Concrete and other neo-piagetian forms of reasoning in the novice programmer

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Conference Proceeding
Conferences in Research and Practice in Information Technology Series, 2011, 114 pp. 9 - 18
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This paper brings together a number of empirical research results on novice programmers, using a neo-Piagetian theoretical framework. While there already exists literature connecting programming with classical Piagetian theory, in this paper we apply neo-Piagetian theory. Using that neo-Piagetian perspective, we offer an explanation as to why attempts to predict ability for programming via classical Piagetian tests have yielded mixed results. We offer a neo-Piagetian explanation of some of the previously puzzling observations about novice programmers, such as why many of them make little use of diagrams, and why they often manifest a nonsystematic approach to writing programs. We also develop the relatively unexplored relationship between concrete operational reasoning and programming, by exploring concepts such as conservation and reversibility. © 2011, Australian Computer Society, Inc.
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