the different ways in which CS teachers experience their teaching. This paper reports on an ongoing study of the different ways in which computing science teachers understand object- oriented programming, and what they mean when use the term objects first.. The phenomenographic research approach has been applied to the analysis of a discussion that occurred in the SIGCSE-members mailing list. Two understandings of objects first have been identified: (1) as an extension of imperative programming, and (2) as conceptually different from imperative programming. These two understandings are illustrated via the differing ways in which computing science teachers use the term polymorphism.
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